Home LIFESTYLE & TRAVEL Fashion How to wear a scarf...

How to wear a scarf…

Minimum effort (we’re talking under a minute) gives maximum style cred. Here are seven different ways to show off your scarf, one for each day of the week.

Accessories come in and out of style, but the scarf is a perennial favourite. Summer or Winter, wool or silk, work smart or sofa casual, they perfectly complete an outfit. And they’re more sought after than ever as comfort dressing becomes increasingly key. They cross seamlessly from dressing up to down, working as well with high boots and a smart winter coat as they do with couch-bound sweats. Our favourite thing about this practical piece of fashion would ultimately have to be the ease in which you can be camera-ready for those unexpected work video calls. With not so much as a flick of the wrist, a scarf tossed around your neck with a simple blouse says ‘business chic’ even if your jeans are ripped under the desk. The possibilities really are endless. Thankfully, the fashionable, stylish Witchery team have narrowed it down to the best ways to wear a scarf. Just read through their styling tricks and tying tips below, and then get wrapping.

THE EASY TOSS SCARF

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Consider this your entry level starter scarf. An incredibly relaxed yet classically chic way to wear your scarves, the toss over one shoulder gives an air of effortlessness to any outfit while still lending the basics a fashion edge.

HOW TO TIE IT

Fold a large oblong scarf in half and drape around the neck. Take one side and loosely toss over the opposite shoulder. For a neat look, keep the scarf nicely folded. For a more thrown-together effect, tease out the fabric across the shoulder and part way down the arm.

WAYS TO WEAR IT

Let us count the ways! There is literally no situation where a scarf toss is not welcome. Choose a thick nobby fabric for when the weather drops on the weekend, while a finer fabric covers more formal occasions. And when long-haul flights finally come back, cocoon yourself in it for the chicest travel blanket around.

HOW TO STYLE IT

Believe it or not, your hair has a big part to play in the successful scarf toss. It’s called a hair tuck and it entails leaving your hair casually caught under the loop of the scarf instead of pulling it loose. Tucked behind the ear with some tendrils escaping around the face, you’ve got yourself the perfect windswept winter do. Flushed cheeks complete the look.

 

THE PULL-THROUGH SCARF 

It’s the supermodel-approved style that not only gives an old outfit a new lease on life – it’s incredibly flattering, too. The pull-through is great for shorter style scarves, shifting the focus up to your face, framing the jawline and emphasising the shoulders. While darker colours are the practical choice, it’s worth noting that a lighter shade like an ivory or pale grey will serve to reflect light back onto the skin, effectively giving you a portable ring light that also happens to keep you warm.

HOW TO TIE IT

Gather your long skinny scarf and fold it almost in half so that one end is a few inches longer than the other. Place the scarf behind your neck, put your hand through the fold to form a loop and thread the other side through before tightening. The shorter end should end up sitting on top of the longer one. Adjust slightly to the side so the loop sits squarely in the middle of your chest.

WAYS TO WEAR IT

Taking a leaf out of the model-off-duty playbook, this style can work just as well on the soccer field side-line as it can at the exhibition opening. A great tip to keep the look polished is to opt for a higher waistband, whether it be a skinny jean or a midi skirt. When your top is tucked in, the midline will cut through the tail end of the scarf, furthering the flattering effect.

HOW TO STYLE IT

Worn underneath a buttoned or zipped jacket, the pull-through gives a dapper cravat-like effect. Just make sure the ends are smoothed down first. Flattening the shorter end up over your shoulder is a smart hack that helps to avoid any unwanted bulkiness across the chest area.

 

THE SINGLE LOOP SCARF

Everyone’s go-to, a traditional loop says, “what, this old thing?” while simultaneously communicating serious style authority. With the two ends hanging down the front, it has the benefit of adding interest to a simple sweater while the panel across your neck keeps you nice and snug.

HOW TO TIE IT

Loosely bunch a long oblong scarf lengthwise and loop once around your neck, leaving the ends to fall roughly at the same length. Give the scarf a tug down at the neck to give yourself some breathing room.

WAYS TO WEAR IT

The everyday single loop has the ability to elevate any ensemble. It’s the kind of scarf you can reach for as you dash out the door so you’ll want to choose one that can work with almost anything in your wardrobe. Team it with jeans and box-fresh sneakers and you’ve got yourself a style uniform.

HOW TO STYLE IT

A neutral colour that tones in with the piece worn underneath will result in an especially pulled-together look. A subtle check can add interest but go for patterns in shades of the one hue to keep it understated.

THE FRENCH KNOTTED SCARF

So French, so chic. Traditionally seen on silk scarves, this sophisticated knot works refreshingly well in heavier winter weight fabrics, too. It takes a little practice to get this one right, but once you’ve nailed the technique it’s actually quite effortless and that’s exactly the vibe you want to be giving off.

