STYLE & BEAUTY
07/25/2016 04:44 pm ET

Are Bandanas The Newest Trend For Men? We Debate Its Merits

Something old is new again.

It’s officially summer. You’d think everyone would pretty much resort to tank tops and jorts ― basically as little clothing as possible, just to get us through to the other side when the heat breaks. 

But in New York City, men are tying little neck scarves around their neck. Why? You don’t need a reason in Manhattan. You just do it.

A man attends a presentation during New York Fashion Week: Men's wearing -- you guessed it! -- a neck scarf.
Matthew Sperzel via Getty Images
A man attends a presentation during New York Fashion Week: Men's wearing -- you guessed it! -- a neck scarf.

This summer trend ― donned recently New York Fashion Week: Men’s attendees and fashion bloggers ― was first popularized in the United States during the American Revolution, when textile makers would document historical moments or political causes on cloth, and people would don them to show their support. Martha Washington is credited for having an image of her husband printed on some.

The humble bandana also helped cowboys and blue-collar workers keep the dust off their faces in the 19th century, and inner-city gang members identify themselves in the 1970s. Even Fred from Scooby Doo wore the power scarf.

There’s nothing like a reemerging trend to get the HuffPost Style team riled up. Here, we debate its merits.

For Neck Scarves: Jamie Feldman, Fashion & Lifestyle Editor

I love neck scarves and I don’t care who knows it.

Men, women, puppies, babies ― you name it, I’m digging them in a neck scarf. Picture any outfit without a neck scarf. Shorts and a t-shirt are just shorts and a t-shirt, but throw a tiny strip of fabric on there and BOOM! You are one trendy dude, 90-degree weather be damned. Neck scarves are like tiny sweatbands for your neck, absorbing the pools of neck sweat that no New Yorker is immune to in summer (right? RIGHT?). As an added bonus, take it off and it’s an instant reusable tissue. Economical and ecological: it’s a win-win. I wouldn’t though, for the record, recommend putting the scarf back on post-nose blow. 

Plus, I cannot tell a lie ― anything that Martha Washington touts is A-OK in my book. Also, the dudes pictured here (fashion bloggers and influencers, mainly) look cool as hell and I would wear any single one of those outfits.

Blogger Steven Onoja wears a neckerchief outside the Uri Minkoff fashion show
Daniel Zuchnik via Getty Images
Blogger Steven Onoja wears a neckerchief outside the Uri Minkoff fashion show

Against Neck Scarves: James Cave, Men’s Lifestyle Editor

You’d think with the ominous “heat dome” on its way, people would be wearing less fabric. 

Guys wearing neck scarves just end up looking like Yosemite Sam in SoHo. I like the idea of the neck bandana. And yes, I get Jamie’s functional argument about their absorptive qualities. I even wish I could wear one, with it’s little pop of color under an open collar, like a thick choker. It’s basically the same reason we wear neckties with our suits, to add color. But who wants to wear a necktie in the summer?

When worn in real life, it’s the cartoon cowboy thing. I just can’t get over it. Therefore, I am anti this trend.

But at the end of the day, you do you ― it’s not like it’s hurting anybody. See more pics of men in neck scarves around NYC below.

  • Matthew Sperzel via Getty Images
  • Daniel Zuchnik via Getty Images
  • Daniel Zuchnik via Getty Images
  • Daniel Zuchnik via Getty Images
  • Matthew Sperzel via Getty Images
  • Daniel Zuchnik via Getty Images
  • Daniel Zuchnik via Getty Images
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