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Marty Stuart’s Scarves: The Real Reason Behind His Iconic Neckwear

Marty Stuart’s Scarves: The Real Reason Behind His Iconic Neckwear
Background Photo: Mickey Bernal, Getty Images, Circle Photo: Rogelio v. Solis/ AP

You might think country music fans have more pressing matters than Marty Stuart’s wardrobe choices, but you’d be surprised how much buzz his neckwear generates. Among many listeners, there’s no hotter topic than why Marty Stuart wears scarves.

I haven’t asked Marty directly about his choice of neck accessories. Honestly, I’d be too embarrassed to bring it up. Why? For anyone familiar with traditional country music, especially Marty Stuart fans, the reason behind Marty Stuart’s scarves should be clear.


Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Still, that hasn’t stopped the speculation and rumors about Marty’s scarves, with some people even suggesting they hide something—either physical or symbolic. Is he covering a neck injury? Hiding a scar? Did he attempt something tragic and is now concealing the evidence? These theories, including the most absurd ones, pop up frequently. Some even question his masculinity, despite his marriages to Johnny Cash’s daughter and Country Music Hall of Famer Connie Smith.

Contrary to popular belief, Marty’s scarves are not an essential part of his daily attire. Recent promotional photos show him without them, revealing a perfectly normal neck—no scars, birthmarks, or other marks. Some suggest he uses them to hide signs of aging, but this doesn’t seem to hold up when you see him without a scarf. And if he were concerned about his age, why not dye his hair too?

In fact, early photos of Marty from before he showed signs of aging also show him favoring neck-covering shirts. It’s just his style.

So, if Marty Stuart isn’t hiding anything, what’s the deal with the scarves? Let’s delve into a little country music history.

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Flashy fashion has always been integral to country music, from the colorful outfits of The Maddox Brothers & Rose in the late ’30s to the iconic designs of Nudie Cohn and Manuel Couture. This tradition continues today, with performers using fashion to express their personalities. Marty Stuart, a dedicated collector of country music memorabilia, including costumes from The Maddox Brothers & Rose, Ray Price’s Cherokee Cowboys, Porter Wagoner, Johnny Cash, and others, preserves this textile history.


As Nashville distanced itself from these vintage styles in the ’80s and ’90s, Marty was busy rescuing them from obscurity, becoming one of the foremost experts on country music show clothing.

Now, about the scarves. The scarf was a staple of early country & western fashion. Marty began his professional music career at 14 with Lester Flatt’s bluegrass band, where neckwear was common, as seen in early photos.

One of Marty’s earliest TV appearances was on The Porter Wagoner Show with Lester Flatt. Porter Wagoner often wore scarves, setting a trend Marty sometimes follows. Many artists from that era did the same.

But where did this scarf tradition originate? Hollywood played a significant role. The Singing Cowboy Gene Autry, who helped commercialize country music, often wore scarves. Roy Rogers, another Hollywood cowboy, almost always sported one.

The tradition traces back to real cowboys, who wore handkerchiefs and scarves to protect their necks from sunburn and to keep dust out of their lungs on long cattle drives. Historical figures like Billy the Kid were often pictured wearing scarves.

So, there you have it. Marty Stuart wears scarves as a nod to the rich history of country and Western culture, which he has dedicated his life to preserving. No hidden scars, no secrets—just Marty celebrating the traditions of country music in his unique, colorful way.

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>>READ ALSO: Top 5 Connie Smith Songs: Celebrating One of Country Music’s Most Influential Women

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