Lizz’s Latest: Silk Bandana Scarves

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One of the best parts of fall is the beginning of scarf season. Even though my roommate insists that scarves are an “everyone style,” I still insist that scarves are the number one lesbian fashion accessory. This certainly goes double for a bandana worn around the neck and tied with one knot in the back. Bandanas are basically scarves’ gay cousin. Bandanas especially shine during September and October when days are still warm but evenings are chilly, so a full-blown heavy weight scarf is just too sweaty. Plus, since you just knot the ends, you don’t end up spending all day readjusting your scarf.


Unfortunately, bandanas are frequently stiff cotton in that one paisley print. Additionally, for many a bandana might not be dressy enough for work or going out. Enter the silk bandana. Silk bandanas (which are just smallish square scarves) look just as gay as regular bandanas, but they come in so many more beautiful prints.


More importantly, I find silk bandanas to be more comfortable cotton bandana as the fabric drapes more smoothing around my neck. If you wear one that is actually silk, you’ll find that it does a better job than cotton of keeping you cool or keeping you warm. Silk is a miracle fabric like that. If you want to look a bit rockabilly, silk bandanas also make great headbands.


As far as price goes, faux-silk scarves can be quite cheap ($15ish), but genuine silk scarves can get up in to the hundreds. Designer silk scarves generally range from $150 to even $1000 or more. There’s a particularly awesome Alexander McQueen one I will never own for $555. I think it’s perfectly reasonable to buy an expensive silk bandana as long as you think you’ll wear it for years in to the future and maybe give it to your daughter who will maybe also give it to her daughter. If you’re unsure but still want high quality silk, the $30-$40 range is completely doable.

$48-Juicy Couture $15.96-Bloomingdale’s $27.84-ASOS
$24.90-Nordstrom $34.99-Macy’s $46-Forzieri
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Lizz is a consumer, lover and writer of all things pop culture and the Fashion/Style Editor at She is also full time medical student at Brown University in Providence, RI. You can find her on the twitter, the tumblr or even on the instagram.

Lizz has written 261 articles for us.


    • I was just going to suggest thrift shops. I’ve gotten so many great ones (including a vintage Hermes!) for 25 cents each. Scope it out!

  1. lovin’ it.
    to bad that the weather just decided to skip the “still kinda warm” part and went directly to “kinda fucking cold” where I live.

  2. Hey, this is my new winter look as of last winter! As Silvercake said, many thrift stores have lots of silk or faux-silk scarves in gorgeous vintage patterns. I’d advise shopping in an area where it seems like there might be a lot of old ladies. (Village Thrift on Lawrence in Chicago was a great source last I checked.) I had kind of an embarrassingly hard time figuring out how to knot mine so they looked right, but this style is elegant and easy:

  3. I don’t know why, but I seriously can’t stand the bandana scarf look. It’s just so relentlessly hipster/pbr/fixie/whatever.

  4. lol ive been wearing this the past like 5 days….it makes any shirt look snazzier. forever 21 has a shitton of these scarves too.

  5. that alexander mcqueen one would be worth it if it was fireproof, gave you awesome gaydar and gave you awesome game at the club…but maybe it also needs to have a secret treasure map or something.

    I love scarves though, they’re sweet. and they can be switched from femme to dapper because you and fold them over a suit jacket pocket. (or tie them around the base of a hat if they’re long enough to add some colour)

  6. reason number fourteen to love your mom: her extensive collection of 80’s silk scarves. if your mom was as fashionable as mine when she was younger…this is gold

  7. I love scarves. That said, I have no idea how to wear one properly, or so that it doesn’t look like I just threw on a scarf, or forgot to take it off after removing my jacket. Maybe I am just not the scarf-wearing sort of lesbian.

    Also, having a femme partner, and being femmy myself, we have a huge scarf collection. Reason number 3485 to date girls.

  8. So how do I tie scarves so they look like this.

    I’m a so clueless when it comes to the type of fashion I’d like to rock its hilarious. You’d think I lived in a cage in high school or something.

    • Yeah, I second this emotion. How DO you arrange and tie this scarf thing so it doesn’t look like a bib, it looks like a swanky scarf?

    • youtube “triangle scarf”, i also am scarf folding illiterate.

      basically, flatten out the square, connect 1 corner to the other corner across diagonally from that one, and then fold into smaller triangles to your desired length in the front, and for putting it on just throw each end over the back of your neck and pull them to the front.

  9. Come winter I have the next latest and greatest thing. Fleece lined bandannas for all those walks to work/class/your gf house when you wanna look cool but you know be warm and fuzzy.
    Ultimate lesbian winter attire.

  10. Another chick who couldn’t wait to comment on the amazingly extensive selection of cheap, super-high-quality silk scarves/ascots/foulards waiting for us ‘mos to pick them out at the thrift store.

    Coincidentally, yesterday I had one of those “starts-inspired, but becomes a nightmare of OCD-clicking” shopping research days on the interwebz. My initial research subject was corduroy knickers (a la Edwardian to 30s-era boys’ trousers), then it morphed into an ascot/foulard/scarf adventure.

    I found a bunch of beautiful and ridiculously overpriced silk items which gave me some awesome ideas for what I’ll look for in the thrift stores and my grandmother’s and mom’s scarf collections.

    Incidentally, if you want to find out how to tie ascots and foulards (or scarves) into any look you’ve ever seen, YouTube seems to have your back. I learned how to create a Fred Astaire-approved ascot arrangement.

  11. If I ever meet up with any of you ladies (I’m in Pullman, WA, where are you guys???), you’re more than welcome to look through the massive collection of scarves I’ve inherited from my grandmother. She’s got some bombass classics from the 50s and 60s.

    Sadly, I cannot wear any of these as having anything larger than a necklace around my neck makes me claustrophobic like mad and I end up wanting to claw my own throat out. Also, I have a short neck so I look really weird.

    All the Swedish Queers are rockin’ bandana’s in lovely scandinavian designs. I came back from Sweden with a scarf and promising myself i would wear more. What a well timed article! Now i will have ALL THE SNAZZ

  13. My mother and I have amassed a rather large joint scarf collection. Luckily this year I’m staying at home (uni is crazyexpensive, we all know this) so at least we don’t have to try and split it up just yet.
    Long silk scarves are my favourites for wearing as a tie/bowtie substitute, and longer thick cotton ones are perfect for loosely looping around your neck in a haphazard way when it’s colder.
    This article is inspiring me to go secondhand shopping RIGHT NOW.

  14. in the venn diagram of “things i have loved since forever” and “things i never realised were homo until i realised i was homo”, scarves worn in this style are in the intersection.

  15. I just bought a scarf 100% because of this article. True story! Not a square one, though, a long rectangular scarf-y one. And not silk but acrylic. …But I was thinking of this!

  16. I have a bunch of awesome vintage scarves from thrift and vintage stores. I especially like touristy souvenier ones from the 50s/60s, I have a Puerto Rico one and a Rome one and
    I want a ton more.

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