Scarves bewilder me at times. Worn just the right way, tied on exactly right, they look – well, it’s overused, but – effortless. It lays just the right way on your body. It makes you feel so VERY good. Other times, however, and it becomes one of those unfortunate “I see what you were going for” accessory points. In absolute worst case scenarios, you end up looking like you donned a bib and then wandered off from your lobster dinner.
While I seem to have muddled through scarf-and-neck when I was in Paris last year, visiting let me in on a Parisian secret: French people wear those elegant scarves because they need them. That flimsy looking piece of cloth makes you feel much warmer on a chill fall day. Therein lies the heart of elegance: you’re never doing it fo show – you do it for necessity, and make the necessity look good.
I can make a few suggestions for wearing scarves, but nothing I say could universally apply. So here I will try my best for you.
Tips for Wearing Scarves
- Try to save wearing the scarf for when you NEED a scarf. Chill fall weather, amped up air conditioners, and even unexpected rain all merit reasons to wear a scarf. Yes, even the thin ones that aren’t made of yarn and Granny’s love.
- If you wear it around the neck, make sure your jewelry won’t get caught in it. Giant dangly earrings can go from awesome to hazardous depending on how close to your shoulders they reach. Necklaces can compete or accent a scarf, but it must be just the right scarf and just the right necklace.
- A scarf is NOT a necklace. It is also not a bib. Scarves finish a look differently from jewelry. You can also blow your nose on them, though that’s gross.
- Remember where you’re going when you don your scarf. Sometimes a scarf on your head is great, and sometimes it has a loaded cultural meaning you weren’t aware of. I don’t know if this is an issue outside of the United States. As a general recommendation, I suggest keeping scarves at the neck and lower if you’re in a neighborhood you’re still getting to know.
- If you really get bored, stand in a parking lot and use it as a signal to flag people for drag races. Enough people have seen Grease; someone will go for it.
There is no single great way to wear a scarf, and sometimes adding one really is a roll of the dice. If you want to reduce some of that guesswork through, Scarves.net, an improbable site that definitely knows its specialty, can guide you through every manner of tying a scarf you might ever want to consider.