Scarves: The Underrated Winter Accessory
by John Phillips
With winter in full swing, I don’t need to tell you that you need to bundle up. What I would like to tell about is the one winter accessory that, for men, goes overlooked quite often. The scarf. It’s the one winter accessory that can the most flavor to your outerwear style.
Why You Should Wear a Scarf
There are two main reasons why you should be wearing a scarf. The first being the most obvious, they’re warm. It’s a great layer of warmth for your neck, especially in places where it’s windy. I’m going to assume you don’t wear a turtleneck everyday, and even coats, when zipped all the way up, don’t fully protect and cover your neck. A scarf fills that gap nicely.
Second reason you should wear a scarf is because they’re stylish as hell. There’s a good chance that our winter coat is black, brown, or some other solid color. Same with your hat. What a scarf can add is pattern, texture, bold color, and another layer. All of those things are good when it generally comes to the dull colors of winter. A scarf will act as the center piece of your outerwear.
Types of Scarves
There are three typical scarves you’ll find: a thin lighter-weight scarf, a chunky scarf, and an infinity/loop scarf (all pictured below).
3 Ways to Wear a Scarf
There are tons of ways to tie scarves, and some knots work better than others depending on the type of scarf you’re wearing. Here are 3 ways to wear a scarf that are simple and look great.
1.) The Drape
This is by far the easiest. You throw it around your neck and let it just hang to both sides of your chest. That’s it. This might not be the warmest option, but it looks great and requires no effort.
Looks best with: Shorter and thinner scarves
2.) The Once Around
This is another easy one. Starting with the drape above, make sure one side is longer than the other. Then loop the longer end all the way around your neck once to even out the length in the front with the other end of the scarf. Depending on the tightness around your neck, this provides 360º of warmth around your neck. Here are video directions.
Looks best with: Longer thinner and chunky scarves
3.) The European/Loop Knot
This one is very common, and also easy. It ensures quite a bit of warmth since you’re doubling up the thickness for your scarf. Holding each end of your scarf, fold it in half so that one side is a loop, and the other side are the two scarf ends. Wrap the folded scarf around your neck, and bring the side with the two loose ends around and through the loop of the other side. This will allow you to adjust the tightness of the knot to your comfort level. Here are video directions.
Looks best with: Long thick chunky scarves
Choosing a Scarf
This part is the most fun. I won’t do a deep dive into the fabrics, because others have done that work. After you determine the type of scarf you want, just take cues from your outerwear (not your outfit). Choose a color/pattern that compliments your coat and hat. Don’t be afraid to be bold and choose something that stands out.
Also, like most other style items, don’t feel the need to only own one. I have over 5 scarves that I switch between on a regular basis. They’re inexpensive enough for you to have a small collection. So have fun with them.