Step 1: On each side of your head, use only the hair over your ears and make a braid. These braids should be thin and fairly polished. Using the rest of your hair, make two or three more braids. You'll now have four or five braids (one over each ear and two or three in the back) and all should be wrapped in clear elastics.
Step 2: Take the thin braids over your ears and wrap them up over your head, like a headband. Use bobby pins to pin the braids down. You'll need to pin above each ear and where the braid ends. Tuck the ponytail ends under the other braid and pin to secure.
Step 3: Take the two or three braids in the back of your head and arrange them on the back of your head and pin with hair pins. These braids shouldn't look perfect and don't need to be in any special arrangement. Just use a lot of pins and make sure the ends are mostly tucked.
When Ms. Swift had her bangs cut for her Vogue cover shoot last year, I was thrilled with her new, fresh look. The bangs with this style are a whimsical contrast to the fancy, more traditional updo but you don't need bangs to do this look.