How to Wear a Triangular Scarf

Posted by Mary Elizabeth on Feb 6th 2019

A scarf turns any drab outfit into a casual-chic ensemble with the flick of a square of fabric. One of the most elusive, intricate scarf trends is the triangle scarf. Unlike most other scarves, which are made out of a long rectangular strip of cloth, triangular scarves require a certain finesse to achieve the elegant look the bold, dramatic triangle shape promises. If you’ve always wondered how to wear a triangular scarf and work it into your weekly wardrobe, your quest for elevated fashion ends today.

Why a Scarf?

Scarves add a touch of elegance or a flounce of whimsy to any outfit. Adorned in the hair, a sweet bandana can give you a gorgeously rustic look ideal for camping in the summertime or laying out by the lake. Bundled close to the body, a scarf can smooth away wintertime blues and keep you feeling warm on the inside and looking hot on the outside.

Since it comes in so many different shapes, sizes, and styles, a scarf is the ultimate accessory and can elevate any look. Adorning an open scarf often elongates the body, making you look taller and more elegant. It doesn’t even need to fall on your body, you can tie it on a clutch or purse to add an exciting pop of color to your outfit.

Styling Your Triangular Scarf

Depending on the length of your piece, a triangular scarf can transform your look from relaxed and cozy to art-deco. Whether you’re looking for an accessory to keep you warm in the winter or keep you looking cool in the summer, the triangular scarf is one of the most versatile additions to your outfit. We’ll break down three styles for each length of scarf you’ll find at your favorite boutique.

Long Triangular Scarf

Longer, heavier materials are perfect to add to any winter wardrobe. Here are three ways to style your largest triangle scarf to keep you warm when the weather turns chilly.

The Loose Knot

  • Drape your scarf over your shoulders close to the neck with the points of the fabric laying over the chest.
  • Wrap the scarf around once more to achieve a layered scrunch close to your neck.
  • Finish the style with a loose knot at your collarbone to achieve a casual look, ideal to top off any sweater or button down.

The Shawl

  • Extend the scarf over your shoulders, avoiding immediate contact with your neck.
  • Toss the point draped next to one shoulder over the opposite shoulder.
  • Adjust the underlying point to lie flat and parallel with your waist, elongating the torso and distributing heat throughout the top half of the body.

The Oversized Kerchief

  • Begin with the central point of the scarf hanging down over the chest.
  • Wrap the two smaller points around your neck once, so they drape over your back, and around halfway once more so that they lie on top of the central point close to the neck.
  • Tie the points loosely close to the neck and leave them on top the central point for a more casual look, or tucked beneath the central point for a more polished outfit.

Medium Triangular Scarf

Springtime is ideal for light, romantic scarves like the medium triangular scarf to make its grand debut. Choose a thin knit or another flowy material to add a sweet touch to your look.

The Simple Wrap

  • Begin with the central point facing down towards your chest, with the smaller points draped down the shoulder blades.
  • Place each smaller point over the opposite shoulder.
  • Go around the neck once more until the desired placement of the smaller points upon the shoulders and upper chest is achieved.
  • Note: keep some space in between the scarf and the neck so you do not end up looking bundled up, rather comfortably warm in the chilly air and soft light of spring.

The Romantic

  • Place the scarf with the central point on your back, letting the smaller points wrap around your shoulders and cross your chest.
  • Tie a loose knot at your clavicle, resting at the top of the breasts.
  • Position the scarf such that the longer sides fit comfortably around your shoulders but leave enough mobility in the arms.
  • For an asymmetrical twist: tie the knot with one side slightly longer than the other so that one point rests just above the other.

The Point Presenter

  • Lay the scarf close to the neck with the central point on your back.
  • Knot the two longer points together at the windpipe, right above your collarbone.
  • Adjust the ends such that one point sits higher than the other to maintain a casual, care-free look.

Small Triangular Scarf

Little details go a long way, and the addition of a small triangular scarf to your outfit is sure not to go unnoticed. This piece is perfect for the summertime and can even be warn up as a hairpiece to add an unmistakable whimsy to your day.

The Bandana

  • Place the center point on your chest with the smaller points draped over your shoulders.
  • Take the ends of the scarf and tie them together at the nape of your neck.
  • Adjust the ruching at the top of the chest so that it falls to your liking.

The Sun Charmer

  • Place your scarf with the smaller points on top of your collarbone, the center point draping down the base of your neck.
  • Tie the two ends together at the clavicle.
  • Place the knot slightly askew to one way or the other to add a touch of charm to your outfit and protect your neck from the sun.

The Hairpiece

  • Pull your locks up into your favorite up-do.
  • Fold the scarf over until it becomes one long, thick piece of fabric.
  • Wrap the strip around your head starting at the base of the neck and tie the ends into a knot at the top of your head, in line with your ears.
  • For a more casual look, leave your hair down and flowing.

