How to Style a Scarf: Your Guide to Accessorizing
Whether you have one neutral scarf or a whole rainbow of colors and patterns in your wardrobe, you want to get more use out of this accessory. Adding a scarf can take your outfit from simple to stunning, all with a fling or tie of fabric around your neck. But as you look at this garment, you may feel a bit overwhelmed. How can you wear a scarf to show off your style and personality?
Luckily, this guide has your answers. Discover how to style a scarf with tips for accessories of all sizes and varieties!
Types of Scarves
To know how to wear a scarf, it first helps to know what type you have. Scarves come in various sizes, shapes and materials, making them suitable for all sorts of outfits and seasons. Whether you're buying new accessories or checking what you already have in your wardrobe, you may find:
- Long scarves are rectangular and among the most common options you'll find. They're the most versatile to style and come in different materials, colors and patterns to suit any time of year.
- Infinity scarves are popular year-round, depending on the material. This circle of fabric is simple to throw on, loop once or twice around your neck and be on your way!
- Square scarves in smaller styles are more often called bandanas and neckerchiefs. But large square scarves come in various patterns and colors, and you can style them in multiple ways.
- Blanket scarves are often square, as well. But they're typically much larger than usual square scarves and often feature a heavier material to make them suitable for fall and winter.
- Shawl scarves are a bit smaller than traditional shawl styles. This accessory can drape effortlessly over your shoulders, enhancing any formal outfit.
- Pashmina scarves have a similar shape to square scarves, but they can be rectangular, as well. Most of these styles feature fringes along two sides for a unique touch.
Ways to Style a Scarf
Most scarf styles are versatile enough to tie, drape and wrap in various ways. So as long as you know different ways to style a scarf, you can get multiple wears out of one piece. Learn how to style a scarf and try these ideas next time you want to wear the accessory:
Tie a Bow
For unique ways to wear a scarf, treat a long variety as a big fabulous bow. This styling option is a great way to make your scarf stand out, so be sure to choose an accessory worthy of being a statement. You may then pair it with a neutral or solid color base to keep the scarf as the eye-catching part of your outfit. To tie a bow in your scarf, follow these simple steps:
- Drape a long scarf around your neck so the ends hang evenly in the front.
- Tie a loose knot that comes up to your neck or however low you want the bow to sit.
- Loop one side of the scarf close to the knot and tie the scarf as you would tie a shoe.
- Adjust the bow's loops and tails so they're even.
The result is usually an intentionally bulky scarf, which is better suited for fall or winter. You could also try small, lightweight scarves to add a unique accessory to formal and work outfits. Experiment with different scarf materials to see which shows off the bow the best.
Tie It Behind Your Neck
Square, blanket and pashmina options work well to tie behind your neck and create volume in the front. This styling option will work with different materials, so choose what you wear based on the weather and your outfit. Then follow these steps to style a square scarf:
- Make a triangle by folding the scarf in half.
- Wrap the scarf so the two ends meet behind your neck and the point lies on your front.
- Tie the ends together behind your neck so it fits as loosely or tightly to your neck as you want.
- You may need to double-knot the ends, depending on the scarf's material.
- Adjust the front for a voluminous, cozy look or a chic, layered style.
Drape It Over Your Shoulders
If you don't have much time to decide how to wear a scarf, just drape it over your shoulders! Blanket, shawl, pashmina, square and some long styles suit this look. Depending on the scarf's size, you may need to fold it in half into a rectangle before effortlessly wrapping it over your shoulders. This way to wear a scarf pairs well with dresses, especially sleeveless styles.
Use a large shawl pin to help you keep the scarf on and add an extra accessory to your look. You could also tie the scarf's ends together to help it stay in place. Or, to cinch your outfit and hold the scarf where you want it, put a belt around your natural waist that complements the accessory and your outfit.
For practical ways to wear a scarf, loop it close to your neck to keep you warm. Wear your scarf this way for a simple, casual pairing with sweaters and coats. This option is really the only way to wear an infinity scarf, either placing it around your neck once or wrapping it twice for a more snug fit. But you can also easily loop long scarves around your neck with these steps:
- Drape the long scarf behind your neck with one side a bit longer than the other.
- Take the longer side, wrap it behind your neck and bring it back to the front.
- Adjust the loop so it lies on top of the scarf's tails.
Toss It Over Your Shoulder
Want another simple way to wear your scarf? Take a long variety and effortlessly toss one side over your shoulder. Start by draping the scarf behind your neck with one side somewhat longer. Throw the longer end over your opposite shoulder for a look that will have you runway-ready no matter your plans for the day.
Tie It in the Front
Since long scarves are so popular, knowing multiple ways to style them will be useful. Tying a long scarf in the front is another simple yet chic way to wear this accessory. Just drape the material behind your neck with the ends at even lengths. Tie it in a loose or tight knot, depending on how close you want it to your neck. You can then double-knot it for a more obvious accessory or leave it loosely knotted once for a casual style.
Wear anything from thick, long scarves to shorter lightweight and oblong styles this way. Tying a short silk scarf suits work outfits, giving your outfit a pop of color or pattern and personality.
Wear It in Your Hair
Scarves aren't just fabulous accessories to wear around your neck. Discover more unique ways to wear a scarf when you use it as a hair accessory. Play around with what works in your hair and with your style, but use smaller scarves to try these options:
- Tie it around a high ponytail for the look of a long, flowing ribbon detail.
- Tie it in a bow around a messy bun for a cute accessory.
- Wrap it low behind your head and up to the crown like a headband.
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