8 Tips for Wearing Scarves: Cute vs. Awkward

4:07:00 PM

Scarves are a Godsend!  They transition your favorite low-cut tops into the winter season and prevent that "vacuum-effect", where the wind seemingly gets sucked through the top of your jacket and down your back, leaving you with cold chills.  As a Minnesota girl, who has tromped through 2 feet of snow in her terry bathrobe and snowboots to get the mail, believe me when I say I know those chills too well.  A major problem with wearing scarves, however, is that while we understand their function, we do not understand their fashion.  This results in a look that catches people's eye... in a bad way.  Many of us cannot identify what it is that seems out of place, and that is why I am here.  Let me explain.

1. If you are not a Catholic priest, you should not try to emulate his Clerical clothing.
I'm referring to those unneccessarily long scarves that go around your neck and hang down to your knees.  There is absolutely NO need for this look, and when you walk, the length of the scarf ends up flapping behind you in the wind.  It's awkward, unnecessary, and they just get in the way.
2. Match the weight of the scarf with the weight of your clothing. 
If you are wearing a very heavy, cable-knit sweater, it is okay to wear a thick, chunky scarf.  However, if you are wearing a thin, fitted t-shirt, pairing it with a thick, chunky scarf will look out of place and totaly mismatched.
3. Unless you are a pre-teen, try to stay away from flower power and glitter threaded through your scarf. 
Floral patterns are SO in, don't get me wrong.  But there is a difference between a floral pattern on a child's scarf and the floral pattern on a woman's scarf.  Floral prints that appear to be drawn by your 5 year old cousin say, "I am never going to grow up."  Shabby chic or refined floral prints that you would find in the womens' department say, "I have good taste, and I'm a little fun... wink."  A scarf has the power to overwrite the message of an outfit.  What message are you sending?
4. There is no need to choke yourself. 
Why do women tie scarves super tightly around their neck and then let the excess on the ends just fly free?  I don't get it.  There is no functional point of wearing a scarf so tightly that it only covers 2 cm on your neck because of how taute it is pulled.  And there certainly is no fashionable point to this.  When people see this they often are thinking, "That looks really uncomfortable." 
5. If you are not a cowgirl, you need not wear a scarf neck-tie.
There was a shortlived trend, and I emphasize "shortlived", in the early 2000's of long, skinny scarves.  They look like long, thick shoelaces hanging from your neck.  I'm not sure who came up with these, but they're neither functional, nor fashionable, so please, use them to tie something up, or toss them. 
6. Scarves should not look like the something the cat dragged in.
This season, "ratty" scarves are everywhere.  These often have fringe, unfinished edges, pills in the fabric, and chunks of string dangling randomly.  Why would you pay upwards of $10 for something that looks like you stole it off a homeless person?  You might as well tear up some old gym socks, tie them together, and wear it around your neck.  If you are going for that "grunge" or "alternative" look, there are much more effective ways to do so. Go for an interesting pattern or texture. 
7.  Spend on "Classic" styles, and save on "Trendy" styles. 
If you're going to buy a nice, wool scarf, go ahead and invest your money.  However, if you're going to spend money on a trendy scarf, such as one in traffic-stopping, neon pink or in the new crinkled-up style, then don't invest too much, because chances are that next year, it's going to be a "don't."
8.  If it looks like a dead animal, bury it
I'm referring to those stringy hot messes that were popular in the late 1990's.  You probably got one for Christmas from your grandma.  You might have a pair of socks in the same material.  And you probably have only worn it once.  While it might provide the level of insulation equivalent to wearing a heating pad around your neck, these things are just SO ugly! I know G mama might have given it to you, but that's when you can tell yourself, "It's the thought that counted."
XOXO, Dylan

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