There have been quite a few readers that have made requests for a post on scarves. I love scarves myself and have quite a collection. I have to admit, I have had issues in the past about forgetting they even exist. About a year ago, I decided enough was enough and made a challenge to myself to incorporate scarves into several outfits a month. I am a lover of textiles, so I am often drawn to these beauties without having any plan of how I am going to wear them.
Today’s post is all about how I wear scarves, including 19 outfit examples showing different ways to style them.
If you are in the same situation as I was and have a scarf collection that is collecting dust, I have one suggestion prior to getting into the outfits. Move your scarves to a location where you can see them easily and in an area you go to to complete getting dressed. To me, this was a crucial step in allowing me to incorporate scarves into frequent rotation. I am a jewelry wearer, so I chose to place my scarves next to my necklaces. I typically wear a necklace of some sort every day, so I now mentally view my scarves as an extension of my necklace wardrobe.
I transformed a closet at the end of my hallway into an accessory closet, so my scarves are now on display here for me to see on a small tension rod. I did an entire post on my Dream Accessory Closet if you want to see the before and after.
As soon as I shifted the way I viewed my scarves, I began to unleash the possibilities that they have. The other thing I noticed is that it is great to have variety. Not only are there printed scarves and solid scarves in a multitude of colors, there are also different shapes, fabrics, and thicknesses. All of these can take a roll with how you style them. As you will see in my examples, I am using different scarves for different applications, so keep that in mind when you are trying these ideas in your life. Another thing to think about as you preview these, is to see them as conceptual ideas and remove my personal style from the equation, especially if it is not exactly like yours. This will help you even more to moving forward to using scarves more frequently.
The other point I want to touch on is a mind set, rather than an actual style tip. One of my readers asked a specific question beyond just wearing scarves, and that is how to wear a scarf when you are plus sized. If you are a plus sized woman, like myself, you may want the answer to this as well. I only have my own personal experiences to draw upon when it comes to this particular topic, so I will do my best to explain my process. In certain instances, wearing a scarf around your neck can add visual weight to your upper half. It can bring attention to your neck and face in some cases as well. Having a larger bust can also pose an issue for some when wearing scarves. For me, I have come to terms with my body when it comes to all of these I mentioned and enjoy having the option of having this layer. In some cases, I try to balance the scarf out with the rest of my outfit. If you are not in a mental place to add visual weight or bring attention to these particular parts of your body, choose certain ways to wear your scarves to diminish those obstacles. And to be perfectly honest, it is ok to feel this way. I have been there, so I know exactly how it feels. I will note these in the ideas below as *BC standing for Body Conscience.
Another mind set I want to bring to your attention is the pure fact of being comfortable with wearing accessories. A scarf is an accessory. It can add tremendous style to an outfit and can take it from blah to wow. If you are not used to seeing yourself wearing accessories, in this case, scarves, these ideas may be challenging for you to implement at first. This feeling is perfectly normal. I have heard everything from feeling weird or feeling like you are trying too hard from ladies when they have not familiar with scarves. While I know not everyone is in this place, I wanted to touch on it because I have personally had conversations with women having these feelings. For those of you who are here and want to break out of being this way, I suggest reading these ideas and implementing them in small doses and work your way up. The more you see yourself in a scarf, the less unfamiliar they will look to you.
1-Tie it on your Handbag
Tying a scarf onto a handbag has to be one of the most simple, yet effective things I have done with scarves because I get to have the best of both worlds by wearing a scarf AND a necklace. This particular scarf is an infinity, but I just pulled it through the handle and made a knot. (I am showing this same scarf in idea #13). *BC
2-A Printed Scarf that Ties Two Solid Colors Together
Tying two solid colored clothing items together by bridging the gap with a printed scarf is a perfect way to make an outfit feel complete. I love how the blue and pink are both in the leopard and striped scarf in this look. (I am showing this same scarf in idea #8).
3-A Skinny Scarf Tied at the Neck
This long skinny vintage scarf has very little thickness, so tying it closely to the neck reminds me of wearing a short necklace with a long pendant. I have noticed this style is very popular lately.
Infinity scarves are probably something most of you are already familiar with. They are essentially a loop of fabric instead of a long open ended piece. By doubling up the loop and slipping it over the head, it creates a wonderful layer over your shoulders and chest. This particular scarf is gauzy, but has a lot of body, similar to an organza so it billows out.
5-Blend It in With a Top or Jacket
I wanted to add a little more drama to this outfit, and by adding the very long and voluminous blue scarf over a blue denim jacket, it added texture and more interest to an everyday piece. (I am using this same scarf in idea #12).
