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Did you know that there is so much debate as to whether bandana or bandanna is the correct spelling? Well, all I know is the word got its roots from Sanskrit. While I won’t get into depth with that today, let me tell you that bandanas are definitely making a comeback into mainstream fashion. There has been a complete 90s overhaul, that these dyed fabrics are becoming a staple. Remember when every rockstar wannabe looked up to Axl Rose and tied a bandanna to their forehead? Or how about when Tupac influenced teenagers to be ‘hood? Heck, even animes depicting Japanese chefs wore iconic bandanas.
Ever since Martha Washington ignited the spread of the bandana in North America, the handy kerchief made its way into the wardrobes of blue-collared workers and cowboys. The cotton fabric was very useful for absorbing sweat and protecting the mouth and nose from dust. Housewives would wear the bandana on their heads and forehead to keep their hair from their eyes and face while doing chores. During WWII, these same women would go on to be the working force while men were away, and thus Rosie the Riveter became the cultural icon that captured the era. In modern times, bandanas serve to be useful to people with very active lifestyles (and no, that does not include burglars and kidnappers).
There are so many ways to wear a bandana, and so many uses for this iconic fabric of simple origins. Aside from being the practical dust guard worn around the neck and face, it’s been used as an arm guard, folded into a halter top or a bandeau, a head scarf, used as a belt or tied to a bag as an accent piece. We’ve come a long way from owning one red paisley: color, cut and design now vary. Whether you are a motorcyclist, a fashion-forward teen or a costume-wearing kid, we have rounded up the best bandanas in a list.
Wovte Seamless Multi-Function Headwear
This microfiber polyester piece comes in a black seamless tubular form. The fabric is breathable and keeps insulation well enough; you can keep warm during winter or keep away unwanted moisture during humid summers. Because it comes as a seamless tube, seconds to minutes have been shaved off of your usual routine of folding and tying it up into the perfect form. You just pull it up with or slip into place with one hand while the other does whatever. Most users just wear it on their neck and then pull it up into place when needed. It comes in a package with an instructional guide showing 10 ways to wear the bandana and an additional illustration on how to use it as an arm sling. This bandana fits all, from adults to kids. It is printed with the lower half, or the jaw part, of a skull. Funny and cool to wear on the lower half of your face, this has been the favorite choice of motorcyclists, skiers, and costume role players. And because it is black, dirt and sweat do not create an immediately visible stain. It is perfect for a full day’s use without looking grimy by the end of the day.
The Dozen Bandanas Head Wrap
This pack of 22″ by 22″ polyester bandanas come in the vibrant colors of the rainbow. They have also added other choices such as periwinkle, teal, gray, and tie-dye. The paisley design is printed on both sides. The stitching doesn’t come undone easily, it can withstand regular use. It is the preferred choice for everyday use to add pop to an otherwise plain outfit. They are big enough to be versatile. It can be used as a handkerchief, a neckerchief, a kid’s scarf, a headband, bracelet, or for marking items and places. These will also make for cute accessories for pets and children. Having a dozen bandanas at your disposal means never having to wear or use the same color every day. It can mean having more choices for your projects and looks. You may buy a dozen and keep some for yourself and gift the others to a friend.
If polyester is not your main preference, these Kaiser bandanas are 100% cotton. They come in an assortment of colors that do not fade with multiple washes. They are stitched carefully to prevent fraying and symmetrically printed on both sides. Since these are cotton, they are perfect for absorbing sweat during strenuous activities. Due to the material not being flimsy, it may be the perfect fabric for craft projects and DIY fashion. Not only worn by many but also used for decoration, game props, and learning material for preschoolers. This will make good handkerchiefs for children, as they are always losing one. The colors are so vibrant that they are fun to look at and show around to other kids. They are so affordable that you can choose to buy not just one dozen but an extra couple more.
Ergodyne Chill-Its 6700CT PVA Evaporative Cooling Bandana
Not your usual bandana, aside from being pre-formed into a headband, it’s made with evaporative PVA material. It contains gel beads that soak up water, keep it cool and release them slowly. You don’t just wear this, you can run it under water for a minute or so and then it will keep its moisture for 4 hours. It may sound counter-intuitive to wear something uncomfortably wet, but trust that this bandana actually provides instant cooling relief. The material is safe to be machine washed in cold water.
It is recommended for use during outdoor activities, or even indoors under humid or tropical conditions. The Ergodyne Chill-Its is a must-have during summers to prevent heat stroke and dehydration. It is recommended by parents who have bought several to keep their kids and themselves cool during trips and chores done during the scorching summer heat. This can be kept in your bag or car at all times so that you have instant relief from at arm’s length. Giving this as a gift to elder people is a much-appreciated gesture since their bodies need all the help cooling down when temperatures run high.
Qing Outdoor Premium Double Dry Headwear
If you want to veer away from the traditional paisley design, get the Qing headwear that comes in a set of 4. With a variety of beautiful patterns and solid colors, you can never run out of something fun to wear. It instantly brightens up anything that it is paired with. The patterns are unisex but can still come as feminine or as masculine as you like, depending on your whole look. It is made of breathable stretch fabric in a seamless tube form with moisture wicking technology. It is the bandana of choice of adventurous and stylish travelers. It’s been tested to prevent sunburn and it successfully delivers. It can be worn in 12 functional different ways: headband, hair cover, hair tie, head scarf, face mask, foulard, helmet liner, sweatband, skull cap, pirate mask and other styles. It can be stretched both ways to ensure comfortability without worrying about the losing the shape and form. It is unbelievable that something so beautiful and affordable can be so versatile.
What to Look For
There really is no limit to the types of bandana one can own, and they can own as much as they can find. There also is no formula to follow when purchasing bandanas. That is the power of fashion. You can choose to switch up style and functionality in a hundred different ways and you can always find one that will answer to the look of the moment.