Iconic Bandana Outfit & Print / Past & Present

Although the classic bandana print and handkerchief square fabric piece have been a part of the textile world for many centuries, its fallen short to emerge in other styles & silhouettes – until now.

Emerging in the late 17th century in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, the curved teardrop shape begun spreading like wildfire through Europe where the pattern would be soon known as Paisley (named from a town in Scotland who emerged as a leader in the print production). It didn’t take long before America caught onto the trend.

During America’s fight for independence from Britain, the British placed a ban on printing in order to subdue propaganda. However, as legend has it, Martha Washington commissioned in secrecy, a printmaker to print images of George Washington onto a piece of cotton fabric as a gift for her husband. The same print was used for military flags and cannons.

 After the war was won, the public became very aware of this new print, thus spawning replicas to the masses. Their durability, functionality, and versatility made the cotton bandanas very popular among the working class. The popularity also spread to soldiers during the Civil War because of how easy it was to carry their belongings wrapped up in a cotton bandana.

At the turn of the 20th century, when Industrialism came to be, created a price drop in many produced goods, including the cotton bandana. This spread to the workwear industry where the bandana’s symbolism took on worker’s rights. During the West Virginia Coal Miners March, red bandanas were used to fight for working rights, thus spawning the term “redneck”. 

Hollywood stars and films also began using the famous trend, propelling the bandana and an iconic fashion accessory that stood for freedom, individuality, and counter culture. From here, many subcultures took on the bandana as a uniform of their tribe.

Bandanas on the West Coast

More recently in Los Angeles and Southern California, the bandana was also used in the Chicana/Chicano culture. For those not familiar, the Chicana/Chicano culture refers to the men and women who are Mexican-American that have either been raised in the US with Mexican origin or a person who was born in Mexico and now resides in the US.

Being a Latinx owned and designed clothing company, it was important for us to blend in our roots as an homage to the rich diversity of Latin culture that exists in Southern California. Hence the inclusion of our own signature bandana print. Not only does the print signify American history for the past 300 years, but also the uniqueness of how multiple cultures took on their own version and style of the bandana.

From top to bottom, we designed two pieces that feature our bandana print – the all-year Signature Bandana Print Hoodie and Signature Bandana Romper. As we mentioned previously, the bandana print has not been featured on different styles and silhouettes until now. The print is so unique that it would be a shame not to see its potential on other pieces or outfits. Additionally, we noticed that some specialty bandana pieces were out of the price range for many so we wanted to maintain an under $100 range for the bandana outfits and our entire collection.

In combination with the vintage print, we wanted to create versatile pieces that can be worn for any occasion and lightweight enough to be worn all year. Both the hoodie and romper also have adjustable buttons strategically placed so that it can be worn and styled to your liking.

In the near future, we hope to keep expanding on the bandana print and bring you even more bandana outfits and colors that inspire the sunkissed lifestyle. From the bar to the beach, this is the Californian way of life. This is California Wear.

Shop the Signature Bandana Print Hoodie HERE.

Shop the Signature Bandana Romper HERE.