Considered a purely utilitarian accessory during certain time periods, the scarf holds an important place in today’s fashion : this small bit of silky or cottony fabric can transform an ordinary outfit into a sophisticated ensemble. It is important to choose this touch of elegance well to avoid making a fashion faux pas. But there are so many models, types, colors and materials, how do you choose the right one ?
Style and circumstances
You may choose a scarf because you fell in love with an attractive one, or you may wish to complete one or more outfits, which is trickier. The scarf is not like any other accessory: if it is too eccentric or too ordinary, it can destroy the ensemble’s harmony.
Choosing a scarf is above all a question of taste, and then a question of style. For example, for a classic style, you may prefer to wear a silk square around your neck or as a headband; for a more casual look, you might choose a rectangular cotton or linen scarf, and let the ends hang down. If you like to mix different styles, you might choose a long silk chiffon scarf, giving you a chic Bohemian air.
The circumstances may also guide your choice: for a reception, a scarf alone may dress up your outfit if it is worn with a sober ensemble. In the daytime, on the other hand, the scarf serves more as an element to highlight your outfit’s whole style.
The choice of material
Silk is certainly elegant, but cotton scarves are trendy. The latter, rectangular with a wrinkled look, are worn wrapped in a careless fashion around your neck for a casual chic style with a blazer, or a Bohemian style with a full blouse. You can also wear it like a headband, letting the ends hang down in your hair. It should be noted that cotton is more appropriate between seasons or during the summer.
As for natural silk, it has thermoregulatory properties; that means it keeps you warm when it’s cold out, and is cool in the summer. Naturally sophisticated, a silk scarf dresses up all types of outfits, from the little black dress to jeans. Its very soft texture makes it comfortable and can even bring relief to people suffering from torticollis. Silk scarves can also adorn your hair. This year, they are being worn like a headband: the knot is visible on the side, as seen at Dolce & Gabbana, or on the top of your head, like Rihanna.
There are also linen, silk and cotton, acrylic, viscose, or polyester scarves… You can decide by touching them whether you prefer one material over another, because all skin does not react in the same way to contact with the textiles. Finally, the scarf’s care may also be a deciding factor: some materials can only be dry-cleaned, while others are machine washable.
Solid or print?
It all depends on your outfit. With a neutral, solid ensemble, you can dare to wear a brightly colored print. The trend is towards exotic, geometric or animal motifs: leopard print is coming back at Versace, while Hermès still has a preference for multicolored squares. You can fall back shamelessly on more affordable models that are just as shimmery and in style.
If you want to emphasize your clothing rather than your accessory, it’s best to choose a solid scarf in a neutral or pastel tone… For a more sophisticated effect, the color can match another accessory, like your purse, shoes, or belt. A longer scarf is often chosen in winter rather than summer to protect you from the cold: you wrap it twice around your neck and tie a knot according to your taste.
Worn around the neck or on the head as a headband, the scarf highlights your coloring, your eyes or your hair, so it is important to carefully choose the most appropriate nuance. Several attempts in front of the mirror will help you find the most harmonious look.