Several weeks ago I showed a 1920s bathing bandeau that is in my collection, and I said I’d share some other sporting photos showing women wearing this headwear. The bandeau was worn for many occasions during the 1920s, from sleeping to formal parties. There were even bandeau-style hats, with the front brim turned back flat across the forehead.
The style became popular for sports after tennis star Suzanne Lenglen began wearing scarves tied bandeau-style during tennis matches. It served to keep her bobbed hair out of her eyes, but it also fit in with the small, neat head of the times. The look was soon adopted by other stylish women tennis players. It’s interesting that Lenglen’s biggest competitor, Helen Wills, did not adopt the style, instead wearing a visor of her own making that is very similar to sports visors worn today.
In this clip of their only match-up, it is easy to tell which player is which due to their distinctive headwear!
From a 1922 Stix, Baer & Fuller of St. Louis catalog