6-Twist It and Tie at the Neck
Since this top has an already dramatic neckline with it coming up to the neck along with a large collar, I wanted to minimize the volume around my neck, so I twisted this thin square scarf that I had folded into a triangle prior. I can see this being really cute with a simple tee and jeans too. (I am showing this same scarf in idea #16).
By folding a large square in half into a triangle, then placing the middle point on the front and wrapping the two “tails” around the neck to drape back in front creates a fun bandanna style. This particular way allows you to show off a great pattern or color in a scarf. (I am showing this same scarf in idea #11).
8-Bring a Print to an All-Solid Outfit
Wearing prints is another thing that some ladies find intimidating. If you want to dabble into the world of prints, this is the perfect way to introduce it into your wardrobe in small doses. And even if you are a print junkie like myself, this is yet another opportunity for you to show your love. A printed scarf brings life to an otherwise basic solid top. (I am showing this same scarf in idea #2).
9-Pick a Color
By selecting a color from a patterned top and using that color in a solid scarf, it accentuates that color in the print. In this example, the eggplant purple in the floral top pops with the addition of the long pashmina. This style scarf would also look good just worn open and not looped around the neck.
10-Add a Neutral to a Colorful Look
When there are a lot of colors going on in an outfit, a neutral scarf can provide some respite. This look with red, blue, and pink looks wonderful with a cream knit infinity scarf.
11-As an Obi Belt
By taking a large square scarf, folding in half as a triangle, then gathering it up to about a four inch strip, an obi belt is created. I placed the center of the long folded scarf in the middle of my front, then wrapped the ends around to the back and brought them back up onto the front. I then tied the ends on top of the wider part into a knot. I absolutely adore this look and it was super comfortable because it is fabric and not a belt that can dig into your torso. (I am showing this same scarf in idea #7). *BC
I am a pattern mixer, so using scarves as a way to do more is a plus for me. In this look I incorporated a floral in the top, a geometric in the jacket, and an ombre stripe in the scarf. All three have the same blue that tie them all together into a cohesive look.
13-Knot Up an Infinity
I have quite a few infinity scarves and it can get a little old to just double them up all the time. In this look I placed the loop over my head, gathered up some of the scarf to give a nice drape on the front and bring up the length to right above my belt, then tied the gathered section into a knot giving a “corsage” effect up towards my shoulder. (I am showing this same scarf in idea #1).
To really show off a scarf you can drape it over your neck allowing it to cascade over your chest and torso, then place a belt over it. This turns the scarf into your shirt essentially and makes the top you wear underneath a blank canvas. This would also be beautiful over a dress. I love how this allows you to see this floral print so well on this very large scarf. (I am showing this same scarf in idea #15).
15-Let the Scarf Create Your Outfit
Sometimes I choose to wear a scarf after I have created an outfit, but other times I let the scarf do all the work. By using a printed scarf, pick out items in your closet from the colors within it letting it be your guide. I created this outfit because I wanted to wear this scarf, so I picked the coral, blue, and cream color scheme directly from it. (I am showing this same scarf in idea #14).
16-As a Bracelet
A smaller silky scarf wrapped around the wrist makes for a creative looking bracelet. I love how this vintage plaid one picks up on the colors of the fox on my sweater. (I am showing this same scarf in idea #6). *BC
17-Add Some Coverage to a Low Neckline
Being a modest dresser, I am always aware of low necklines. A scarf can act as an addition to a low cut top to give some extra coverage. This floral top has a surplice neckline that comes low. By placing a thin open weave infinity scarf it acts as a cowl neckline on the top.
18-Bring Color to an All-Neutral Outfit
Just as adding a neutral scarf to a colorful outfit is helpful, the opposite is true for adding a colorful scarf to a neutral outfit. This white, olive, and black look gets a pop of coral with this bandanna style infinity scarf.
19-Repeat a Color
By repeating one color throughout an entire outfit creates continuity. As you can see with this outfit, a red scarf is selected to pull the red of the handbag and bow on the doggie sweater.
As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, once you begin to challenge yourself to wear scarves, the less difficult it becomes to style and use them on a regular basis. So today, I challenge you to create at least one outfit a week this month with a scarf. And to really get the involvement going, I would love to see how you take my tips and create them into your own way. To do that, take a picture and post it on Instagram with the hashtag #DFMCScarfChallenge as well as tagging me in the comment (@designingfrommycloset). If you are not following me already on Instagram, I would love to see you there! I can’t wait to see you and your scarf outfits.
Do you wear scarves? What are the challenges you face with wearing scarves? Which idea I showed are you going to use for your first #DFMCScarfChallenge? Do you have a favorite scarf from my wish list below?
(aka My Wish List)
Today’s Postivity Note
Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure.