Wardrobe Staple: Scarves

I’m always cold, even in the middle of summer, so I live my life in layers. In the fall and winter, I’ve got it down- I can get every inch covered and still keep it fashionable. But in the summer, I used to find that no matter what I did, my neck was still utterly exposed. Sadly, turtleneck sweaters are not a year-round staple. Fortunately, my new best friend – the scarf – entered my life! One cool summer day found me wrapping a lightweight scarf around my neck as I flew out the door, and it’s been love every since.

Now I have scarves in different shapes and weights for different occasions and times of year. They are a great replacement for necklaces and can take a lackluster outfit to lovely. Here are a few of my favorite ways to wear scarves.

Circle Gets the Square. A large square scarf works best in a fun print or pattern, otherwise it can be too overpowering.

  • Going casual? Fold a lightweight scarf into a triangle and wrap around your neck like a bandanna, with the end draping around your shoulders. The top of the scarf should be near your navel. Pair with a leather jacket, tank or tee, and your favorite jeans.

Square scarf, folded bandanna-style

  • Going more formal? Give your favorite suit a boost by topping with a scarf. Wrap around your shoulders, with 2/3 of the fabric on one shoulder, and cross over your other shoulder with a bit of a flip.  Since the scarf will give more volume to your look on top, balance the outfit with wide-legged pants.

At great lengths. Rectangular-shaped scarves provide a lot of versatility. Select lightweight fabrics for your wider versions of these scarves – then you won’t be overwhelmed by all of the volume at the neck.

  • Work presentation? Turn the classic dial up on your crew neck blazer with great, wide, print scarf. Start with your long rectangular-shaped scarf and drape around your shoulders, with 1/4 of the fabric on one side and 3/4 on the other. Wrap the long side around your neck once or twice, depending upon the amount of fabric you have. Once both ends come to about mid-body, knot the ends and position the knot at the bottom of  the wrap.

Drape over shoulders, with one end shorter

Wrap the long end around the neck

Wrap again if too long - you want the ends to be about mid-body

Knot the ends in front and tuck the knot under the bottom of the wrap

  • Outdoor football game? Fold the scarf in half, the long way. Wrap the scarf around your neck and slip the two loose ends through the loop now created when you folded the scarf. This style is perfect for a wool or cashmere scarf. Pair with a dark trench or pea coat, or slip it over a turtleneck sweater.

Create a loop on one side by folding in half

Slip the ends through the knot and pull close around the neck

Go it alone with the turtleneck or top with a fitted jean jacket

Get the skinny. Rectangle scarves are also great in skinny widths. They can be more playful, as well as be a more subtle complement, versus the full statement that a wide scarf makes.

  • Concert? Pair your skinny scarf with a boyfriend blazer, graphic tee and skinny black pants. The scarf should be wrapped around your neck and allowed to hang long. The proper length should find your scarf the same length or slightly longer than your blazer. Roll up those sleeves and add on a pile of bangles to complete the look.

Keep your scarf long and go for fun patterns and colors

  • Kids’ baseball game? Keep it cool with an extra long lightweight cardigan, white jersey and jeans tucked inside motorcycle or riding boots. Your scarf will add a punch of color by wrapping around your neck once and letting the ends hang long.

One playful wrap around the neck

  • Easy run-around? Slip on a skinny scarf and tie with a low knot to create a casual vibe.

Tie a low knot

One last tip – remember your colors when selecting a scarf since it will be worn next to your skin.

What’s your favorite way to way a scarf?


April 4, 2010. Tags: , , . Wardrobe Staples.


  1. Sarah replied:

    Love it! Thanks for sharing!

    I have a linky party going on where you can enter a post about anything you want to share with others. I would love it if you entered this one!

    Its at http://bloggerchixdesigns.blogspot.com/2010/04/talk-about-it-tuesday.html

    • put2gether replied:

      thanks so much Sarah! i appreciate the opportunity 🙂

  2. How To: Keep Casual Chic « put2gether replied:

    […] Experiment with scarves (Learn how here). […]

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