9 Lesbian Ways to Wear a Bandana

Lesbians and queers love a good bandana. Do you know how many bandanas I have friends? At least five. At least three of them were gifted to me from various A-Camp experiences, so if you too want a bandana and don’t have one, now’s the time to get on the wait-list! This isn’t just an A-Camp plug though, it’s also a style guide to help you look your best and wear your bandanas with pride.

Well, twitter user @queerengineered, this one is for you.

1. Like a bandana

For things like power cleaning your house, hiking, and perhaps an Ani DiFranco concert.

2. Like a headband

For when you’re feeling like Sporty Spice, or just need to keep your bangs out of your eyes.

3. Like a ponytail holder

Can be made even cuter by making the ends into a bow!

4. On your wrist

I’m gonna be honest, I don’t think I’ve seen anyone wear a bandana like this outside of camp like places, but you should still try it in your everyday life!

5. In your front pocket

I don’t know! It feels like it could be fashionable! Maybe it’s a stretch, but I think you should try it.

6. In your back pocket (flagging!)

Full marks to whoever knows what I’m flagging right now!!

7. In your shirt pocket!

Bringing back the pocket square, but with a casual button-down shirt and a bandana? It’s a yes.

8. Around your neck

My student, Nieves, working a bandana around their neck better than I ever could.

To quote Janelle Monáe, “Classy, sassy, put you in a razzle-dazzy.”

9. Around your neck, part two

Wild, wild west looks for days.

There you have it, folks! Nine ways to look your queer best while wearing a bandana. Did I leave any out? Let me know in the comments! And a special thank you to Nieves for being a great model, the iPhone portrait mode, and my new piano for being tall enough to take full body pictures. ??

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Ari is a 20-something artist and educator. They are a mom to two cats, they love domesticity, ritual, and porch time. They have studied, loved, and learned in CT, Greensboro, NC, and ATX.

Ari has written 330 articles for us.


  1. Honorable mention: Tied around one knee, a la Punky Brewster- the original 80s TV rough-and-tumble tomboy and coincidentally, my root and fashion icon (as a toddler).

  2. I know what you’re flagging!
    ALSO that front pocket bandana is a LOOK! A CONCEPT! and also made me laugh out loud

  3. Love it love bandannas

    Utilitarian / nature dyke bandanna uses:

    -Get it wet in summer and dab your face/neck/wrists to cool off
    -make a little bindle and carry around your phone/keys/etc?? Tie it to your belt idk!
    -emergency tourniquet (yikes!)

  4. These pix are just amazing. Your left eyebrow is, like, talking to me personally. And your shirt ! And your bandana is purple ! Heck.

  5. As a mask for riot-ous good times…or for cycling through clouds of flies.

    I love your shirt so, so much.

  6. Damn, that is a nice shirt.

    Pretty sure wearing it around your wrist is how you flag if you don’t have back pockets atm.

  7. I have a stretchy headband, blue on one side, sparkly silver on the other, that I never wear as a headband because it gives me a headache, but I wrap it around my wrist a few times and feel fabulous. ;)

  8. If you are going for the super femme look you culd always try to make a 1940s headwrap/turban. I guess by doing it with one or more bandana’s you could still be looking gay *and* vintage femme! What’s not to love?


    http://www.queensofvintage.com/bad-hair-day-wear-a-turban/ (altough there are some issues with how the the fashion world 1890-1930 exoticised “the orient” some lovely pieces of design and fashion have come from this period)

  9. I love this so much.

    I’ve used them as a makeshift dickey in the past, if my cleavage was out of control.

  10. True story: I dated someone in college who had a large collection of bandanas, and she wore one EVERY SINGLE DAY. She ruined bandanas worn in style #9 for me.

    • I’m happy to report that I’m in a much healthier relationship now … with someone who has ~10 different colors of the same pair of sneakers (and back-up pairs of his favorite colors).

      It gets better, kids.

  11. Genuine story: I dated somebody in school who had a huge assortment of handkerchiefs, and she wore one EVERY SINGLE DAY. She destroyed handkerchiefs worn in style #9 for me.

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