How To Wear A Headscarf Fashionably

Wearing a headscarf
Photo: Instagram/@must_be_style

Spring and summer are around the corner, and it is about the time to reevaluate our wardrobes and improve them for the upcoming season.

One iconic accessory everyone should own is the headscarf. Headscarves are a classic spring/summer look and can turn any outfit into a chic fashion moment. If you watch the fashion week catwalks, you’ll know how popular they are. Every season headscarves pop up.  They’re a great way to play with color and pattern too, so if you’re dipping your toe into brighter styles, start here!

Here’s all you need to know about this trend!

The History Of The Headscarf

In case you’re stuck for inspiration, it’s always great to look to the past. Here you can find so many different styles and ways to wear headscarves, and you’ll be spoilt for choice!

Humble Beginnings

The headscarf has its origins in India. It was initially used to keep hair out of people’s faces in the heat. It was practicality over style. However, these scarves were sometimes printed – a detail that has been carried on to this day.

Roaring 20s

Flappers adopted the headscarf in the 1920s. They would tie printed silk scarves around their heads and head to the dance. It was also seen on silver screen icons in early films too. Styling changed between being worn on the side or was tied in a turban style. In this period, the headscarf was seen as a symbol of glamour.

War-time Chic

Like most fashion, the headscarf went back to being a practical piece in the 1940s. Think of Rosie the Riveter in the ‘We Can Do It’ poster – despite being in workwear clothing, her outfit is finished off with a red and white polka dot headscarf. This style was copied by many working women in the war, using it to keep their hair up but also to show some individuality in the small ways they could.

60s Style Headscarves

Headscarves got to return to their glamorous status in the 60s. They often appeared tied around the wearers’ chins and covered the wearers’ hair – allowing the beautiful pattern to be shown off. Audrey Hepburn even wore this style on her wedding day to Andrea Dotti in 1969, cementing that the headscarf was the must-have accessory.

Hip-hop Fashion

Fast forward to the 90s, the Hip Hop movement and the emergence of street style revived the headscarf, and soon men in the rap scene were wearing them too. Bandanas that covered the wearer’s head were popular, changing the idea of the scarf from glamorous to urban and cool.

Headscarves Now

It’s the 2020s now, are headscarves still cool? The answer is – absolutely! Recently headscarves have been spotted at some of the biggest fashion shows (think Prada, Marc Jacobs, and Gucci), plus they’re constantly being worn by all the coolest Instagram influencers too.

RELATED: 40+ Outfits With Scarves To Rock The Cold Season

Are you ready to embrace the trend?

How Should You Style A Headscarf?

Once you’ve found a headscarf, it’s time to style it! There are hundreds of ways to style them, and it can become confusing without a clear guide, so we’ve broken down the best and most fashionable ways to wear a headscarf.

Headband Styles

A trendy way of sporting a scarf is through the headband style. This often involves tying the scarf around your head and finishing it with a bow or knot. There are a few ways to do this, and it helps if you have a larger scarf. Luckily, this option doesn’t need any extra clips or accessories to hold it down. Simple is always best!

If you have longer hair, it can look very fashionable to tie it up into a high bun when wearing a headband style. After hair is tied up, fold the headscarf and wrap it around the back of your head and tie it in a knot or bow just above your forehead. This can also be worn with your hair down. You just need to make sure you wrap the scarf under your hair.

You can alternatively style the scarf around your hair when it’s loose for a boho vibe. Start with brushed hair and wrap the scarf around your temples and tie in a knot at the back. This is a super simple way to style the scarf and can elevate an outfit.

Bandana Styles

Like the previous headband styles, bandana styles are wrapped around the head and tied.

However, when doing a bandana style, you don’t need to fold the headscarf as small as you want to cover the majority of your head with the fabric. Fold the scarf in half so it forms a triangle, and tie it over your head with the long, folded edge on your forehead.

Old Glamour Styles

To accomplish the old glamour 60s style, fold your scarf in half and place the folded edge at the front of your head. Tie the ends under your chin, and you’re done! This is a great style to accessorize with earrings – the bigger, the better for a 60s style.

Turban Styles

If you’re after the classic 20s style, try the turban headscarf style. Note that you may need a larger headscarf for this technique.

If you have long hair, try tying your hair into a low bun to secure it first. Wrap the scarf around your head in a way that covers your hair and tie it down at the top of your head. Take the knot you’ve tied it in and fold it back to hide the ties, giving the turban a smooth look.

Long Hair Braids

An alternative way to style a headscarf if you have long hair is to weave a scarf into your hair braids.

The easiest way to accomplish this style is to start weaving your standard side braid and weave the scarf with one of the three sections of hair, so it gradually gets tied in. This is another excellent boho style and looks great with a floral scarf in summer.

3 Tips For Wearing a Headscarf

Here are some extra tips to help your headscarf looking fashionable. It’s important to experiment with the scarves until you find your favorite style. Headscarves will never be out of fashion, so once you know how to wear them, you can wear them forever.

#1: Keeping Headscarf Secure

A key element that many people forget is that headscarves can fall out easily. If you’re moving around a lot of it’s a windy day, the scarf can quickly move out of place, and if you’re stuck without a mirror, it can be hard to fix.

The best way to secure a headscarf down is by using bobby pins, these are affordable, and most will already own them. These can be clipped onto the scarf and your hair to keep it pinned to one spot. The best place to pin them is around the front of your head.

Another way to keep a headscarf in position is to use a statement clip, these have been on-trend for the past year, and they are great if you love maximalist looks. A chunky and colorful clip can clash well with a printed scarf. This is a great way to add extra interest to your hair while also being practical.

#2: Mixing It With Accessories

A great way to keep the headscarf fashionable is to buy matching accessories. If you can, having a bag or a pair of shoes that match the scarf in color or pattern can look on-trend. This shows you’re conscious about fashion and care about your style. This was very popular in the 60s, so if you opt for the tie under the chin, style matching shoes and purses are perfect!

You can also find necklaces and jewelry that match your scarf and wear them all together. This style works well if you have a minimal outfit on. All of the interest will be around your face, so also experiment with makeup styles like bold eyeliner or colorful lipstick.

#3: Coordinate It With Your Outfit

Once your beauty and accessories are all planned, it’s time to match the style to your clothes. When you’re playing around with bold, printed accessories, there are two options for clothing. You can either go big and bold and clash your colorful/printed clothes with the headscarf or, you can go wholly minimal and let the headscarf do all the talking.

Wearing black and white with a colorful silk scarf is a very fashionable style and can be translated into office/workwear too. Who says the headscarf is only for the weekends? Incorporating accessories into your work wardrobe can be a great way to express your style subtly and without breaking any dress codes.

The Takeaway

If you’re thinking about buying a headscarf or have one hanging around, this is your sign to pick it up and experiment! Headscarves have been prevalent throughout history and are still used by the big fashion brands to this day. Make sure your summer outfits are fashionable and accessorized to the max this year!

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