How the Heck to Wear a Scarf

14 Sep

Last week, I professed my love of scarves on Charlie Sue’s post about layering, and she responded, “Can you please tell me more about them?” Way to open the floodgates! I have deep, abiding love for scarves, so much so that I had to split up my dissertation into 2 posts. Today, I’ll dicuss how I like to wear scarves, and next week, I’m sharing tips on shopping for scarves. Let’s get to it!

The most frequent anti-scarf sentiment I hear is, “I don’t know what to do with it!” And, friends, if that is the case, I say: WATCH THIS VIDEO RIGHT NOW.

I love this video so much. It’s cute, well done, and informative! Check out the awesomely in-depth behind-the-scenes tricks here. If I am being completely honest, I must admit that I sometimes watch this video because it has an oddly calming, mesmerizing effect on me.

Ahem. Moving on!

As I told Charlie Sue, I wear scarves in all seasons, and that is because I am almost always cold, and not just in the winter months. In warm weather, I am cold indoors due to hyper-AC, especially at work or in stores. I theorize that covering my neck helps keep my core warmer, sort of like a vest. In cooler months, I wear thicker knits and heavier woolens; in the spring and summer, I favor light jersey and gauzier fabrics. When I’m not wearing my scarf, I like to loop it around the strap of whatever bag I’m carrying to keep it out of the way but still close at hand. Plus, it looks jaunty! Call me paranoid, but having a scarf on hand at all times makes me feel much more prepared for life.

Even if you are not chronically chilly, scarves can inject color and pattern into a wardrobe that comprises solids and neutrals, namely, mine. So, here are some of my favorite scarves, styled for each season, paired with a black top, jeans, and different shoes. I think of all of these looks as complete outfits, and I wouldn’t feel compelled to throw on something in addition. (Also, please note this glamorous view of the corner of my home office, not to mention my non-style-blogger posing and cheesing for the camera!)

Here, I’ve also used my favorite scarf-tying methods, mostly found in the video:

  • Fall: Modified European Loop, aka Danielle’s method
  • Winter: European Loop: #8, at 1:16
  • Spring: Hidden Knot: #21, 3:42
  • Summer: Basic Loop: #9, 1:23

I have also done the Waterfall (#13, 2:09) and this cool braid technique, but I default to the European loop most frequently because I can tie it without looking at the scarf (see: running out the door). When I’m wearing a bulkier scarf, like the zebra and the paisley ones, I like to fluff them up a little around my neck to make them as voluminous as possible. I especially like to do this when my hair is up, like in the picture for winter.

How do you feel about scarves?


8 Responses to “How the Heck to Wear a Scarf”

  1. Becky September 14, 2012 at 10:12 am #

    I love that you watch that video as a soothing technique.
    And I also love learning new ways to wear scarves.
    But mostly I liked this because you make me laugh.

  2. elleinadspir September 14, 2012 at 10:27 am #

    I cannot tell you how excited I am to pull out my Fall and Winter scarfs!!!

  3. dejad23 September 14, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

    I *love* scarves and think they’re absolutely adorable, but I can’t wear them. I have a really sensitive gag reflex, and anything around my neck sets it off. Lovely, right? Ugh. I can’t wear turtlenecks, either.

  4. audrey September 14, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

    You had me at “Plus, it looks jaunty!”

  5. Jesabes September 15, 2012 at 9:40 am #

    I love scarves. Plus, even though I only started wearing them with outfits a couple years ago, I have quite the collection, as it appears even when I never wore them I was addicted to BUYING them.

  6. heycharliesue September 19, 2012 at 4:44 pm #

    Ooooooh… scarves! I love the video and I LOVE the examples. Question: do you think thin scarves are ever worth it? (Like this: Or do they defeat the purpose? It seems like a REALLY good scarf is one that can almost double as a wrap on a day where you need a fabric hug.

    • RA September 20, 2012 at 9:54 am #

      I do think thin scarves are worth it because sometimes, you just don’t want that much volume or fabric hanging around. The ones I wore for spring and summer up there are both thin and gauze-y. But that said, I couldn’t only have thin scarves because I do genuinely get cold, so scarves can’t just be ornamental for me.


  1. How I Shop for Scarves « Style All Over - September 21, 2012

    […] week, I talked at length about how to tie scarves, and today, I’m discussing what I look for when I’m shopping for […]

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