Bandanas: The Easy, Edgy Look of the 90s


Axel Rose, Christina Aguilera, and Tupac—what featured prominently in each of their 90s looks? The bandana! And these stars rocked bandanas like nobody’s business.

Bandanas in the 90s: Axl Rose, Christina Aguilera & Tupac Shakur


As a fashion accessory, bandanas are quite versatile and can be infused into any outfit to create an edgy look or an artistic vibe. Just look at Guns N’ Roses’ front man, Axl Rose. Bandanas were a staple of his badass rock star ensemble. All the hard rock wannabes took notice and started to sport the head accessory. Even Carrie Bradshaw turned bandanas into a sexy and boho-chic fashion statement for any city (or small town) girl. With 90s looks creeping back into mainstream fashion, it’s time to break out those paisley handkerchiefs and rock the bandana 90s style!

Axl Rose in his classic bandana look   Axl Rose in his classic bandana look   Sex and the City's Carrie Bradshaw (aka Sarah Jessica Parker) accessorizes with bandanas   Sex and the City's Carrie Bradshaw (aka Sarah Jessica Parker) accessorizes with bandanas
(Photo credit: LA Weekly   (Photo credit: Fashion on Music   (Photo credit: Fashion Me Fabulous   (Photo credit: iknowthatblog

Here are some styling options to add that 90s bandana flare to your outfit:

The Skull Cap

One of the most popular looks for bandanas (particularly in the 90s) was the skull cap. Make sure to pull the bandana tight to your head when creating the skull cap to avoid wrinkles. Secure the skull cap at the bottom of your neck with a knot and tuck the ties under the cap to complete this look. Astrid Magnussen (played by Alison Lohman) sports the skullcap look in the 2002 movie White Oleander (based on the 1999 book of the same name).

  Astrid Magnussen (played by Alison Lohman) sports the skullcap look in the 2002 movie White Oleander
(Photo credit: Intravenous Pixie)
  Justin Timberlake with Britney Spears in the 90s rockin' a white bandana  

The Top Knot

While this approach lends itself to the retro rockabilly style, Tupac gave the top knot edge in the 90s by pushing his knot forward for that gangsta look. Either way you go, rockabilly or gangsta, the top knot will add that extra bit of panache to your outfit.

Justin Bleber takes the Tupac approach to the Top Knot banadana style   Top knot bandana worn in Tupac's style   Top Knot bandana in Rockabilly style   Top Knot bandana in Rockabilly style
(Photo credit: Huffington Post   (Photo credit: ZouFeed   Get this look
(Photo credit: Rockalily Cuts

The Boho Vibe

Channel your inner hippie and pair the bandana with loose, flowing clothing. Fold the bandana into a strip, wrap it around your hair headband style and tie at the base of your head. Tuck the ends in for a polished look. Use this style to add a pop of color when you wear your hair down, to accent a bun or messy up-do, or give your ponytail some pizzazz. Try varying the width of the bandana to create different looks too.

Bandana Boho Vibe with long hair   Bandana Boho Vibe with short hair   Bandana Boho Vibe to accent a bun   Bandana Boho Vibe with Ponytail Bow
(Photo credit: style hijab yaratullah   (Photo credit: style hijab yaratullah        Get this look
(Photo credit: Hairstyles Tutorial)

Other Looks

Bandanas aren’t just for your head. Wrap them around your wrist to create a rock & roll style cuff (learn how here). Tie them onto purses or backpacks to add a splash of flowing color. Fold the bandanas into squares and let them peek out of your back pocket. You can also knot, braid (learn how here) or add beads to a bandana to create a custom necklace (check out this simple technique).

Bandana wrist cuff   Bandana tied to purse   Bandana peeking out of your back pocket   Bandana necklace
(Photo credit: The Sync Whole   (Photo credit: Swagger New York)       (Photo credit: Kate Will, 90s 411)

Available in a rainbow of hues and a variety of prints, you can coordinate bandanas to match all your outfits. So are you edgy or artistic? Are you a skull cap, top knot, or headband kind of person? Pick a color, print and style and make a statement to the world. It’s time to bring back the 90s bandana look!


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