Mermaid crowns emerge as alternative option to cliche flower crowns

Juice Jam, Syracuse University’s music festival of the fall semester. Besides the first few football games, parties, and Greek recruitments, this is your chance to show the rest of the student body the amazing style you’ve acquired over the summer. So how will you impress the crowd? Well, you could be a walking cliche: distressed cutoffs, a crop top, temporary tattoos, body paint or a flower crown. However, why not be different and stand out from the pack?

Mermaid crowns emerged and became popular this summer and are an upgrade from their tired flower crown counterparts. You’ll understand why when you see them. Decked out in crystals, chains, jewels and seashells, this new accessory is perfect for Ariel wannabes. Crowns are the next logical element to adorn sea-kissed styles that include candy-colored tresses, iridescent bathing suits, seashell bras and mermaid highlighters. When you trade in flower crowns for these underwater ornaments, you’re transformed from Lana Del Rey-typecasting to Neptunian royalty. And who wouldn’t love that?

Fashion magazines picked up on mermaid crowns when a designer from Australia came across them. Chelsea Shiels of Chelsea’s Flowercrowns is widely recognized as the master of her trade. Shiels’ artwork has flooded social media and several online articles in Allure, NYLON, Huffington Post and US Weekly since Cosmopolitan introduced her designs in July. She has since gained over 100 thousand Instagram followers.

Shiels first began selling mermaid crowns on Etsy, but if you looked today you would find they’re all sold out now. Because they’re in such high demand, she’s made them available for pre-order on her website. Each one-of-a-kind crown is assembled by hand.

Inconveniently, there is a one-month turnaround, so these $150 pieces won’t be in your hands in time for Juice Jam this weekend. But if you do want to glide around the festival like an imperial sea goddess, there are more boutiques that have picked up on this whimsical sensation. Wild and Free Jewelry, Scarlet Harlow, Elemental Child and Flight of Fancy are a few of the other online stores selling them at the moment.

No worries if your college budget doesn’t allow you to splurge on jewelry. Simply go for a DIY project. Get shells, beads, wire, gorilla glue and anything else you desire and host an arts and crafts night. You can listen to the soundtrack of “The Little Mermaid” while you’re designing or watch films like “Splash,” “Miranda” or “Queen of the Sea.” Imagine all the fun you’ll have making your own crown and the satisfaction you’ll feel when heads are turning to see your creation.

To complete your look, add sleek and luxurious textures fit for a modern princess. A sequin bustier, silky slip dress, velvet shorts or leather jacket get the job done, and you can top it off with platform shoes and body glitter for added mer-style. If you’re into a darker approach, like the sirens in “Pirates of the Caribbean” or merpeople in “Harry Potter,” a vampy lip complements the magic of it all. Brave a beauty makeover and opt for a pastel colored dye job if you dare to go even further.

You’re guaranteed to make a major splash whether you buy a mermaid crown or make one. And who knows? Maybe Fetty Wap will notice you and be mesmerized by your mystic glow. Until this happens, go ahead and start looking for your Prince Eric. Happy Juice Jam.

Darriea Clark is a junior magazine journalism major, her column appears weekly in Pulp. You can reach her at 


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