Get on the bandana bandwagon: 7 cool bandana styles for everyone

Hunia Yousuf

I’m a fourth-year MBBS student. An extroverted introvert, who knows her way around people but considers library/home her natural habitat and books, her best buddies. While casually reading (more like breathing) fiction, I was able to generate characters of my own and weave them into plots for my own pleasure. I’m a psychiatry aspirant, who loves to talk and write about people suffering from different psychological disorders, because even if the world doesn’t realize but everyone deserves to be known and recognized.

90s trends get revived every now and then. Especially those go-to-accessories (Cool bandanas and chokers; all the way!) that get you to spend no more than a tenner, are easy to wear and can almost always be found in your closets accumulating dust by the years. Though you refuse to throw them out, because one never knows when the on and off mania of the given fashion item gets all the way turned on (Yes! It saves a fortune. One of the more reasons to love these old trend pop-ups).

Bandana fashion has almost always been an in-fashion item. Sometimes it is considered a too masculine accessory, in spite of that cool bandana headbands can be worn by women the right way to look soft and trim. The good¬†old headgear called ‚Äúbandana‚ÄĚ,¬†is¬†something that can retrofit any outfit and give it a new dimension¬†to¬†make you look¬†chicer¬†and more¬†put together. For¬†a¬†simple¬†square shaped,¬†thin and 20√ó20 inch¬†cloth‚Ästthat was used to just be thrown on the shoulder and used as a headdress and¬†neck kerchief¬†to remain clear of the dust‚ÄĒbandana headbands have definitely evolved as a famous retro rockabilly¬†adornment.

The¬†word¬†bandana is coined from¬†Hindi¬†word¬†‚ÄėbńĀndhnńĀ‚Äô,¬†meaning¬†‚Äúto tie‚ÄĚ. It was¬†first¬†originated¬†in India as¬†a colorful silk handkerchief. At present,¬†the term refers to any¬†square¬†shaped¬†fabric having¬†various¬†colors and¬†designs.¬†A cool bandana can be used as a hobo bag, a sling¬†for a broken arm giving it¬†a¬†burst¬†of¬†colors,¬†a modern¬†face¬†mask or¬†as a fashion¬†statement.¬†The cloth¬†has gone through history being worn by farmers, cowboys, gang members,¬†LGBT¬†supporters,¬†political¬†campaigners,¬†and¬†now¬†by the¬†in-style¬†fashionistas.

The two-dimensional item is so versatile that it can easily be manipulated to be thrown over the head, to have it twisted around the neck, or to just hook it on your belt-loop. It can give your monochrome outfit a dash of color and give it a bold focal point, or if matched correctly it can be accessorized to give you an entirely different look.

From the endless list of ‚Äúhow to wear a bandana‚ÄĚ, we‚Äôll be discussing some of the c00l bandana fashion that¬†can be¬†emulated with an enviable ease. Here is the list:

Knot it!

    You can simply wear the bandana by tying it up in one or two loops. You can have the knot in front, back or side (keeping in mind the length of your hair). For longer hair, the front knot will look exquisite.

You can either tie your hair in a ponytail or arrange it in a bun. Loose or tight? Who cares. Just improvise.

Do it in the cool biker style!

    For the biker style or urban look, you need to fold the bandana in half. Wrap it around your head and tie the loose ends together in the back, near your occiput. It suits both long and short hair and keeps your hair protected from dust in long drives. You can keep your hair loose or tied and you are on your way to rock this style.

If you want to flaunt your hair in the open car or bike, let your hair loose and hold your cool bandana in the air to make it fly like your hair. Just like in the movies, eh?

Simple traditional style!

    The traditional style is done by folding the square shaped cloth diagonally in an upside-down triangle. After taking care of the creases, fold in the pointed end first and then keep doing it in layers till you have a rectangular piece of cloth of your desired dimensions. Now flip it over and wear it across your forehead and tie in the back.

For short hair with longer bangs, you can throw your bangs on one side over the bandana, it will give you a cool hip look. It’s how K-pop idols are using bandana fashion these days to look dapper than ever.

Tie it like a bandana headband!

    You can also use it as a bandana headband. Fold it in a rectangle and tie the knot on the occiput, or make a bow of the loose ends in the front. It will give you an edgier and retro look. You must have seen Rihanna wear the bandana headband like that, a retro rockabilly style.

You can wear the bandana headband a bit lower on the hairline while working out. It will keep your hair and sweat out of your face. Looks tasteful and is functional too.

Pollution in the air? Wear it as a face mask!

Like the traditional style, you will have to fold the bandana in a triangle. Then by folding the base of the triangle as many times as you want, you will get a rectangle with a triangular piece of cloth jutting out. You can spread the triangular part on your lower face and tie the loose ends of the rectangular part around your head. In the end, check the knot if it’s tightly put together or not. (You wouldn’t want your bandana falling off. Right?). Voila! Now you are wearing the bandana like a face mask. Or was it ninja style?

Wear it around the neck as a choker!

    Wearing the bandana around the neck in lieu of scarf has always been one of the most famous bandanas fashion styles. For this look, fold the cloth in a rectangle shape like described above and tie the ends on the nape. To give it choker look, tie it tightly.

You can also¬†make it a triangular bandana choker. Fold it¬†diagonally in a triangle¬†and loosely fold the base in few layers. Loose ends¬†go¬†back and triangular part in front. Now you can show off this ghetto look and impress your peers.¬†(‚ÄúMy¬†pleasure‚ÄĚ in advance for the gratitude you must be feeling by now.¬†Haha!)

You can also wear it like an ascot, with your bandana tucked under the collar.

Accessorize your bandana:

Want to forgo your usual jewelry items? For a pristine and laid-back look, use a bandana.

Fold your bandana into a rectangle and wear it around your wrist in two or more loops. Tuck any extra cloth in and tie the ends in a bow or a knot. You can wear a bandana like this along with your other wristbands too, for a fresh look.

You can also use it as an anklet, paired with high-rise jeans and canvas or low top shoes.


Tying a bandana is pretty easy. You just need practice and you can do it like a pro. I hope I could help you out with styling your outfit using bandana fashion. Do try it! Also, remember that a bandana is just a piece of cloth that can be molded and styled easily. Play with it, improvise and try different styles. Good luck!