How To Wear A Turban: The Bad Hair Day Solution

They’re eternally elegant. But wondering how to wear a turban? Read on!

By Chantal Brocca

You know you want to try them. They’re chic, they’re handy, and they  hide the worst of bad hair days: turbans. Want to team them with old overalls and printed trainers? Sure, you’re still chic. Your mom’s discarded clothes from the 80’s? That’s chique with a Q. And just in time to prove my point, the streets of Paris were littered with them this Fashion Week.

Perhaps I simply didn’t notice them before, but once I zoned into this trend,  it seemed like they appeared in the unlikeliest of places. Like the Duty Free section at the airport for one – almighty home of corporate perfumes and sweatpants. The only question is: how to wear a turban?

A Borrowed Trend

You all know that Western fashion in particular has tended to borrow an interesting variety of styles  from many different cultures all over the world, starting way back before photography was even thinkable. Clearly, turbans were originally a practical and religious garment for many Eastern civilizations. Different colours, patterns and fabrics denoted country of origin as indelibly tied to traditional ceremonies, as well as status and level of education.

When entering the realm of fashion fads however, they were donned and revived by a certain fashion icon called Marie Antoinette. Much later, during the World Wars, hats, the de rigueur fashion item of the day, were apparently tough to find. So women improvised their own headgear with strips of cloth. Et voila, the turban became chic again in Europe.

Fast forward a couple of decades and we see the turban as glorified evening wear, elegant beachwear, and staple for the adventurous traveller to far off lands. What your grandma used to wear is now enigmatic street wear. In Paris, I see Muslim girls swapping up their hijab for a little change. And loads of new cultural omnivores of the anti commercial fashion regime, sipping their wines outside popular bars in the North Eastern side of the city.

Over time, turbans have evolved to incorporate a wider glossary of shapes in line with changes in hair trends for women.

How To Wear A Turban

My tips? A bit of hair at the front should be peeking out. I mean, that bit of hair above your brows. You can choose to tuck your hair inside or not, but if you do, you may give off a religious vibe. Which is fine. Personally, I love the messy, Boho look – unbrushed hair crowned by a gorgeously decadent turban, perched high on the forehead for that Nefertiti vibe.

If you’re standing before a turban totally miffed at how it’s going to go with your current wardrobe of jeans and crop tops…just DARE. And not only when you seriously need a trip to the hairdresser. It’s going to work for you. Just don’t wear it to the cinema or the person behind you just might cut you.

Can’t find a turban where you live? Try these online shops below, or better yet, get a long, narrow scarf and follow the tips in the videos above on how to tie up a turban. Easier than you think! Pin with a vintage brooch and channel the vintage model of your choice: Marlene Dietrich in the 40s, Twiggy in the 60s, the Yves St Laurent clique in the 70s, or Parisian trendsetters right now.

Where To Shop For A Turban

1. Gucci

Gucci knows how to wear a turban. Like a 70s YSL muse, basically. The anchor company of fairly green luxury group Kering, Gucci is bringing us turbans galore made from quality, pure silk and Merino wool. And if you don’t like one of those styles, you can always make your own turban from one of their gorgeous scarves. Noble, pure, natural materials  and retro designs: no wonder these are a global sell out. As we all know from their recent collections, once you go 70’s you never go back.

How To Wear A Turban

2. Santicler

Looking for the most luxurious turban, ever? Wondering how to wear a turban when the weather gets cooler? Santicler’s cashmere turban is the answer to all your prayers. Ultra soft and very warm, this chic piece is versatile and timeless. Made from certified 100% eco cashmere, the yarn is a blend of recycled and premium Mongolian cashmere.

3. Diana Handmade Hats

Soft pink fabric hugs your head with this handmade turban. This was designed to be worn easily – there’s absolutely no tying or closing involved. Just put it on and go! Sidenote: since it’s so straightforward, this style is apparently very popular with those undergoing chemo. Just saying.

handmade turban

4. Regal Heads

Got a talent for tying up do-rags? This is the shop for you. The soft, cotton denim wrap can be fashioned into a casually chic ‘do Beyonce would be jealous of. And of course, what doesn’t go with denim?

Denim headwrap

5. Rona Handmade Turbans

Hey, Queen! Here’s your crown. It looks like it took ages to get right, but this is more hat than wrap. Pop it on, pull out a few tendrils, and you’re on your way out the door!

how to wear a turban

Still want to know more about how to wear a turban? Check out this video below!

Main image: Dee Di Vita. All images: from the brands

Chantal Brocca
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