Want to wear a bandana but aren’t sure how? This guide will give you some ideas!
If you’re looking to add a new accessory to your wardrobe, a bandana might just be the one you’re looking for. They’re surprisingly versatile and easy to style.
What Are Bandanas?
When we talk about bandanas, we typically think of the square piece of fabric, often with a paisley design, that folds into triangular shapes for different types of wear. We’ve seen it in everything from biker and rocker styles to preppier and dapper looks.
The bandana’s history extends back into antiquity. In India, women used them as head coverings which are very reminiscent of Ancient Greek kerchiefs. Much of its early use was for protection and covering.
Similar kerchiefs have been used for centuries as religious head coverings, worn basically as a sign of respect, in many Orthodox Christian and Jewish sects.
They’ve also long been popular in workwear, being a rag or piece of fabric that could actually be used. More recently, bandanas have also been worn to signify affiliations, Pride, and much more. Now, we’ve also seen them gain popularity in fashion again.
Is it Ok to Wear Bandanas?
Bandanas have been used to symbolize a lot of things throughout their history, but you can rest easy if you’re planning to wear one.
If you’re worried about wearing a bandana based on what it might signify, you might be giving into a bit of social bias and giving yourself too much credit. Unless you’re deliberately wearing it in order to pretend to be a member of a specific group, you’re probably going to be safe wearing a bandana.
10 Ways to Wear a Bandana for Men
This list will show you how to accessorize an outfit with a bandana and get the most use out of it. We’re showing you a variety of bandanas and ways to fold them to achieve a look.
If you’re looking for a video tutorial for some of these outfits, check out Parker’s video below. He does a great job of sharing a few ways to style a bandana and how to fold it for each style.
We’re going to show you the versatility of the bandana as an accessory.
The Standard Headband
This is an easy option for a bandana. If you start by folding it into a triangular shape and then folding it into a band, you’ll get a rocker-style headband that adds some edge to your outfit
This kind of styling is great for concerts or more casual settings. It’ll also help catch some sweat in the heat.
The Overhead Headband
This one is a very 90’s kind of vibe and is also very reminiscent of biker style.
It’s a great way to use your bandana as a head cover, and this style will add edginess to your outfit. This pairs well with denim and leather jackets for a grungier look.
We’re seeing the neckerchief make a comeback! If you already own a bandana, you can hop on this trend and elevate some casual outfits or make some of your suited outfits more casual.
The best part is that you can leave the knot messy in the front and show a little more neck/chest so that the bandana pulls focus.
Bandanas make for great face covers. Folding it in half and tying it behind your head gives you a nice desperado-looking mask.
This can prove useful for masking up and help protect you from dust if you’re at any kind of open-air festival.
Neckerchief Version 2
You can take that makeshift mask and pull it down to your neck to achieve this look.
Styling your bandana this way has a little bit of a western feel but works well when accessorizing a casual outfit. A tee and denim jacket with this is perfect!
If you’re someone who likes to stack bracelets, you can swap in a bandana for a beaded bracelet or leather cuff.
This move has a bit more rock and roll, but a bandana bracelet looks great when stacked with your other bracelets. Roll your shirt sleeves up and show it off!
The Bandana Pocket Square
If you’re in a pinch and out of pocket squarer or just looking for something new, sub in your bandana. Bandanas usually have great prints that work well as little focal points.
You don’t have to worry too much about a bandana dressing down a jacket because it doesn’t take up too much room. However, it’s still best to keep bandana pocket squares for more casual jackets, especially if the bandana is made out of a rugged fabric.
Back Pocket Accessory
Some guys just like the look of a bandana hanging out of the back pocket of their jeans. It’s definitely a cool look.
Try this with your next double denim look for a more rugged look. This also makes the bandana easier to use to wipe your hands and face.
The Hat Band
If you’re a fedora or wide-brim hat wearer, wrapping a bandana around the shaft of your hat is a great way to accessorize it.
This gives some extra personality to your hat and if you have multiple bandanas, you can switch up the look of the same hat for any outfit.
Bandana Belt Loop Accessory
It may not be a typical choice, but you can accessorize your belt loops with a bandana. Think of it as a sub-in for a chain that looks a little smarter.
This is a great way to break up an outfit in a new way and get the most use out of your bandana.
When Not to Wear a Bandana
Bandanas are inherently casual accessories. Even as a pocket square, I wouldn’t recommend them for formal or black tie events — for these occasions, stick to more classic pocket squares and accessories.
Bandanas usually have unmistakable loud and colorful designs. If you don’t want it to stick out or look like you’re wearing a costume, skip the bandana or go with a more neutral-colored one like I did.
If you’re still unsure, test it out by rocking a bandana to a casual event, or even just when running errands. If you feel it’s not working for you, it’s pretty easy to remove.
How Would You Style a Bandana?
The best part about figuring out how to wear a bandana is that you don’t have a lot of limitations. Because it’s an accessory, it takes up little visual space with regard to your whole outfit, so don’t be afraid to play around! I hope this guide gave you some new ideas for styling your bandanas.
If you have any questions or comments, leave them down below!