Common Fabrics

Now that you’re an absolute expert on triangular scarf styles big and small, let’s move on to discovering what types of fabrics exist in the domain of scarf accessorizing. You may have already realized that most scarves serve one of two purposes: to make a statement or to keep you warm. Some materials are meant to achieve one goal, like the elegant silk scarf, while others manage to knock both out of the park, like the increasingly popular chunky knit.

The last thing you would want is to be caught with the lightest scarf in the dead of winter, or a heavy piece in the baking summer sun. Make sure you know how to choose a scarf and what fabric best fits your needs before styling it to perfection.

Silk

Timeless and elegant, silk is a naturally occurring fiber that results in a beautiful, light, and airy fabric. Despite its delicate appearance, silk is in fact the strongest organic fiber on the planet. Fabric made from silk is unbelievably smooth and feels decadent against the skin and body. It does not hold heat well but drapes wonderfully, making it an essential summertime scarf fabric.

Cotton

Another summertime essential, cotton is light, breathable, and easy to take care of. It is the most popular natural fiber, spun from a white material plucked from the cotton flower. Cotton scarves come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. This material is by far the most versatile and can feasibly be used in any season, though it is most commonly draped about the shoulders or around the head for light sun protection during the summertime.

Wool

This material is shorn from animals with cloven hooves, mostly sheep and goat but sometimes including alpaca or llama. It is known for its warmth and noteworthy insulating properties. While commonly used in the wintertime to battle the cold, wool has also been used for hundreds of years as a manner of keeping cool in the desert. A thin wool scarf serves well to keep out the heat of the midday sun.

Within the wool family exists two subsets of the fabric, Cashmere and Pashmina. These fabrics are often touted as higher quality as the wool collected creates a softer, silkier cloth. However, at the end of the day, it is wool.

Cashmere

Known for its legendary softness and super high insulation, Cashmere wool collected from the fleece of the Cashmere goat and spun into clothing that is both warm in the winter and cool in the summer. You will mostly see Cashmere sweaters, scarves, and light shawls, though some outerwear boasts a Cashmere lining that increases its warmth and adds elegance to any piece.

Pashmina

This wool is even more refined than its Cashmere cousin. It goes one step further by only accepting the fine cashmere wool of the Himalayan Mountain Goat. It is the highest quality wool cloth available. It is renowned for its unmatched softness and light weight.

Acrylic

This is a totally synthetic material made from acrylic fibers. It is an excellent wool substitute due to its high insulation level. Because the texture can be controlled in a laboratory, clothing and scarves made with acrylic can be comparable to cashmere in softness, weight, and appearance. That being said, some controversy surrounds acrylic fabrics. Given that the base material is a plastic, acrylic clothing and accessories are known to break down after multiple washes and lose their lustrous texture over time.

Types of Scarves

Surely, your wardrobe is not full of solely triangular scarves. Here are a few more styles that will elevate your look.

The Rectangle Scarf

The original shape is meant to be looped around the neck multiple times, but its basic shape makes it an effortlessly versatile neck accessory.

  • Most common type of scarf
  • Often long, anywhere from 40 inches to over 80 inches in length
  • Edges can be hemmed, raw cut, trimmed, or feature some type of adornment like fringe or tassels

The Square Scarf

Most often made of silk, this shape adds a classic charm to any outfit.

  • Seamlessly works around the neck or in the hair
  • Can be tied around another accessory, like a purse or clutch, to add some extra flair
  • Timelessly chic fashion staple

The Infinity Scarf

This is a contemporary shape that came to popularity in the late 20th and early 21st century.

  • Closed loop with no ends
  • Produced in a variety of materials, from light cotton to chunky knit wool
  • Its versatile fabric makes it an easy style to rock all year long

The Wrap

An elegant and often expensive accessory, the wrap is a variation of the rectangle scarf with a long and wide body and twisted tassels on each end.

  • Most often made from Pashmina, though alternatives made of viscose or rayon are a fraction of the cost and nearly as soft
  • Classic shape coupled with the luxurious material gives a splash of sophistication to any ensemble
  • Can be worn as a scarf with layered volume or as a shawl to keep warm in the winter months

Conclusion

As you can see, there are countless ways to update your look with a scarf. Regardless of the season, there is a material, size, and shape to fit your every fashion need. Start thinking about revitalizing your wardrobe and adding a few new pieces, like a long silk triangular scarf or a pretty patterned cotton rectangular scarf. One scarf could open the door to dozens of fashion possibilities.

Don’t be shy to try other styles you may encounter through tutorial videos on the internet or through your super chic friend. You can also mix and match the styles above with ones meant for smaller or larger fabrics, tying a long triangular scarf like a headpiece and letting the ends drape down the back instead of sitting up on the head. Play with your style until it suits you just right. Remember, fashion is about taking risks and being bold. Liberate yourself and open your heart (and closet!) to an outfit revolution.

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