We love a great beach braid as much as the next girl, but when fall rolls around, we're on the prowl for sleeker styles to add polish and pizzazz to our cozy fall coats and chunky knits. That's where these braided hairstyles come in: They're sophisticated, stylish, and oh-so-pretty. Get ready for some serious hair-spiration.
Scroll through to see the braided styles you need to master this season (better start practicing).
Braided High Pony
Found: the perfect hairstyle for those lazy days when you still need to look polished. Victoria Justice's ponytail-braid hybrid is surprisingly simple to replicate: Start with hair that's been blown out straight (or take a couple minutes to smooth your strands with a flat iron), apply a little shine serum, and pull it into a high ponytail. Wrap a one-inch strand of hair around the base of the ponytail, then simply braid the rest of your hair and tie it off with a thin hair tie that matches your hair color.
A pretty topknot gets a not-so-basic twist with a French braid that snakes up the back of the head. Wear this to work or for date night—the possibilities are endless. Pair it with a smoky eye for an extra-flirty look (bonus points for adding an ear cuff à la Jessica Alba).
The Inception Braid
Diane Kruger's double-plaited style is the stuff braid dreams are made of (and we're convinced that magic had to be involved, somehow).
Twisted Rope Braid
Rita Ora's twisted braid has all the elements of a GNO hairstyle: It's fierce, eye-catching, and also happens to be pretty. Hairstylist Chris Appleton created the look for her. To get a similar punky-meets-pretty style, add some sleek waves to your hair and then make a deep side part. Either twist the smaller side into a rope braid or try a tightly plaited French braid.
A Game of Thrones-Worthy Braid
This mind-boggling creation would look right at home on Game of Thrones and was brought to life on actress Odeya Rush by hairstylist Sarah Potempa. It looks impossible to recreate, but we promise it can be done.
Side Fishtail Braid
Proof that side braids can be sophisticated: Sarah Hyland’s fishtail version. Hairstylist Kelsey Deenihan kept it just tousled enough for volume and texture, without veering into boho braid territory. You'll need a little texture to give it staying power: either start with unwashed hair or add a few loose waves to your hair. Sweep your hair off to one side and tie it with a clear elastic, and then do a fishtail braid down the length of your hair. Secure it with another hair tie, and then wrap a small section of your hair around it to conceal and add polish. Use your fingers to pull out a few face-framing pieces, then finish it off by adding a flirty flip to them with a large-barrel curling iron.
Milkmaid Glam Braid
When in doubt, add a little bling. Eons away from your summertime Heidi braid, this fall-ready style, seen on Katy Perry, gets a hefty dose of glam thanks to the gilded Jennifer Behr headband laced through the braids.
Get more fall beauty inspiration here!