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HTML

              
                <div class="form-item">
  <label class="form-item__label" for="select">Select with fake placeholder</label>
  <div class="select-wrap">
    <select id="select" class="form-item__element form-item__element--select" required>
      <option disabled selected value="">Please select value</option>
      <option value="1">Value 1</option>
      <option value="2">Value 2</option>
    </select>
  </div>
</div>

<div class="form-item">
  <label class="form-item__label" for="input">Input with placeholder</label>
  <input id="input" placeholder="Please enter value" class="form-item__element">
</div>

<div class="info">
  <h2>About this pen</h2>
  <p>You can read more about this pen in the following article:<br><a href="https://markus.oberlehner.net/blog/faking-a-placeholder-in-a-html-select-form-field/">Faking a Placeholder in a HTML Select Form Field</a></p>
  <p>Pure HTML+CSS solution:<br><a href="https://codepen.io/moberlehner/pen/WOWrqO">Fake Select Placeholder with Pure CSS</a></p>
</div>
              
            
!

CSS

              
                $default-color: #444;

.form-item {
  &:not(:first-child) {
    margin-top: 1em;
  }
  
  > :not(:first-child) {
    margin-top: 0.25em;
  }
}

.form-item__label {
  display: block;
}

.form-item__element {
  display: inline-block;
  padding: 0.5em;
  vertical-align: middle;
  background: #fff;
  border-radius: 4px;
  border: 1px solid gray;
}

.form-item__element--select {
  appearance: none;
  padding-right: 2em;
  
  // The select element is set to required
  // as long as the selected options value
  // is empty the element is not valid.
  &:invalid {
    color: gray;
  }
  
  // Optional select fields fallback.
  &.has-placeholder {
    color: gray;
  }
  
  // Styling for browsers which do support
  // styling select option elements directly
  [disabled] {
    color: gray;
  }
  
  option {
    color: $default-color;
  }
}

// Quick and dirty ugly caret replacement.
.select-wrap {
  &::after {
    margin-left: -2em;
    font-size: 0.75em;
    pointer-events: none;
    content: '▼';
  }
}

.info {
  max-width: 42em;
  
  p {
    line-height: 1.5;
  }
}

body {
  padding: 1em;
  color: $default-color;
}

* {
  box-sizing: border-box;
}

              
            
!

JS

              
                // The following JavaScript is only needed if you
// need the placeholder functionality for select
// elements which are not required fields.

// Add class with JavaScript so everything still
// looks decent without JavaScript available.
document.querySelector('select').classList.add('has-placeholder');

// Remove the fake placeholder class when the value of select changes, because
// the placeholder option is disabled, it can't be selected anymore and there is
// no need for the `has-placeholder` class to be applied again.
document.querySelector('select').addEventListener('change', (e) => {
  e.currentTarget.classList.remove('has-placeholder');
});
              
            
!
999px

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