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To turban or not to turban? The trend that was kick-started by Miuccia Prada in 2007 is back with a vengeance for Spring 2011 and designers from Jason Wu to Vena Cava to Jean Paul Gaultier sent their models down the runway with heads swathed in yards of colorful fabric.

Traditionally worn by men in Northern Africa, India, and the Middle East to protect their heads from the scorching sun, turbans were introduced into English fashion around the end of the 1700’s, most likely due to the increased exposure to India through heavy trading. At the turn of the 20th century the look was brought to the forefront of Parisian fashion by designer Paul Poiret and his wife/muse Denise and continued to be popularized through to the middle of the century by other designers like Yves Saint Laurent, major Hollywood stars such as Clara Bow, Joan Crawford and Lana Turner and even existential French feminist Simone de Beauvoir.

The look was revived around the 1970’s, but this time with more of a nod to it’s bohemian and nomadic history and has again been reinterpreted for the 21st century by a handful of daring designers, editors and street style aficionados, taking from it’s history as both a casual and dressy head piece and revitalizing the trend in a thoroughly modern way.


Channel your inner Catherine Baba and try your hand at this awesome silk version from diary of a RECESSIONISTA. Add a brooch to kick up the glamorous no-wire-hangers-ever Joan Crawford factor.

If you’re just a little bit hesitant about the whole turban trend, you can take baby steps by rocking a mini-turban headband. Create your own with this simple tutorial from Twitch Vintage (I will definitely be making one of these!).

Don’t have time to make your own? The girls over at Honestly…WTF show you how to take a large scarf and tie that baby into a quick and easy turban perfect for days when your hair is less than cooperative.

And last but certainly not least, put a rock and roll spin on your headpiece with this studded turban video tutorial from the folks at New York Design Shop:

So easy you can totally throw one of these together this weekend!


  • Picmonkey_collage_large

    Feb 16, 2011, 10.32 PMby designerroya

    I’m making that!

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    Dec 28, 2010, 02.04 AMby loyl8

    check out my turban I made from the how to video here

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    Dec 7, 2010, 09.46 PMby Alicia Maxie

    turbans for spring 2011? wow! that was an accessory of my first portfolio at the University of Rhode Island. Think I’ll bring it back

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    Dec 6, 2010, 05.16 PMby prairieponygirl

    I love turbans. I made up a pattern a while ago. Thanks burda! Heres my turban.

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    Dec 6, 2010, 02.53 PMby ravingfashionista

    I’m completely in love with the Turban trend!! I’m just not sure if it will look right on me, but I guess I’m going to be giving this a try to find out! :)

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    Dec 6, 2010, 12.06 AMby olystyrene

    Turbans are amazing! I have personally been obsessed with making them for quite a while now – I’ve crocheted turbans, refashioned them out of old clothing and knitwear, and recently my own pattern for floral summertime turbans, inspired by the 1940’s. I say yes yes yes!!

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    Dec 5, 2010, 11.31 PMby mitmit

    I must admit that I have mixed feelings about the whole turban-thing. But maybe I should just give it a go? :-)

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    Dec 5, 2010, 10.52 PMby Zyanya Walker

    I sell them in my etsy shop! They are so good when you are having a bad hair day and when it is windy!

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    Dec 5, 2010, 06.05 PMby SexyKolora

    Wow its georgous, I loved it.

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    Dec 5, 2010, 05.23 PMby goddessof

    YAY! I’ve always loved this look, but never rocked it.

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    Dec 5, 2010, 07.49 AMby Chelsea Logan

    I’ve been doing the head scarf thing but never thought I’d look good in a full turban but this gives me a reason to try it out! If it doesnt look good on me, one of my clients at caughtin customs may!! thanks

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    Dec 5, 2010, 12.29 AMby Liz Hardwick

    I have been making very simple turbans from various cotton and lycra fabrics for the last 5 years for chemo patients – they are much more popular than the scarf type head covering they had – now they should be even more popular. I have had several of my own since the 70s and I owned a 1920 version.

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    Dec 4, 2010, 04.10 PMby mush room

    I am a turban enthusiast! super excited about this article!! and here is a neat way how to easily tie one

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    Dec 4, 2010, 11.41 AMby pedal2carpet

    How can there be an article about Turbans with no mention of Little Edie???? I love all head coverings such as scarves, turbans, and headbands, but sadly do not have the head for one. So stylish.

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    Dec 4, 2010, 11.06 AMby aleah

    I would never wear one. They look wonderful on pictures with the right lighting and so on, but I have seen a lot of them in real life – and in some bad pictures. Some look good in them, but the majority of us do not. :) Still I think it can be really cute!

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    Dec 4, 2010, 08.37 AMby loyl8

    I love turbans..not owning one myself, but I really want to make one this year..only a couple more weeks left!!!

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    Dec 4, 2010, 08.15 AMby sewmyway

    really tempted to make the turban headband as done by twitch vintage. but i have very short hair and a fringe- how well do turbans and fringes work together? i notice most of the pictures are lacking fringes.

    1 Reply
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    Dec 4, 2010, 07.43 AMby mixtlii

    I don’t like them. I like hairs and hats, I like volume on the head. This is just the contrary, and I think it gives a sort of “alien look”…

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    Dec 4, 2010, 02.25 AMby caramia-made

    OMG I was actually planning to make a studded turban headband for my sister-in-law this weekend!!! Burdastyle you are reading my mind!!!! :O

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    Dec 4, 2010, 02.22 AMby Ophelia K

    I love turban as a fashion accessory, and cozy item in winter. It covers your hair, so you don’t have to worry about how messy your hair is:) I think turban x earrings is a great style!

  • Me1_large

    Dec 3, 2010, 10.15 PMby fashionfreek

    I am going to wear a turban when after I wash my hair and wrap it with the towel….does that count and no stitching involved…:0)

    The hats my pal. Turban…I guess its how you style it for me.

    Lovely pics though.

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    Dec 3, 2010, 08.41 PMby crocka

    A few years back I found a vintage turban in mint condition, I love this style very much. It is perfect for the evening your can’t get your hair just right!

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    Dec 3, 2010, 07.46 PMby kraftykatina

    I love it! I might try one this weekend. Great post!

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