A girl and her headscarf: 6 vintage style icons who fell in love with an underrated accessory

When Audrey Hepburn's character Reggie follows her friend Peter in the movie Charade, two important revelations are made: the first one regards Peter's big secret about his true identity. The second one (and a much more important piece of information) is that you can't successfully follow anyone around town without a scarf on your head.

Scarves have long been an important accessory for spies and soldiers (they helped disguise undercover agents and, sometimes, contained maps and all sorts of hidden information), but in Charade, the little white silk scarf Hepburn wears is more than a tool to cover her features; it also tells us, the viewers, a lot about who she is: an innocent, but fearless woman, looking for a way out of a tricky situation. And that's the power of a scarf: to protect, while revealing something about the one who wears it. 

If not underrated, then scarves have at least been forgotten by many since their golden days in the fifties and sixties. Looking back at some of the iconic women who wore them all the time, it's easy to understand how this accessory had the power to transform a look, to complement it - and will hopefully inspire some of us to bring it back.


I don't see Twiggy as a tomboy in the traditional way, but she was definitely someone who had a fresh sense of femininity. As an icon of the sixties, she embodied this whole new idea of sexyness being something that could be young and playful, in contrast to all the conservatism from the previous decade. She wore her headscarves with colorful prints or white dots on black, tied over her bobbed hair and under a big pair of sunglasses.

Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn was just classic. The first picture is the one of her in Charade, her all-white outfit complete with a pair of gloves and black sunglasses. She loved to tie her scarves around her neck, and wore them with sophisticated outfits for shoots, but also while she was traveling and on her holidays in the countryside.

Sofia Loren

Speaking of countryside - italian icon Sofia Loren was really into scarves, too. She loved them in different materials, shades and prints, and always paired them with colorful outfits. She wore her scarves at home, in the garden, at work and even while doing her makeup, both as a protection from the sun and as a style staple.

Jackie Kennedy

It's impossible to think about scarves without thinking of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, an american style icon who wore headscarves  - and hats, and beanies, an all kinds of head accessories, for that matter - constantly. She used them in different ways and occasions, from public appearances to casual walks in the Hamptons, but they were always classy and White House appropriate.

Loulou de la Falaise

French women know how to do scarves too, and Loulou de la Falaise was proof. Yves Saint Laurent's longtime friend and muse had a bohemian, androgynous sense of style that must have been heavily influenced by YSL's trips to Morocco (and all the collections that would eventually be inspired by them). Loulou wore colorful scarves wrapped around her head many times, but especially when she went to the beach.

Grace Kelly

Another headscarf icon was Grace Kelly, who used to wear them constantly, in and out of royal duty. The actress loved her printed silk scarves (possibly, probably Hermès) and usually tied them around her neck like Audrey Hepburn. While Hepburn preferred smaller scarves that just about covered her hair, Grace Kelly liked hers a bit longer, so they could cover her neck and sometimes her back as well.

All pictures are from Pinterest.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published