Fashion Anybody Rock a Durag Before?

The Emerald Archer

Tool-Bearing Hominid
Tool-Bearing Hominid
Apr 2, 2016
I've never been a baseball cap/wearing hats type of guy. The only hats I'll wear are beanies in the winter.

However, lately, I've been looking for something a little extra to rock on my noggin' while at work (I work in a warehouse).

I've always liked durags because of my interest in hip-hop and I remember seeing guys like Eminem and 50 Cent rockin' them in music videos when I was younger and it kinda made me want to wear one. If I was ever gonna start wearing something on my head (except beanies in the winter) I would want it to be a durag.

I'm not sure the reactions I would get. Meaning would I really look racist or like I'm doing some type of cultural appropriation? Not actually racist, but you know how the mainstream media/culture is with all this cultural appropriation stuff.

And I'm talking about most normal, well-adjusted people, not the hypersensitive SJWs who want to get offended at everything.

I just want to double-check and make sure I'm not coming off as socially unaware and overstepping with wearing a durag if ya know what I mean?

There would also be a purpose to me wearing one too. I have thick, coarse, curly hair and it would help keep my hair neater/tidier which I like. And it would help absorb sweat better, especially working in a warehouse in the summer where temperatures can get hotter than 100 degrees on the hottest days.

Anyways, what do you guys think? Would it be that bad/racist/cultural appropriation or even socially unaware for a non-black guy to wear a durag, or should I be good?

I wouldn't just be wearing it at work too by the way. I'd be wearing it to the gym sometimes, and probably running errands like buying groceries or getting Choptle. So a variety of venues/environments.

For the record, there's a handful of guys at work (most of them black, although I want to say I've seen a ghetto white dude or two wearing one, but can't remember for sure) so it's not like it would be out of place or against the policy or inappropriate to wear one at work.


Please let's avoid this turning into a political thread. I'm sincerely considering buying one and just want to make sure I'm not looking socially retarded for wearing one out in public (as a non-black dude).


Space Monkey
space monkey
Sep 11, 2021
the whoa zone layer
Like physicality, body language, vocal intonations, etc, the things you choose to wear project very honest signals about your background, your worldview, your values, and even your ambitions. However, therein lies the difference - unlike the other fundamentals, aesthetics are chosen projections of the things that others would draw inferences about you from. Meaning, you understand that certain fashion choices are loaded with certain social meanings and you intend and/or accept that you'd be aligned with them. For example, if you saw a woman with blue hair 8.5/10 times you'd be correct in assuming that she holds progressive values and/or she's queer. She's an outsider, she goes against the grain, she "doesn't care what they think", and she wants you to know that.

Durags aren't a product of black culture per se, but have become inextricably associated with urban black communities and all of their stereotypes. And mostly just the bad parts - gang shit, "poor and lazy", etc. It's for this reason wearing a durag in public isn't even socially acceptable among black people themselves to an extent, but this is changing with the general relaxation of norms.

I was walking to school once, and as soon as I got to the intersection this car full of black people rolled down their windows and yelled "Boy you'd better take that damn durag off!" They skrt'ed away laughing. I love my people.

I wouldn't just be wearing it at work too by the way. I'd be wearing it to the gym sometimes, and probably running errands like buying groceries or getting Chipotle. So a variety of venues/environments.
I just want to double-check and make sure I'm not coming off as socially unaware and overstepping with wearing a durag if ya know what I mean?

The things you wear need to be congruent with your reality in order to be received well. Your proximity to urban black culture matters more than your race here, although you might not get too much leeway if you're the Anglo-Saxon blue eyed blonde haired type of white (if you're even white at all that is). In any case it's easier for people of all stripes, black people included, to accept you wearing a durag if that's "just what it is". I've been around white guys rocking durags, wife beaters, swole, tatted up, speaking all types of slang that would be impossible to know about, let alone use, if they weren't a part of that in-group. And they were accepted without issue. And now that I think about it Eastern European immigrants raised in urban black communities get away with this all the time.

But that just presents another problem for you if you don't suffer from it already - you'll be saddled with all of the disadvantages of being associated with that community if you can pass as being from it. People will think you're ghetto, ratchet, etc and respond in kind. It's not a fun time, trust me. Even minor associations to black culture can be extremely polarizing.

I used to have short, clean cut waves. I started growing out my hair in my second year of college and got an afro going (important context: I went to a top ranked university in a very wealthy neighborhood). I also got a nose ring around the same time. Eventually my hair was long enough for cornrows and box braids (think A$AP Rocky) and I've been rocking that ever since. It was the most inadvertently political thing I have ever done. Whereas I'd use to get taunted for "being white" BIPOC suddenly loved me. Random black people started raising black power fists when they saw me and I'd return the gesture. Hispanic girls thought I was hot as fuck and they'd let me know it. Even lesbians said they'd fuck me if they weren't lesbian. Artsy type girls, queer folks, outcasts of all stripes cozied up to me. In contrast, (upper-middle class+) white and (East) Asian people became more wary around me. Interacting with them suddenly became a lot more difficult and awkward, not because of anything I was doing (I grew up around them, I've moved a lot and lived in diverse and not-so diverse communities of varying levels of wealth as a kid), but because I was now othered as "them". 2020 was hell, every white person I came across was dying to talk about BLM and George Floyd as soon as they saw me. I had only changed my goddamn hair. Fundamentals are everything.

Anyhow, on the other hand, if it's clear that you're just rocking a durag just because, and you're not in that in-group, people might react with indifference / mild curiosity and amusement at best and get triggered at worst. Rocking a durag alienates you from non-black people/middle-class suburban communities; you deliberately "other" yourself. And "they" will be more reserved around you as a result. But since you're also not "them" on the other side of the divide, you'll just end up in this strange liminal place where you're not really fully accepted by anyone. Wearing a durag doesn't confer any advantages, I wouldn't if I wear you. But if you were to wear one, get the highest quality possible.

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