Old Hollywood Vintage Hair Scarves Are the Celeb-Approved Accessory Trend of the Summer

But you don't need a celebrity-grade yacht to wear one.

a collage of three women wearing retro hair scarves on boats and on vacation
(Image credit: Launchmetrics; Kendall Jenner; Beyoncé; Getty Images)

Earlier this week, pop star Sabrina Carpenter walked a runway in Paris's Place Vendôme looking like she'd stepped out of a time machine. Her Jacquemus striped maillot and coordinating wrap skirt were only halfway responsible for the comparisons to '40s cartoon pin-ups (to put the memes in politer terms). The real draw for vintage lovers was the "Please Please Please" singer's Old Hollywood hair scarf tied around her bouncy curls and under her chin. It was a hair accessory made for basking in the Saint-Tropez sunshine. It was a hair accessory for staring down a waiter at a beachfront café over the bridge of sharp cat-eye sunglasses. It was also the latest sign of a luxurious summer accessory trend in the making.

Sabrina Carpenter at the Vogue World show wearing a striped swimsuit and skirt by Jacquemus

Sabrina Carpenter looked like she'd walked off the set of a '40s movie-musical this week, in a Jacquemus maillot and matching hair scarf.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

For the start of basking on a yacht season—that is, summer—celebrities have crowned vintage (or vintage-inspired) scarves their must-pack hair accessory. In Mallorca, Kendall Jenner wrapped her dark brown hair in a floral scarf to accentuate a teeny-tiny string bikini and oval sunglasses. Back in the States, Beyoncé sipped rosé on a Hamptons boat ride in a little white dress, white hair scarf, and white Miu Miu sunglasses. In between trips, stars like Kaia Gerber and Olivia Rodrigo have gone glamorously incognito with floral and dotted bandanas tied over their hair and beneath their chins. Carpenter also wore the same accessory in her music video for the smash-hit "Espresso," paired with a matching swimsuit just like her Paris runway walk.

There's a little bit of function in folding a scarf along the diagonal and fixing it over a low bun or loose curls. But this is a hair moment that's more about the luxury aura than taming flyaways, based on how each one is carefully coordinated with the rest of a capital-L Look. Forget a baseball cap or a simple headband: These do the same job, but with panache. I think a Marie Claire coworker speaks for everyone when she reacts to these photos with, "The vibes are immaculate."

a collage of Kendall Jenner and Beyonce on boats wearing vintage headscarves and cat eye sunglasses

Kendall Jenner and Beyoncé brought out their vintage scarves for summer getaways to Mallorca (for Jenner) and the Hamptons (for Beyoncé).

(Image credit: @kendalljenner, @beyonce)

In a way, the trend is harkening back to Hollywood's golden age of travel style. Before celebrities jet-setted in Alo Yoga leggings and Emi Jay claw clips, they protected their hair against wind on the Pacific Coast Highway or the walkway to their Pan-Am flight with tightly-tied silk scarves. Forever mood board fixtures like Audrey Hepburn and Katharine Hepburn, as well as '50s and '60s stars including Sophia Loren and Joan Collins, were photographed constantly in the demure scarves the likes of Dua Lipa and Lana del Rey are wearing now. In either era, they're paired with sharp cat-eye sunglasses and a slightly aloof attitude.

A collage of Joan Collins and Audrey Hepburn wearing retro hair scarves in the '60s

Jaunty silk scarves are a fixture in celebrity style, stretching back decades to the age of Audrey Hepburn (left) and Joan Collins (right).

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Flash forward to the present: Printed and silk scarves aren't just co-starring in celebrities' vacation Instagrams. They're also a fixture in everyday street style—particularly alongside the French Girl updos of Couture Week—elevating easy summer outfits from T-shirts and slip skirts to confectionary off-the-shoulder dresses. Some have tags from Hermès; others are under-$20 Etsy finds. And on TikTok, plenty of intrepid hairfluencers will show you exactly how to tie them.

The real beauty of tying on an Old Hollywood hair scarf is that it's a quick hairstyle with instantly glamorous results, no matter where you're wearing it. But if you're planning to pull your hair back in silk on the prow of a yacht docked in Montauk, invite me next time.

Two women wearing hair scarves at Paris couture fashion week

At Couture Week in Paris, guests color-coordinated bandanas and silk scarves to the rest of their outfits.

(Image credit: Launchmetrics)

A woman on a bike at Paris couture fashion week wearing a scarf in her hair

Vintage hair scarves don't have to be overly opulent. This guest at Paris Fashion Week nonchalantly tied hers into a ponytail, with an easy button-down and wide-leg jeans to match.

(Image credit: Launchmetrics)

Shop the Old Hollywood Hair Scarf Trend

Halie LeSavage
Senior News Editor (Fashion & Beauty)

Halie LeSavage is the senior fashion and beauty news editor at Marie Claire, where she assigns, edits, and writes stories for both sections. Halie is an expert on runway trends, celebrity style, emerging fashion and beauty brands, and shopping (naturally). In over seven years as a professional journalist, Halie’s reporting has ranged from fashion week coverage spanning the Copenhagen, New York, Milan, and Paris markets, to profiles on industry insiders including stylist Alison Bornstein and J.Crew womenswear creative director Olympia Gayot, to breaking news stories on noteworthy brand collaborations and beauty launches. (She can personally confirm that Bella Hadid’s Ôrebella perfume is worth the hype.) She has also written dozens of research-backed shopping guides to finding the best tote bags, ballet flats, and more. Most of all, Halie loves to explore what trends—like the rise of doll-like Mary Janes or TikTok’s 75 Hard Style Challenge—can say about culture writ large. (She justifies almost any purchase by saying it’s “for work.”) Halie has previously held writer and editor roles at Glamour, Morning Brew, and Harper’s Bazaar. Halie has been cited as a fashion and beauty expert in The Cut, CNN Underscored, and Reuters, among other outlets, and appears in newsletters like Selleb and Self-Checkout to provide shopping recommendations. In 2022, she was awarded the Hearst Spotlight Award for excellence and innovation in fashion journalism. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Harvard College. Outside of work, Halie is passionate about books, baking, and her miniature Bernedoodle, Dolly. For a behind-the-scenes look at her reporting, you can follow Halie on Instagram and TikTok.