HOW TO TIE IT

Fold a rectangular scarf in two and place around the back of your neck. Pull the ends through the loop. Form a new loop by taking the lower half of the looped side and pulling it to the top. Rethread the free end through the new loop.

WAYS TO WEAR IT

Designed to be noticed, the French knot is going to stand out, so you don’t need to try too hard. If you’re a fan of colour, choose a bold check but opt for shades of pastel in keeping with a low-key look. Wound around the neck of a boyish blazer or folk-style dress, it speaks of a cool elegance that money can’t buy.

HOW TO STYLE IT

Channel the natural insouciance of the Parisians by keeping your look undone. Whether your French Knot is in silk or something heavier, you want to keep the rest of your outfit smart-casual and underworked.

 

THE SHAWL SCARF

The shawl has a long history in both men and women’s dress, from the most common of workaday uses to the most glamorous. While its most practical vocation was, and still is, for warmth, this style has also shone as a status symbol, accompanying ball gowns and in fine fabrics on the shoulders of Hollywood starlet types when a jacket just wouldn’t suffice. Today, it still comes with its own kind of charisma and demands to be worn with confidence. Whether thrown over your chair as a safeguard against an air-conditioned office or accompanying you to a wedding in preparation for the cool night air, the shawl scarf is perhaps the most stylish of all the scarves.

HOW TO TIE IT

You don’t. Just fold a long, wide scarf neatly in half and place over the shoulders.

WAYS TO WEAR IT

While it can absolutely appear striking over a lightweight coverall such as a trench coat, it is typically worn as an alternative to outerwear. Placed over the shoulders of a strappy dress, it can provide a cosy and interesting contrast to silks and satin for a formal occasion. Teamed with more masculine pieces, like a belted trouser and high neck knit, the shawl takes on a contemporary twist.

HOW TO STYLE IT

Tucking both sides of the scarf under your arms will have the instant effect of wearing a cropped jacket.

 

THE TWIST SCARF

If you’ve ever been swept away by an episode of Outlander, this style is for you. It doesn’t require time travel back to 18th-century Scotland, where tartan and debonair ways with a scarf abound. But it does demand a little deftness with the twisting and wrapping of your scarf. This technique works best with a finer, woven fabric.

HOW TO TIE IT

Working with the basic principle of the Single Loop or the Easy Toss, tightly twist the fabric as it winds around the front of the neck.

Fan out the ends of your scarf across your shoulders for staying power.

WAYS TO WEAR IT

We love this style because, rather than your scarf being something you discard the minute you walk indoors, the twisted scarf in a lightweight fabric becomes a feature part of your outfit.

HOW TO STYLE IT

A great trans-seasonal solution that works well over lightweight layers like a t-shirt or singlet for in-between weather. Save the bulky versions for the highlands.

 

THE CINCHED SCARF

While popular use of scarves as we know them dates back to the 19th century, women have continued to reinvent their use throughout the decades. From the suffragette slogan scarves of the early 20th century to the Rosie The Riveter head scarves of the 1940s. But the 1950s was a particularly golden era, with Audrey Hepburn-favoured neckerchiefs, Grace Kelly style driving scarves and any number of long, wide scarves inventively turned into stoles, shawls or capes, always with a focus on the waist. While the girdles of the day thankfully belong to history, the scarf can still play a part in emphasising shape today and it’s as easy as tightening your belt.

HOW TO TIE IT

There are a number of ways to work this trend but they all centre around a belted waist. Gathering a long rectangular scarf into a thin strip, drape it around your neck (keeping narrow under the lapel of a coat or spreading wider on your shoulders for warmth over a shirt or sweater). Overlap the ends of your scarf and secure at your middle by firmly buckling or tying a belt.

WAYS TO WEAR IT

This technique works with almost any combination, but we love the look of monochrome layers. Cream, on cream, on cream, on cream feels fresh and new. Best of all, it’s super flattering, creating the effect of length and emphasising the contours of the clothes in a play on light and shadow.

HOW TO STYLE IT

A pushed up coat or sweater sleeve helps to lend this look an irreverent air, preventing it from appearing too stitched up or overworked.

 

A NOTE ON CHOOSING YOUR NEW SCARF

A scarf is the kind of accessory that will live life with you. It will keep you warm on the way to work, travel with

you on holiday, give you courage on a date or provide a makeshift blanket when the temperature drops.

We’ve outlined the multiple ways to wear your scarf, but it’s up to you to select the one you feel drawn to.

Take fabric, feel, size and weight into account, but most of all, choose one you fall in love with. The rest will follow.

Ideas and scarves from Witchery at Woolworths.
Details: woolworths.co.za

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