How to Wear a Scarf

A scarf is one of those functional accessories that can be used in different ways every time making your look fantastic. If you have to wear one and the same outfit quite often, don’t worry since you can still have them look all fashionable with the right choice of a matching scarf worn on different styles to change the outfit’s look. Especially if your wardrobe is not a rich one, having lots of colorful, thin and thick scarves can be your number one help in creating various new styles.

A scarf is an accessory that works great not only for females but also for males. Moreover, a scarf is the trick that most people use to create their own style. No one will deny how nice and fashionable one’s look becomes when a carefully chosen scarf is worn in harmony with the entire clothes.

Particularly in winter when most people have several coats to wear for those long months, a scarf will always refresh the look. Wearing a scarf is both warm and very trendy and it always highlights your taste.

There are basic ways of wearing a scarf round the neck and on the shoulders. However, a scarf has a universal use so not only can you use it as a neck attribute but also work your imagination and make as much use of it as you can. A scarf can be worn on your hand, like a fabric bracelet, on your head, acting both as a headband or a head garment, either covering your entire head or part of it, as well as it can be worn as a belt and most importantly as an accessory added to your bag handles.

Let’s first learn ways to choose scarves and then only pass on to the purposes it is used to serve for. Follow the style tips below.

How to Wear a Scarf

How to Choose a Scarf

A scarf creates a sophisticated and a neat look. Choose colors that match you most. Take warm colors in winter time to break the cold monotony of the season. For summer, however, all the colors especially pastel ones are ideal.

Always remember whenever choosing a scarf it should either be the one that will compliment your entire look, or a contrasting one that will add more drama to your outfit. So make your choice depending on the color of your outfit.

A fabric also plays a crucial role in the choice of a scarf. For wearing the scarf in winter, you should by all means take heavier textures, since a silk or a thin fabric scarf will not look appropriate with your winter coats. Besides it will not serve as an additional means of warming you up.

However, if you like those thin fabric scarves, you can wear them under the coat, matching with your outfit. You can easily show off the latter once you take your coat off.

What to pay attention to:

1. Try to match your scarf with your clothing pieces. Never take the same color or pattern of scarf as your outfit is. You will have a monotonous look. Besides it will be hardly possible to tell if you are wearing a scarf separately to compliment your look, or it is a part of your outfit. Make your scarf pop, rather than blend with the rest of your outfit and fade out. Take a different color in taste. You can, however, match a color of a scarf with one of the colors of your outfit, if the latter is not a one colored one. If the outfit is neutral, choose a scarf in a bright color to break the monotony. For example, if you are wearing a black dress use a red scarf. Or whenever there are many colors on your outfit, take mild tones of a scarf.

2. Take a texture appropriate for the season. For example, if it is summer, pick a cotton, jersey knit or light-gauze scarf, or a silk one. You can take whichever prints you like: animal ones, those with lace for example. For colder seasons go for thicker materials like wool or cashmere.

3. Go for other accessories too to use for emphasis. However, pick ones that will not be hidden under your scarf, like necklaces. Instead, opt for earrings, bracelets, watches or rings. A necklace will first of all not be seen since the scarf will cover your neck. Or even if some part of it is however visible it will not have the desired effect. So better refrain from this particular accessory. Take it only those times when a scarf is not worn on a neck, but serves as a headband or a bracelet.

4. Always put on your clothes first, before opting for a scarf. You will have a clear idea how to wrap the scarf when your clothes are on you. Play with the scarf till you find the best way to fold it. Also a scarf will look very elegant when accompanied with a nice brooch. If you are dressed in a nice dress or a classical outfit, a nice brooch can be added to the looped area of the scarf in front of your neck. There is no better accessory than this, be sure. Add the rest of your accessories and you are ready to go!

Now let’s learn ways of wearing a scarf for its initial purpose, that is around the neck, and then we will pass on to its further use as well. To learn best ways of tying a scarf follow the tutorial below.

How to Tie a Scarf

The traditional way of wearing a scarf is the following: wrap the scarf around your neck so that the folded part appears on the front part of your neck and wrap around the two scarf ends, hanging them down the opposite shoulder. Or you can fold the scarf ends once. Wrap your scarf around your neck and let the both ends come forward. However, let’s look through other interesting ways of wearing a scarf.

Square Knot: You will need a square scarf. Fold it, creating a triangle look. Flip one end of the scarf over the other one. Now, take the upper end around and behind the other one, pull it through and make a knot. You can wear it in the side, front or back.

Hacking Knot: For this type of a knot, it’s best to work with an oblong scarf. Take your scarf and fold it longitudinally in half. Pull it around your neck, take the ends through the loop and fasten. This way of wearing a scarf can help you elongate and slim down your figure. It’s ideal to be worn during colder months with a coat or sweater.

