“I wish I could wear scarves. I love them on other people, but they don’t look right on me.”
Scarf envy is one of the things I hear most from women. They love how they look, but don’t know how to wear them. I understand. Scarves can be mystifying and scarves can be aggravating. But, scarves can also make an outfit if you know how to wear them. In this blog post, I am going to demystify these wonderful strips of fabric that can do so much to complete a Look.
The Scarf Guide for the Scarf-Scared
Choose the Right Shape and Size for What You Want to Do
The easiest to wear scarves are those that are long, rectangular, and not too wide. One of my favorite and most versatile scarves falls into this category. It is 13” x 63”, wide enough to drape without looking skimpy and long enough to hang just below the hem of most of my jackets and shirts. This is the way to go if you are going for ultimate simplicity.
The next option is the small square scarf that ranges between 17” and 22”. Think high-class bandana. In fact, you will find these listed as bandanas sometimes, or as neck scarves. These small and mighties are great for bringing color up to your face and are easy to manage because of their size.
Larger square scarves are perfect for adding a sumptuous, elegant touch to the simplest of outfits.
There are other shapes and sizes, but these are the three most common, and the ones I am focusing on in this post.
Choose a Soft Hand
Hand is a fabric term that refers to how a fabric feels in your hand. Different fabrics have different “hands”. They can be crisp, dense, stiff, or soft for example. A scarf with a soft hand will drape easily and move beautifully. Scarves with crisp, dense, and stiff hands are harder to wrangle. Save them for times when you’re willing to put in extra effort to make them behave.
When Possible, Go Natural
Natural fibers (wool, cotton, silk) tend to drape better, breathe more, and stylistically read as quality pieces. Synthetics can sometimes manage to look like natural fibers, but they don’t breathe and frequently don’t have a nice drape because the fibers are stiffer. Stiffer fibers equals harder to manage and more likely to be poofy than pretty when tied.
Quick and Easy Ways to Wear Your Scarves
Scarves can be all well and good in the store, but you need to know how to manage them once they are on your body or they will simply become an art piece hanging in your closet — pretty, but of no use. I’m going to share some easy and beautiful ways to wear your scarves.
Long Rectangular Scarves
Look 1: Tuck the scarf under the collar and lapels of a blazer. The collar and lapels will hold the scarf in place, no tying needed.
Look 2: Wear the scarf around your neck on the inside your jacket, over your shell or blouse. Again, the jacket will help hold it in place. No tying needed. You can see here how a different scarf worn a different way completely changes the look of the same jacket I am wearing above.
Look 3: Square Knot. Easy and pretty, this simple knot looks polished and lays flatter than other knots. I’ve posted a tutorial on how to tie the square knot later in this blog.
Look 4: Twisted Loop. The Twisted Loop looks complicated, but it is actually easy to tie.
Small Square Scarves
Look 1: Tie with a Square Knot. To get a pretty knot, remember “right over left, left over right”. Don’t pull the knot too tight. Allow it to be full, for a more luxurious look.
Look 2: Necklace Knot. A small scarf looks tailored and finished tied in the Necklace Knot.
Look 3: The Twist. The Twist is charming and easy.
Look 4: The Jaunty Fluff. Lots of flair and quick to tie.
Larger Square Scarves
The Multi-Tasker: Tie it once and wear it four different ways. The Multi-Tasker makes you look like a scarf-tying genius. It’s easy to tie, easy to wear, and adds luxury to your look.
Wearing Scarves in Summer
Scarves aren’t just for those chilly Autumn days. They can still hold a bright spot in your wardrobe when Summer rolls around. You just need to tweak how you wear them.
- When the days are hot, stick with natural fibers. No one needs a synthetic neck-warmer in July. You need scarves that breathe.
- Wear them in your hair. Scarves make great headbands, cover bland ponytail holders with flair, and spice up a basic French braid with ease.
- Wear a neck scarf as a colorful cuff bracelet. Fold the scarf in a rectangle and wrap it around your wrist. Tie the ends to secure it.
- Wear your scarf as a belt. Tie it in a bow, half-loop (as in the picture below), or in a knot.
- When you can’t stand the thought of one more layer anywhere in the summer heat, don’t give up scarves altogether. Just deploy the purse scarf. When you tie your favorite scarf to your purse handle, it can add a delightful bit of interest to your ensemble, without adding to the layers on your body.
Scarves That Make a Difference: A Beautiful Hug
Stephanie Swilley, of Alex+Grey luxury silk scarves, has put her gift for designing luxury silk scarves to work helping women who need encouragement in difficult circumstances. Each month she chooses a woman who has been nominated on her page and designs a custom silk scarf for her.
Each scarf is created to be a beautiful hug, to bring joy and beauty to the life of someone who needs it. You can nominate someone for A Beautiful Hug. While you’re there, be sure to check out Alex+Grey’s other sumptuous and stunning scarves.
Are you ready for your wardrobe to do more? Contact me today and let’s make you shine.