Neck gaiters (also commonly known as neck warmers) are tube-shaped clothing accessories and can be styled in a number of ways. They’re usually used for athleisure, sports, outdoor activities or other casual wear purposes. With a single neck gaiter, you can create versatile looks that serve functional and aesthetic purposes. Neck gaiters are usually double-sided, so you can turn them inside out for a completely new look as well.
The Purpose of a Neck Gaiter
Neck gaiters come in the category of sustainable fashion because of their different uses and long-lasting materials. They can be worn indoors and outdoors and have a number of functions including:
- Keeping you warm in the winter
- Keeping your skin safe from sunburns in the summer
- Soaking sweat (they are usually made of sweat-absorbent, quick-drying fabrics)
- Being used as an emergency towel
- Keeping your hair out of your face and keeping it safe and clean when you’re outdoors or at the gym.
How to Style a Neck Gaiter
You can wear your neck gaiter pretty much any way you want, but just in case you weren’t aware of just how versatile this one accessory can be, here are the many ways to mix it up and change your look every time:
The Classic Scarf
Neck gaiters are often worn in cold weather for warmth around the neck. If it’s extremely cold and your skin is sensitive to frostbite, you can pull up the scarf to cover your face below the eyes. Many people also use it as a face mask to protect themselves from dust and dirt during their public commute.
Headband / Bandana
Neck gaiters are like oversized headbands. You can wear them on your head or forehead to keep your baby hair and other strands from constantly annoying you. You can also use it to push your hair back when you’re working out or going for a run.
The gaiter can also be stretched to its full length and worn as a bandana- you can do this by tying a knot that covers around a third of the band. Leave enough space to pull the rest of the gaiter over your head. Once you put the bandana, you can re-tie or fix the knot until you’re comfortable. This can be worn as a casual day look or under a helmet to avoid getting helmet hair. Tying it up as a bandana can also save you on bad hair days.
Neck gaiters also serve the purpose of an oversized scrunchie. Just tie it on your ponytail and loop the scarf around a few times until it holds your hair in place.
Start by wearing the gaiter as a hairband. Scrunch up the gaiter from the back to expose your neck to create a foulard. Apart from keeping your hair back, you can use this foulard to create some interesting vintage hairstyles.
If you’re tired of ordinary ways to wear your neck gaiter, you can take it to the next level and wear it like a beanie. Start off by vertically wearing the gaiter on your head. Twist it once and pull the open end onto your head to create a sealed beanie/cap. Again, this will work well with your athleisure look, when you’re out for a hike, a grocery run, etc.
A neck gaiter is usually made of absorbent material and can be looped multiple times on your wrist to act as a makeshift sweatband.
Soft Cover for Outdoor Use
If you’re going hiking, camping, or just have a long subway journey ahead of you, you can use you’re your neck gaiter as a soft, clean surface to put your head against. If you’re using one of those inflatable cushions, you can use the gaiter as a pillowcase to keep the rubber from grazing against your skin.
Wear the gaiter as a neck scarf and pull it up at the back to avoid getting sun or windburns at the back of your neck. This style is usually accompanied by a hat or cap to keep the scarf in place.
Balaclavas as designed to provide complete face and head protection. Wear your gaiter as a neck scarf and pull the top of the gaiter at the back onto your head- you can leave this as a hood if you don’t want to cover your face. For a balaclava, pull the scarf that is below your chin onto your face, right up to the bridge of your nose to keep yourself safe from the sun, cold weather, pollution, etc. Many motorcyclists use this to avoid windburn.
Simply pull the gaiter over your head and let it hang down at the back. This will keep your hair out of your face and protect your neck from sunburn.
Neck Gaiters as Circular Fashion
Circular fashion refers to any clothing item or accessory designed with minimal waste and environmental damage and is meant to be usable for years in different ways. Neck gaiters are designed with breathable fabric, which is also elastic to make them wearable for long hours without making you feel claustrophobic or too sweaty. Many neck gaiters can be turned inside out, offering you variety in terms of which side you want to style on any particular day.
Neck gaiters are fairly weather-resistant and can be worn indoors if you’re cleaning up and need a bandana or a hair tie, or outdoors in the sun, rain or snow. They don’t start flapping in the wind and are a useful clothing accessory that may be used every day.
Neck gaiters usually follow a one-size-fits-all pattern since they’re stretchable. Find a pattern and color you look and start creating new looks of your own with a neck gaiter.