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womeninscarvesI was going to title this post – The Fine Art of Scarfing – and then I looked up scarfing and found a few definitions (one in particular) that prevented me from using the term! Let’s not go down those shades of gray.

So here we go – to scarf or not to scarf!

With the chill in the air, we begin to layer with the most common Fall addition being our beloved scarves.

Similar to how within each category of clothing there are certain style elements that are better for your body, it is also true that there are certain styles of scarves that are better for your body.

Let’s start at the beginning of the edit.

doreen-dove-film-strip-2Most often when finishing up with a closet edit, assault or purge with a client, the last category that we work on are accessories with scarves always being a voluminous subject – pun intended!

They usually pull out some crazy fangled hanger doo-dah that looks like a beast of a butterfly or a floppy flower that is so overstuffed they take up about 2 feet of hanging space on that all important closet rod.

Others have them stuffed in drawers where like all things we frequent, the ‘best’ rise to the top and the ‘worst’ never see the light of day. Sometimes even the scent coming from the drawer is from perfumes past! (Hello – can you spell dry cleaner?) Women often get place mats dry cleaned but still forget about their scarves which are carrying oils from the neck and hair and are often caught in the last minute scent spritz!

I digress…

Let’s get back to the basics on your scarf inventory from storing to wearing.

  1. How to store them so you see them and are inspired by them
    1. First off – keep them clean and pressed – ready for use.
    2. Separate them by season and store the off-season out of your sight line.
    3. Separate them by size or shape.
    4. Separate them by fabric.
    5. Large cotton, wool or gauze squares and pashminas should be folded on a shelf.
    6. Infinity’s can be hung on a loop.
    7. Oblongs can be hung by color grouping on loops
  2. How to shop for them
    1. Decide in advance what shape best suits you and only shop for that shape.
    2. Decide in advance what fabric suits you and only shop for that fabric.
    3. If you are going to use your scarves as connectors – meaning bringing neutral solid pieces together into one outfit – know what your neutral solid colors are and be sure they are actually in the colors of the scarf.
    4. Try to limit the number of colors in a scarf pattern and/or be sure there is white, cream or black as one of the colors so chances are it will pull in a white/cream/or black top into the combo.
    5. Stay away from solid scarves of a color that doesn’t match or compliment anything else in your wardrobe. It is very difficult to make a bright purple solid scarf look like anything more than a last minute add-on. We want the scarves to be part of the plan, an integral part of the outfit that flatters and compliments!
    6. If you already have epic amounts of scarves, donate your least favorite before you bring anymore into the house!
  3. Learn how to tie them
    1. There is more to it than just a loop.
    2. Search out tutorials – I have uploaded my favorite below.
    3. Practice, practice, practice.
    4. Note what you are layering over – if you have a collared shirt, you might want to just go with a necklace. If you are a jacket girl, perhaps the smaller silk square scarf is a better proportion for that look.
    5. Don’t assume that a scarf goes with an outfit just because the color matches. Remember to consider shape, size and fabric into the recipe.
  4. Take your body shape into considerations when wearing scarves
    1. If you are a curvy girl with a fuller-on-top shape, you may not want a lot of scarf volume sitting on top of the girls. I recommend an oblong light-weight scarf tied in a long vertical line.
    2. If you are of a petite stature make sure the scarf doesn’t wear you! If when you look in the mirror, all you see is a scarf, you are being over-shadowed – never a good idea!
    3. If you are a lanky gal and volume is your friend then select the loftier fabrics and the larger shapes. We don’t want a long thin scarf to look like a necktie on you.

This video link from Nordstrom is one of my favorites scarf tying tutorials – short and simple. I recommend you watch it once, then hunt and gather one scarf per category (there are 4) and run the video again while you are standing in front of your mirror. Armed with a square scarf, an oblong scarf, a wrap and a cover-up, you will be amazed at how easy some of these steps are and how good you are at DIY’ing your look! You don’t know if you don’t try – right?

In need of help navigating your style? Attend one of our upcoming workshops!

Need the perfect bedtime read so you can dream about your pending scarf purchases? My savvy style guide – Confidence Is Always In Style is now available on Amazon!



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Just How Should I Style My Scarf? was last modified: by