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How To: Use an Ordinary Bandana as Formal Neckwear

Inspired by a recent runway trend, our editor finds a new use for his trusty handkerchief. Turns out any guy can pull off an ascot.

I'm a big fan of GQ's seasonal trend reports—even if they are packed with runway looks that are tough for everyday wear. However, all it takes is a little moxie to try this stuff out. Case in point: One of Jim Moore's recent spring 2014 style tips—reviving the bandana as neckwear—got me out of a sartorial pickle not long ago. See, I had to dress up for a work presentation, but in rushing out the door, I'd forgotten to wear a tie. So I hastily fastened a blue bandana into an ascot of sorts, nestling it under my white button-up shirt. The reaction was positive among my colleagues, and it gave the presentation a touch of casual luxury. Best of all, it's a totally new go-to look for me that didn't require buying anything new.

Want to try out this look? A step-by-step guide:

1. Goes without saying, but use a clean bandana—nothing you've sneezed into.
2. Fold the bandana in half diagonally, forming a triangle. Fold back the hypotenuse about an inch and a half, and re-fold that twice more.
3. Tie it around your neck, knotting it in front like a neckerchief and leaving a little slack. The smaller the knot, the better.
4. Rotate it so that the knot is in the back. Wear it low, beneath your collar, and tuck in any loose ends.
5. Tuck the front end into your shirt, leaving your top button (or the top two buttons, if you dare) undone. Give it a small rustle and fluffing for volume.
6. At the end of the day, it's easy to undo for a more casual happy hour look, and simpler to stow than a wrinkle-prone necktie.

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