All About Scarves


Without a doubt, one of the most frequently asked questions I get is about scarves. Everyone has many, many scarves of varying materials, lengths and styles, but hardly anyone knows how to wear them. First and foremost, the word to remember is FUNCTIONALITY. Once you realize the purpose for which you are wearing the scarf, you will understand that a scarf is added for a reason. For example, if you are wearing it for warmth, you may start out in the morning with it wrapped around your neck. Later in the day, you will unwrap it as you warm up and let it hang down or maybe knot it if you feel like it. At some point, you may take it off altogether. Then you go to dinner and it's cool in the restaurant. You can wrap it around your shoulders, "pashmina" style. Then when you head out into the night, you might wrap it around your shoulders and drape one edge over the shoulder to serve as an added layer of clothing. I have even wrapped my scarf, Grace Kelly style, around my head to brace against the wind.  My point is, you don't arrange a scarf in one position and leave it there all day. Many times, I keep a scarf tied around the handle of my bag, or inside my purse, to take out when I get cold, or to dress the outfit up for later in the day.  If you think of your scarf as something useful, YOU WILL FEEL MORE NATURAL WEARING IT.

The next point I want to bring up is FACE SHAPE. If you have a round face (the width of your face is equal to the length), you can use a scarf to create the illusion of length by draping a long scarf from the neck, just hanging down or with a knot tied half way down your front. Often, women with round faces (having a round face does NOT mean you are fat!!!) also have shorter necks, so scarves and chokers, etc. tied at the neck aren't the best look for you. Use a scarf just as you would a thin dangling earring or long necklace..

If your face is oval shaped,  you can wear scarves in any way you like.  If your face is oblong (similar to oval but thinner and more rectangular), wrap the scarf loosely around your neck to add softness and width.

If you have a sweetheart shaped face, a cashmere or silk scarf tied around your neck looks fabulous and will balance your chin with the rest of your face.

If you are busty, scarves with any heaviness are not for you. Go for silk and gauze fabrics to create the illusion of lightness and delicacy.

If you have a very long neck, you can use a scarf to soften the look and draw attention up to your face. 

There is an IOS app called "Hermes Silk knots" that can help those of you with beautiful silk scarves in your drawers. GET THEM OUT AND WEAR THEM!!! They are works of art! 

Wide scarves work well to draw the eye out, and horizontally broaden and balance sloped shoulders and pear-shaped figures. 


Scarves can really ramp up an everyday outfit. Choose colors wisely, remember they will be near your face and should work well with your coloring. The colors from the scarf will bounce back to your face,  add a glow to your complexion, and bring out the sparkle in your eyes IF you choose the right colors! If you have low contrast between your hair and your skin, steer away from scarves that have bold, geometric shapes and colors. Your goal is to create "visual harmony"; to tie everything together.

The last point I want to make is to go through your scarves!!!! You do not need 20 or more scarves unless you wear them every day. Choose a few that you love that are season-appropriate, and rotate wearing those. Store the others according to the fabric, out of sight, so you don't feel overwhelmed (or give them to someone else who can enjoy them). They shouldn't be jumbled up and thrown in a drawer; they are just taking up space and won't look nice if you ever decide to wear them. I have heard every excuse in the world for why people hang on to scarves they haven't worn in years (if ever)! The rule stands, if you haven't worn it in the past couple of seasons, WHY WOULD YOU START WEARING IT NOW? 

Remember, scarves should be a fun accessory; a way to add some personality to an outfit. Don't be intimidated! There is no CORRECT WAY to wear a scarf. Wear it the way you feel most comfortable, let it work for you.  The more you wear them, the most self-confident you will feel!


Shoppable links below to some of my favorite scarves!

Alison BruhnComment