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How to Wear a Bandana—Plus 7 Sustainable Options to Try

Bandanas are a functional, multi-purpose, and seriously cool accessory. Here are seven ways to wear a bandana for an instant outfit upgrade.

how to wear a bandana
Written by
Calin Van Paris
Bandanas are a
forever accessory
. Though the staple found popularity with America's Western set, bandanas were
used to disguise unsightly snuff habits
, the handkerchiefs dyed in India and imported to England. The word "bandana" comes from "bandhani," the Indian word for the method of coloring.
The square scarves serve a protective purpose, guarding against dust and other unwanted realities, and a stylish one, too. A bandana tied around the neck, wound through hair, or even in the stead of an actual shirt makes an enduring statement—big stuff for a small square!
Want to build a bandana collection, or start making use of an existing one? Here are seven ways to wear a bandana—and the sustainable scarves to match.

How to Wear a Bandana: 7 Must-Try Looks

1. As a Neckerchief

Whether coupled with your favorite denim or a simple slip dress, the neckerchief is a timeless styling note. Play around with fabrics, prints, and textures for extra eye-catching intrigue.
how to wear a bandana

Patagonia Bandana, $19

Patagonia's bandana is made from organic cotton and is Fair Trade Certified, minimizing your impact on the planet and maximizing your eco ethics.
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2. As a Hair Ribbon

A ponytail becomes an updo when finished in a prettily printed bandana.

Centinelle Cotton Silk Bandana, $60

Centinelle's collectible silk scarves are ethically sourced and hand-painted in California. Plus, the brand is a member of 1% for the Planet, meaning that a portion of all proceeds benefit eco-initiatives.
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3. As a Headband

how to wear a bandana
Create your own knotted headband with a patterned scarf. Tied loosely over an equally undone updo, a bandana becomes a must-have cottagecore accessory.
how to wear a bandana

Centinelle Silk Medium Square Scarf, $110

Another from Centinelle, this time cut in a classic bandana shape. Thoughtful design and quality production mean that you can enjoy this scarf for a lifetime (and it can enjoy several).
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4. '90s Style

Embody the spirit of the '90s hip-hop-inspired pop culture scene with a halved bandana tied over your head.

Outerknown OK Bandana, $14

A planet-friendly take on a tried-and-true classic. Outerknown's go-to blue bandana is made from organic cotton—and ready pair with practically any outfit.
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5. For a Monochromatic Headscarf Moment

how to wear a bandana
Go green with a monochromatic moment. An olive or sage bandana repurposed as a full-on headscarf plays well with a dress,
, or sweater in a coordinated color.

Eco Raw Studio Classic Patterned Raw Silk Bandana, $36

Get earthy with this green bandana. Eco Raw Studio's scarf is made 100% silk and hand-colored using
plant-based dyes
and motifs.
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6. As a Shirt

The balmiest days call for a bandana blouse in an equally sunny hue.

Madewell Organic Cotton Bandana, $14.50

Halved, this warmly printed bandana has the potential to transform into a summer-ready crop top. Plus, it's crafted from
grown from nongenetically modified seeds, without chemicals.
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7. On Your Dog

Bandanas aren't just for humans! Dress up your dog with the timeless accessory and they'll be the coolest kids at the pup park.

Vintage 1980s Paisley Bandana, $26

Gift your pup some vintage flair! A classic bandana is the perfect collar cover for the stylish dog in your world.
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