Trends may come and go in waves, but the bandana is one accessory that always manages to keep itself afloat in fashion's constantly changing sea of relevancy. Whether you've worn one to complete the ultimate western-inspired ensemble or bought a whole bunch in preparation for festival season, there are a number of ways you've probably encountered this casual-cool scarf over the years. And now, the humble bandana has become more in-demand than ever before because of its potential to be transformed swiftly into a face mask — no sewing kit required.
Since the Center For Disease Control (CDC) now recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where social-distancing measures may be difficult to maintain, the demand for face masks has spiked to a point where it might just break the internet. There are places to buy a non-medical face masks online, and retailers like Reformation and Alice + Olivia have been ahead of the curve in converting their factories to manufacture cloth masks for essential workers and the general public alike. But these are selling out fast, so if you hit a digital dead end — that’s where your trusty bandana can come in handy.
To be clear: the cloth coverings recommended by the CDC are not to be confused with medical PPE (personal protective equipment), like surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Anyone who isn't fighting on the frontlines of this health crisis that is in possession of N95 or surgical masks is encouraged to send them directly to those in need. But if you have no form of face-covering at all, making a non-medical one at home is a good alternative to purchasing one online (especially if the internet does, in fact, break). And if the bandana is an essential piece of some of the most popular DIY methods out there, why not get a particularly cool one to act as a fashion-forward face-covering now and then so much more in the future?
While home fabrics are not as effective as medical equipment, at the very least, they keep germs from getting out, so it's definitely better than nothing. Ahead, scoop up what you'll need to convert your bandana, and shop a selection of printed styles that'll remain a core part of your accessories collection long after quarantine is over.
Before scooping up the required supplies, check out the tutorials available on good ol' social media to trigger your inner creative. You may find that you already have everything you need right at your fingertips. The bandana-and-hair-ties method is certainly making the rounds from Instagram to Twitter and beyond, and the second slide of this post includes an easy-to-follow video for making your own mask with absolutely no sewing machine or extra threads necessary.
As the CDC website indicates, you can use a bandana or square cloth for this kind of project, but they also recommend adding a coffee filter to your crafty creation, which dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD has told Refinery29 can and should be used as an extra layer of protection. "You can layer more than one filter to get better protection," he says.
So go ahead and add some of those to your cart before finding the perfect paisley to suit your quarantine closet and your post-isolation plans.
Goody Goody Ouchless Elastic Hair Ties – Black, $, available at Target
Melitta 100ct Natural Brown Coffee Filter, $, available at Bed Bath & Beyond
Time and Tru Western Star Bandana, $, available at Walmart
Urban Outfitters Snake Print Bandana, $, available at Urban Outfitters
Madewell Edge-Detail Bandana, $, available at Madewell
eBay 100% Cotton Bandana, $, available at eBay
Free People Positano Paisley Print Bandana, $, available at Nordstrom Rack
A Little Lark Galaxy Space Bandana, $, available at Etsy
Echo Diagonal Dot Bandana, $, available at Echo
Chan Luu Inca Gold Scarf, $, available at Shopbop
Petits Vilains Liberty of London Neckerchief, $, available at Maisonette
ASOS DESIGN Organic Cotton Bandana, $, available at ASOS
Genluna 12-Pack Paisley Cowboy Bandanas, $, available at Amazon
Stan Ray Bandana, $, available at Verishop
Motique Accessories Tie Dye Paisley Bandana, $, available at Amazon
Mango Paisley Bandana Scarf, $, available at Mango
Blick Carolina Tie Dye Bandana, $, available at Blick
Prism Boutique Neon Green Vintage Bandana, $, available at Prism Boutique
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