Headscarves - Classic Fashion Icons

Accessorize Like a French Woman: Headscarves

This post comes to you direct from Old Hollywood Glamour.

Headscarves - Classic Fashion Icons

The perfect accessory for a good, old-fashioned French sulk.

I’ll admit it: on my not-so-glamorous days, I’ve been known just to throw a bandanna over my hair and call it a day, in the hopes that I will disappear into the crowd and nobody will know that I slept with wet hair last night.

Headscarves - Classic Fashion Icons

I’m convinced this is also why Clara Bow wore headscarves.

 Even though now headscarves are mostly relegated to the realms of the old lady, “it’s either this or a shower cap over my curlers” territory, they did once start out as glam. And why? Because of Hollywood, of course.

In the beginning of the film industry, most people didn’t have the means to travel abroad. Their way of escaping? Going to the movies. That’s where they saw stars like Clara Bow wearing exotic garb, such as this long scarf here, tied (gasp!) into her HAIR.

People were easily impressed back then.

As time went on, Hollywood became more and more obsessed with hairstyles, not with ways of covering up their stars’ hairif you were going to spend tens of thousands of dollars on your hair, wouldn’t you want to show it off? But there was one strange exception to this rule: the turban.

Headscarves - Classic Fashion Icons

Oh, Grace. Oh, no.

In the 1930s, big foreign stars like Marlene Dietrich and Hedy Lamarr wore turbans as part of their costumes, making other, later stars, like Elizabeth Taylor and Grace Kelly think that this was stylish headwear for posh ladies. But this was just Europeans tricking Americans into silly fashion choices, as they are wont to do. We are gullible that way.

By this time, World War II was over, and women had been using scarves to keep their hair off their faces at the factories for a while. So by the 1950s, stars reclaimed the scarf as a glamorous way of focusing attention on their faces.

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Oh la la!

See how sexy Brigitte Bardot looks above? Headscarf. I mean, primarily being Brigitte Bardot, but also headscarf. She wasn’t alone in her choice of headwear, either. Catherine Deneuve, Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy, Sophia Loren, Marilyn Monroe—pretty much every gorgeous star ever wrapped one of these things around her head.

So if you’ve recently inherited a lot of scarves from an elderly relative, embrace them! The easiest thing to do is to tie the scarf like a headband around the crown of your head, but you can also try for a bandanna wrap. Just don’t add on huge sunglasses, unless you want to look like somebody who wants to be taken for a famous film star going incognito.

Ready to hear about the craziest beauty tips from Classic Hollywood? Grace, Audrey, Marilyn and more star in Old Hollywood Glamour!

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