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Monday, 17 November 2014

"..but it's MY head we're talking about, sir"- OR: how to wear a turban

Hello everybody.

A quick and chic solution to a bad hair day for any vintage-loving girl is to wear a turban. 

No one wore it better than the queen:
Carmen Miranda 

Turbans were first introduced into English fashion in the 1790’s inspired by England’s increased trade with India for cotton. One common name for turban hats is cache-misère (French for “hide misery”), proving that they've always been a bad-hair day remedy for discerning vintage ladies.

This is how it's done! :)

A bit of history:
Paul Poiret, the so-called 'Sultan de la mode', included the turban in his revival of 'oriental' styles in the early 1910s
Turbans continued gaining in popularity from the early 1920s. Some of this may have been due to the increasing availability of the motor car, since the close-fitting design helped to protect the hair and head from the elements. A 1923 fashion report in The Times described the arrival of neat leather caps and new turban designs, adding that the turban is: "seen in many embroidered and swathed varieties, some of which are built on 'beret', others on Russian designs, turning right off the face, and some on close-fitting lines."
In 1937, the turban hat was tipped as one of the "smartest models in the new millinery", with new designs being shown in heavier fabrics such as velvet.

An advertisement from "Sears" magazine

The turban remained popular in Europe throughout wartime – it may have been helped by the fact that women were working in manual jobs in factories and farms. It was a design that could be created with minimal sewing skills and helped to conceal the hair when access to hairdressers, shampoo, and even water, might be limited. Simple patterns for draped turbans had been published from the 1920s.


While DIY turbans were easy to construct – a wartime British Pathé film even demonstrated how to make a selection of designs with a couple of knotted scarves as part of its Ways and Means series – many materials used for making hats were excluded from the worst rationing strictures during the war.

Here it is:

You can see the video on their official site


On Sunday, I go to Farmer's market. Everybody knows that. :)
This Sunday was particularly windy, and I needed some protection (and, I need to be honest: not much of a hairstyles can withstand that kind of weather without being completely ruined).

On my way to local market
(I tried out the "two buns" version)

For the first-time turban wearing, one might need to use the instruction on the video (link above); or search for the image instructions online. There are so many ways of tying the turban. You just need to be creative. 

Here's another one:

Let yourself go:
...tie it on a side, twist and turn it..

Go for "Carmen Miranda" style, if you're up for it. 
On a gray and dull day, put a flower in your turban, wear it proudly. Do not let anyone's comment bother you. (yes, I'm writing about those who's comments are completely senseless and include mentioning of some fatal illnesses). It's just people without sense of style, or a glimpse of common courtesy. Or worse: those women who wear tracksuits, worn-out sweatshirts and sneakers because they had let themselves go..  :)

Have you ever worn a turban?
Have you got any favorite way of doing so?


  1. Love, love, love (!) this wonderful post, dear Marija. I've sometimes thought about penning one devoted to turban's myself, but don't wear them all that often (no good reason as to why - I really should embrace them more frequently) and thus was always a touch leery as to if I was the right person to create it. You, my lovely friend, clearly are and have delivered a marvelous look at this classic - and oh-so-classy - style of head wear. Mark my words, I will be embracing turbans myself more often from hear on out and eagerly look forward to it.

    Big hugs,
    ♥ Jessica

    1. Thanks, thanks, thanks! :)
      As it turned out, wearing a turban over here requres some courage. Strangely, I had enough of it - and I do not regret breaking the ice with that one.
      Let me know if you try some style out.. I'm sure you'll love it.


  2. I've always loved turbans and headscarfs but have always been leery of wearing them. The type of women who wear them in my area are fabulously dressed black women and Muslim women wearing hijab. I don't want to look like I'm trying to copy their culture without understanding it, as I'm white as can be. Clearly, I need to try more of the vintage turban styles!

    1. I understand you, darling.
      I've been scared of it, too. But, then I gave it a thought and realized: they (meaning: other folks in the street) will judge no matter what I wear, and/or do. so why being bothered by it? :)

      Try it out at home. Wear it indoors for a while, to get used to the feel.
      ,,,and then take it outside.