There’s a reason they say that the devil’s in the details. You’ve been a player in the fashion game long enough to know that accessories can make or break your outfit, boost your confidence or leave people questioning your style. Finding that ultimate accessory, the one that can go with any outfit? Yeah, that’s hard.
Actually, it was hard. But not anymore. Let us clue you in on your ensemble saviour, the ultimate everyday accessory and your new best friend. It’s the classic-but-edgy, versatile and simple wardrobe staple you’ve been looking for.
Welcome to the bandana trend.
From pastels to brights, it’s the season’s must have print and we’ve got it covered across different products to make styling the bandana trend easy, whether its head-to-toe looks or accents and print clashing.Penelope Armstrong (boohooMAN Senior Menswear Designer)
What is a bandana?
Our version of the kerchief, bandanas are square pieces of fabric that come in a variety of colours, patterns and sizes. They’re most often made of cotton and cambric but that doesn’t mean you can’t find quality silk or satin fabrics if that’s your style.
The origins of the bandana
The bandana as we know it has been around for hundreds of years. From the traditional Indian designs popularised in ancient Persia to a special fabric dyeing process, our modern bandanas owe their existence to the Far East. Inspiration didn’t stop at the popular paisley bandana pattern, either — the word bandana originated from the Sanskrit badhnati which means to tie.
After Persia, just follow the 18th century trade routes and see how this innocuous piece of fabric exploded across the rest of the world. From shawls for the elite and wealthy of England to souvenir bandanas for the United States’ political campaigns (George Washington on a bandana, anyone?), this little trend took off big time.
And it’s just kept growing.
From John Wayne to Bruce Springsteen to the Beatles, this is one trend that time can’t kill. Fashion-forward actors, artists and musicians like Tupac, Jay-Z and Chris Brown have brought the bandana back into the public eye.
Ready to take your style to a new level? Here are our 6 tips to help you pull off the bandana trend.
How to wear a bandana (men)?
- Around the head
- Around the neck
- Around the wrist
- At the waist
- As a pocket square
- Printed on clothes and accessories
- Around your mouth and nose as face mask
1. Around the head
Think rock-and-roll, bikers and rappers for this style. Tupac made head bandanas famous and for good reason — this cool and casual streetwear style lets people know you’re on top of the fashion game. From headscarf to headband, there are plenty of ways to rock this style.
Tie a bandana around your forehead with a knot or simple bow in front for a laid-back look. Got long hair? A bandana headband not only keeps your locks perfectly in place (just look to Harry Styles as an example), it’s a bold statement piece as well. If you’re looking for greater coverage or want to channel your inner Jack Sparrow, opt for a pirate-style bandana that covers more of the forehead and upper head.
2. Around the neck
Beginner to the world of bandanas? No worries, this style is perfect for you. If you’re not ready to commit to all the statement of a head bandana, a bandana scarf is a great first step. Literally anyone can pull this look off.
Go simple and casual with your neck bandana by tying a knot in the front and letting the ends hang or tie the knot behind your neck and leave the rest of the bandana loose to create a striking look. And this style isn’t just for everyday wear — you can also pair it with your suit as a bandana ascot for that perfect finishing touch.
3. Around the wrist
If you’re feeling edgy and want to stand out, the wrist bandana is your style. Add attitude to your ensemble whilst keeping your wrists warm in the colder months or wicking away moisture during the summer. Is there anything a bandana can’t do?
This look works best with darker bandanas that have an eye-catching print – think black with white skulls — but in a pinch your dark blue or green bandanas will look just as good. Alternatively, use bright hues like a red bandana to add a pop of colour to a neutral outfit. Remember to keep things a little messy to achieve that ultimate cool guy look.
4. At the waist
It’s the perfect intro to the bandana trend — just ease into things by letting your bandana dangle from your belt or pocket. If you’re not feeling bold about bandana-wearing yet, this is a great place to start. No need to knot or tie anything — simply hook it into your belt or stuff it into a pocket. Your bandana can be as subtle or dramatic as you want.
5. As a pocket square
We told you they were versatile. Who needs pocket squares when you’ve got bandanas on hand? They lend a surprisingly elegant look to your favourite suit while still keeping things fresh and stylish.
We recommend sticking to silk or satin bandanas for this style to avoid bulky-looking pockets, but any thin bandana will do. Go bold with a red or yellow bandana or keep things toned down if your ensemble is already busy. No matter what, you’re going to show people that you know your way around today’s fashion trends.
6. Printed on clothes and accessories
Nothing – and we mean nothing – gives off cool vibes like bandana printed clothes. From T-shirts to button-ups — we don’t care how you wear it, bandana print is a must-have for every closet. Coordinate your look with matching shirts and shorts, joggers or tracksuits. Top it off with a bandana print bucket hat and you’re sure to turn heads. For a more subtle approach, bandana rip and repair jeans are almost painfully trendy and so easy to style, you’ll want to buy two sets just so you can wear them every day.
7. Around your mouth and nose as face mask
You’ll feel as cool as a wild west cowboy in a bandana print face mask! Remember playing cops and robbers as a child — and putting on a bandana for added effect? Now you can do it again, grown-up style. And this time, it’s about fashion and function. Not only will you look awesome, you’ll also be keeping yourself and others safe — which is also awesome.
Upgrade Your Style with a Bandana
A multipurpose, functional and fashionable statement accessory? Sign us up.
Bandanas are the ultimate versatile accessory and they’re making a comeback, big time. It doesn’t matter if you’re heading out to a casual date, hitting up a music festival or adding some style to your Sunday suit — the bandana has got your back. With endless ways to style and hundreds of colours and patterns to choose from, wear a bandana and you’re guaranteed to bring that touch of style and personality that turns heads and tells the world you know your way around fashion.