Wear One Bandanna Five Ways

Kastle Waserman
by Kastle Waserman

The bandana is a classic clothing staple. Usually made of a light, cotton fabric, bandanas are square in shape and come in multiple colors with a black and white design in paisley or some variation.

Bandanas are associated with several different images. There's the cowboy, farmer and miner workwear and the hard rock band members of the 1980s who wore them as headscarves. You can read a great history of the bandana here.

One side note of caution: Be aware of neighborhoods you're in when wearing a bandana for fashion. In some areas, gang members or other affiliations wear bandanas of a specific color to associate themselves with certain groups.

Bandanas can be purchased pretty much anywhere, online, vintage stores and western wear stores. I actually have a bunch in different colors from when I was a kid growing up in Texas and going to the rodeo. You can style bandanas in a variety of looks. Here's one bandana, five ways:

Bandana Kerchief

Bandanas are a cute way to pull your hair back, especially in the summer when you want to stay cool. Fold it into a triangle and place it on the top of your head near your forehead. You can leave bangs or wisps of hair peeking out. Tie the corners under to hair. You may need a couple of bobby pins to secure in place.

Bandana Bracelet 

Wrapping and tying a bandana around your wrist can make for a cool fashion accessory. It becomes a cloth bracelet. Wearing a bandanna in this way can also serve a purpose if you wear it for working out or hard labor that makes you sweat. It's a quick sweatband when you need it!

Bandit Style

This look definitely brings an image of the old west when bandits wore bandanas to cover their face during bank robberies. These days, you can wear a bandana around your neck and tied with the corners in the back so it's like a big necklace. This is a great way to really show off the design. Be aware, bandanas  should not be used as a face mask for COVID-19 prevention. They are not thick enough and do not secure tightly on the face, allowing virus germs to get in and out of your nose and mouth.

Bandanna Hatband

Speaking of cowboys, bandanas can be tied around a hat to make a colorful hatband. Simply fold the bandana into a triangle and roll it into a tube shape. You can flatten it out a bit with an iron. Then wrap and tie it around the brim of a hat for a fresh pop of color and design!

Rosie the Riveter Style

Bandanas are often seen worn as a headband. But it was Rosie the Riveter who became an icon for wearing a red bandana to pull her hair back to represent women who took over men's jobs when they were sent off to war during World War II. It's still an iconic look to flex your muscle. You can do it!

So now that you know how to wear one bandanna five ways, which look will you try first? You can see more of my looks on my blog, Stiletto City and Instagram page.

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Join the conversation
  • MariaG MariaG on Aug 18, 2021

    Not sure I appreciated reading the part about “being aware of possible gang association colors”. Other than that, thanks for the suggestions.

    • Kastle Waserman Kastle Waserman on Aug 18, 2021

      Hi MariaG, thank you for your comment. I felt it was important to note that the colors are symbolic in some areas. Hope you enjoy styling your bandanas!