Ascot Knot: To create an ascot knot, get a square silk scarf. Fold it on the bias, throw around your neck and flip both the ends over each other. You can tuck the ends into your blouse or sweater for a more polished look. Otherwise, leave them hanging loosely. A scarf worn in the ascot knot gives a regal touch to your look, especially if matched with a blazer.

Neckerchief Knot: Perhaps the easiest way of tying a scarf is to do it into a neckerchief knot. For this, you should take a small square silk scarf and fold it on the bias. Pull it around your neck and just tie the ends. You can wear a scarf this way with V-neck blouses or ones featuring a collar, leaving the two upper buttons unfastened. It looks good on a round neck top too.

Wrap: To create an “artificial’ tie look without taking much pains, just wrap the scarf around your neck, leaving the ends hang loosely in the front. Now, take the right end of the scarf, cross it over the left one, draping it behind your left shoulder. Your simple wrap look is done!

Shawl look: For a shawl look, half diagonally fold the scarf into a triangle. Throw it around your shoulders, bring the two longest corners together and tie them into a knot. Slide the knot over your left or right shoulder, creating the simple shawl look.

Scarves Used as Head Accessories

As it has already been mentioned, do not limit yourself with only using a scarf on your neck. It will serve as an ideal headband too (Read How to Wear a Headscarf).

• If you have a ponytail or a bun you can use the scarf to cover the bun or the ponytail base with it. It will rally look very nice.

• Or if you have loose hair, then go ahead and wear the scar as a headband.

• For the beach season, however use the scarf to cover your entire hair. It will both look very trendy. Besides you will protect your hair against the sun.

• And forth, create a French elegant style by covering half of your head with a triangular scarf. Fold your scarf into a triangle, hold the two ends of it and wrap your head with your scarf the way that the third triangle tip is turned toward your back. Tie the first two points under your chin into a loose knot. Wear sunglasses and you will have and dramatic and sexy look.

• And finally, create an Audrey Hepburn effect. Again take a triangular scarf, only now, cross the two points under your chin, tying them at the back of your neck. You can wear sunglasses or put it on top the scarf on your head.

Scarves Worn on the Waist

Scarves are also used on the waist. There are different ways to do so, that can serve for different purposes. Let’s us consider those means that look very functional and stylish. For one of the looks you will have to:

• Take a long square thin fabric scarf. Place it on an even surface and make a triangle. Now take the scarf and place it onto your waist with the triangular point in the back. Tie the scarf ends on either side, whichever you choose: right or left. Make a tight know and you are ready to go. This look is especially preferable wearing on jeans.

• Now you can use the scarf as a real belt. Again make a triangle out of the scarf. The purpose of creating a triangle is elongating the scarf, so that it covers your waist and is easy to work with. Now fold the scarf several times, till you get a thin line. Now pass the scarf through your belt loops. Here you can either tie the two ends on the side, in the middle or at the back, whichever you prefer most. Make a nice bow. And you have a very stylish belt.

Scarf as a Handbag Accessory

You can go ahead and sue the scarf to decorate your handbag.

Here are several ways to do this.

• Fold the scarf in half to get a narrow band. Insert the scarf through one handle only, to be able to open the bag later and pull the scarf through to the midway point.

• Another means is tying the scarf on one of the handles. If the scarf is long enough make a nice bow.

• If you have a shawl during a cocktail party or whenever you are dressed in an elegant way and have a scarf with you just in case it gets chillier, and you do not know what to do with it, since you are currently not wearing it, use it on your bag. If the shawl has a wide opening you can use it on a big purse to cover its entire surface. For this you will simply have to put the shawl onto your bag, taking the handles out of the wide opening. Let the shawl fall on both sides of the bag completely covering it. You can use a golden or a silver shawl on a black bag. It will really look very special and can be appropriate for an evening look.

Scarf Bracelets

And finally you can have nice bracelets using your scarves. You can either take a thin long rectangular or square scarf. Now fold it making a thin line. Wear it on your hand by tying it on the wrist and then making a nice bow. You can also twist two thin scarves together and apply to your wrist. Or you can have a very trendy braided bracelet. For this you will have to take a long and very thin fabric scarf. Take the scarf from the middle letting the two ends fall. Now make a small loop in the middle of the scarf. Here you have created three strands. Start braiding regularly with the three strands. Once you get to the tips of the scarf stop braiding. And fasten the braided scarf onto your hand by tying the two ends together. Or you can take three very thin scarves of matching colors and braid them together. You will have the same result.

Now you see how functional a scarf is indeed. It is a multifunctional small accessory that makes miracles. Use nice scarves for all of the purposes. Stick to the ways shown on how to wear a scarf or work your fantasy and do it your own way. Make them accentuate your outfit and always have a trendy and stylish look.

Photo courtesy of Negin Mirsalehi

Written by Armine Karapetyan
Armine is the founder of and an avid fashion lover. When she's not busy examining the latest fashion trends and news, she's exploring a new style for herself or is pursuing new adventures and dreams. Find her on Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn.