Story by Lorraine Thompson

Loulou de la Falaise never had a bad hair day.

Not that the Parisian style icon and Yves Saint Laurent muse never dealt with untidy tresses. She simply knew how to hide her pixie-cut under head scarves—morphing from Russian peasant to Rajput princess to Haight-Ashbury haute hippie with the drop of a silk twill square.

And she wasn’t alone.

Women have wrapped their heads in scarves—in the name of custom, creed, and dernier cri—since Roman times. But colorful kerchiefs didn’t emerge as a fashion staple until the 20th century, when design houses began translating major decorative trends onto splashy squares of silk, cashmere, and wool challis.

Since then, the world’s most stylish women have draped, slung, twisted, and tied scarves around their bodies and head, adding instant color and pattern—plus uniquely personal style—to their looks.  To this day, the cultural significance of a head scarf can go far beyond style statement. “I started wearing scarves when I was 19, and it has a lot to do with the fact that I’m Muslim and cover up,” singer-songwriter Yuna (a star of our L.A. Stories campaign) told Vice. “But I also like fashion a lot, so within the limit that I have, I try to have a lot of variety in my clothes and style.”

No matter the reason behind your choice to don a head scarf, it’s hard to deny this accessory’s transformative powers. Ready to give the look a try? Take inspiration—and wrap tips—from nine of the world’s most stylish scarf wearers.

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WHO: Louise Brooks
SIGNATURE SCARF STYLE: Jazz Age Bandeau
GET THE LOOK: Wrap a solid silk scarf into a crisscross headband to lend Gatsby-era glam to an evening gown.

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WHO: Grace Kelly
SIGNATURE SCARF STYLE: Royal Triangle
GET THE LOOK: Fold a print silk square into a triangle, tie loosely under chin, and pair with cropped trousers for an autumn walk through Monaco’s Le Rocher.

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WHO: Sophia Loren
SIGNATURE SCARF STYLE: Cinecittà Kerchief
GET THE LOOK: Wind a striped scarf around your hair, letting fringe frame your forehead. Keep the look casual with a creamy shirtdress.

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WHO: Jacqueline Kennedy
SIGNATURE SCARF STYLE: Hyannis Port Head Wrap
GET THE LOOK: A triangle-fold scarf—wrapped around neck and tied at nape—adds patrician panache to an elongated sheath.

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WHO: Loulou de la Falaise
SIGNATURE SCARF STYLE: Bohemian Bandana
GET THE LOOK: Channel the 1970s rich-peasant vibe with a wrap-and-tie oversize bandana worn with a poet-sleeve blouse and chunky necklace.

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WHO: Miroslava Duma
SIGNATURE SCARF STYLE: Matryoshka Doll Shawl
GET THE LOOK: Throw an outsize-print scarf over your head, tie, and let it fall down the shoulders of a wool topcoat.

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WHO: Giovanna Battaglia
SIGNATURE SCARF STYLE: Milano Madonna
GET THE LOOK: Frame your face with a subtly printed scarf, softly draping the mantle over your head and around your neck. Keep the look simple with a clean-lined dress.

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WHO: Solange Knowles
SIGNATURE SCARF STYLE: Twisted Turban
GET THE LOOK: A patterned scarf, twisted and tucked into a simple turban, ups the ante on a print jacket.

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WHO: Yuna
SIGNATURE SCARF STYLE: Rainbow Wrap
GET THE LOOK: Keep the focus on your face with a vibrant drape-wrapped scarf worn with an understated turtleneck.

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SHOP ALL WOMEN’S SCARVES