Scarves have been a staple accessory for both functional and fashion-related purposes for centuries. However, you may be weary of wearing scarves for a number of reasons. Maybe it’s the fear of looking too feminine or the discomfort of wearing a tie and scarf at the same time. Or, maybe it’s because buying the right scarf is a mission in itself. Fear not. Whether it’s selecting the right color or the best length, here’s what you need to know to choose the perfect scarf every time.
Picking the Right Material
Is winter approaching soon? Are you going to a formal event? Different scarves are best suited to serve different purposes. Whether you need a functional accessory or finishing piece, here are some tips for choosing the right scarf for any occasion:
For something warm and comfortable, there are many options for choosing the right material. A couple of choices that you can’t go wrong with are wool or cashmere. Wool is a classic fabric that is made from the fleece of sheep that is not only a great insulator but is also durable and water resistant. However, pure wool can be slightly uncomfortable, so an alternative would be a wool blend that combines wool with man-made fibers, cotton, or polyester, which provides warmth and much-needed softness. Another option is cashmere, a type of wool that is more expensive but is finer and softer than regular wool.
Believe it or not, a scarf can make for a great finishing touch when suiting up for a formal affair. A good selection of fabric for any formal occasion is silk. Silk is often perceived as overly shiny or stuffy, but it actually comes in matte variations as well. Silk adds an elegant touch to any outfit due to the high-quality fabric and its nice luster, and, it’s not bulky, so you could tuck one into the opening of your jacket with ease. Alternatively, you could opt for cashmere again when you need to look sharp but also stay warm.
Even when it’s not cold out, a scarf can make a great addition to your wardrobe year-round. A linen or cotton scarf would be great for a warmer day, as they are both lightweight and breathable fabrics, and they come in a multitude of bold colors and patterns.
Picking the Right Size
Scarves come in all sizes and shapes, from the traditional rectangular scarf to the square scarf. How do you normally wear your scarves? From wrapping around your neck several times to just throwing it on and walking out the door, styling your scarf is a big determinant for the length of the scarf to look for.
A standard rectangular scarf ranges from 50 inches to 90 inches in length and 6 to 14 inches in width. A short scarf is approximately 55 inches and is great for draping over the shoulders unwrapped where it will sit comfortably at or above the waist. A medium length scarf is about 70 inches long and is the length you’d want to look for if you plan on getting fancy with your scarf styling. Finally, a longer scarf at 80 inches or more allows for a cozy, full, and dramatic look.
A square scarf is a unique way to add an extra detail to your outfit. Try folding it in half, wrapping it around your neck, and then tying the ends on the back for a bandana-inspired look.
Choosing The Right Color
Of course, with your accessories, most colors are fair game. However, if you’re just getting your scarf arsenal started and looking for some tips, here are some things to consider.
Look at: Your Complexion
Some colors look great on everyone across the board. Other colors, however, really are determined based on your skin tone. For warmer skin tones, colors including mustard, olive, cream, and orange are some great go-to’s.For cool, pale skin tones, steer towards colors like blue or gray.
Look at: Your Existing Wardrobe
If your closet currently consists of a lot of neutrals, add some boldly colored scarves. Alternatively, if your closet is already full of attention-grabbing patterns, ground your look with a neutral scarf. Also consider amping up your suit game with a wide variety of neutral and subtly patterned scarves (think herringbone, pinstripe, houndstooth, and tartan) which will keep you warm and still look business appropriate.
Don’t have a scarf in your cold-weather collection yet? Now’s the right time to try something new and incorporate a scarf into your daily accessory rotation. Whether you’re looking to add warmth or an extra dimension of texture, a scarf is an easy, quick fix that’ll instantly boost your day-to-day style.
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