May 15, 2013  ·  mail  ·  style

Mailbag: Can I wear a keffiyeh?

Harvey asks: "Is it ever okay to wear a keffiyeh? Is it a hippie thing? Is it a drug thing?" Answer: It's an Arabic and/or Kurdish thing. Typically the rule about ethnic-specific garments like the keffiyeh, kimono or yarmulke is that you don't wear it unless it is a legitimate part of your heritage.

That said, this particular type of scarf has proven to have a lot of value as a sharp object with which to jab bigots. Arab-hater Michelle Malkin notably lost "her" s**t a few years ago when dining-without-tipping enthusiast Rachael Ray showed up in a donut commercial wearing a silk paisley scarf that only vaguely resembled the traditional checked cotton headdress in question. So a few other applications have merit. Wear one if you have a shaved head and enjoy sending rednecks into a tizzy. Or if you and your fellow SEALs picked one up as a souvenir during a 2011 jaunt into Pakistan. Or, you know, if it looks good on you and you want to keep your neck warm on a cool day.

Photo right: Diego Lema

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