How to: Tropical Turban

The Ultimate Turban: a tropical solution to looking like a dag in paradise.


There is a time of day in Phuket when the clouds roll in, and the blanket of humidity hits you in the face faster than you can jump in the pool – after which light leather shorties and  your man’s oversized chesty vest are the closest and most heat-forgiving items of clothing in sight. And all of a sudden, you’re a massive dag amongst the honeymooners in billowing kaftans at the Baba Pool Club.

Enter stage right: The Ultimate Turban. Since my sixteenth birthday, I’ve acquired an impressive selection of vibrantly printed silk scarves – and having given up on the idea of wearing them in any way but tying them to hand bags, I’d shoved them to a back corner of my wardrobe and pulled them out once a month to see how they’d look hanging on my walls. On my way home from New York in September, though, I sat beside a lady who taught me fifteen ways to tie a scarf into your hair while our plane waited on the ground for half an hour. And thank god for that. A good-looking turban is a great dash of something something for a lazy day outfit – particularly when it involves an incredible kaleidoscopic print like this Andeol scarf.

Since it’s taken me three years to figure out how to tie one properly, I thought I’d share how to pull one together for the perfect tropical paradise headgear, and a something different to try this Summer with a bikini, a favourite sun dress or your boyfriend’s Sunday t-shirt and shorts:

Step 1: Fold your scarf corner-to-corner – make sure it’s large enough to wrap around your head. This one is 110 x 110cm and was a little more than enough for this particular turban. It’s also important to have just climbed out of the pool and/or been rained on. Perplexed facial expressions are also necessary. Large printed scarves are a strange species…


Step 2: Drape the triangle over your head so that the long edge is resting on the nape of your neck and the apex is at your forehead. Ponder the origins of the word ‘nape’ and remind yourself to add Naples to your list of places to go. This whole process will be a lot easier if your hair is up in a mid-height bun, or is braided flat on the back of your head. If you have short hair, this is when you stop regretting the chop.


Step 3: Draw the ends towards your forehead and cross them over – pull it a little tighter than what is comfortable (it’ll loosen later). Repeat if your scarf is the size of your house. If your scarf is the size of a napkin, find a new scarf unless you want to look like a 70s prairie bandit. Disclaimer: I’ve always wanted to be a 70s prairie bandit.


Step 4: Pull both ends along your hairline towards the nape of your neck and tie a knot – make sure you tie your knot under your bun, a bit like you would a bandana. If you’re wanting the turban to last all day, then double knot it, you hardballer.


Step 5: Tuck in your loose ends – and go around the base of the turban to secure any flyaway bits of scarf, which will most likely make you look like you have a tea cosy on your face. You may also want to pull out a few strands of hair here and there to make the turban look less severe and more relaxed. As you should be, in paradise Phuket.


Et voilà!

If you’ve been following my Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, you’ll have seen that Zanita and I spent the morning shooting at one of Sri Panwa’s incredible residences (four bedrooms, two pools, and three floors of pure luxury) – we’re so excited to show you all the results!

And now, me and my turban are off to have dinner at Baba Soul Food, and then a beach party! Authentic Thai.

Keep up.

Andeol Dianthus Kaleidoscope Scarf from Basically Boutique – BONDS Men’s Chesty – Cassette Society Bikini from Surf Stitch – Latopic Zoe Leather Shorts (similar HERE and HERE) – ASOS Love Bracelet


Margaret Zhang 章凝 is an Australian-born-Chinese director, photographer, consultant and writer based between New York and Shanghai. Since establishing her website in 2009, Margaret has gone on to work with global brands including CHANEL, UNIQLO, Swarovski, YEEZY, Bulgari, Gucci, MATCHES, Under Armour, and Louis Vuitton in a wide range of capacities both in front of and behind the camera, while completing her Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Laws at The University of Sydney. Margaret’s directing, photography, and styling has been employed by the likes of VOGUE, L’Officiel, Harper’s BAZAAR, NYLON, Marie Claire, GRAZIA and ELLE internationally. She has been listed in Forbes Asia’s 30Under30 and TimeOut’s 40Under40, and her work has been recognized as shaping the international fashion industry by the Business of Fashion BoF500 Index for the past four consecutive years. She went on to be the first Asian face to cover ELLE Australia. In 2016, she co-founded BACKGROUND, a global consultancy for which she specialises in Western-to-Chinese and Chinese-to-Western cultural bridging for a range of luxury, lifestyle, and brand initiatives. In 2017, she exhibited a series of 39 unseen photographic works as a solo show in Sydney, and premiered her first short film – a 15-minute exploration of her visceral relationship with classical music on both performance and abstract planes – to critical acclaim.

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