Different ways of using scarves! I have a wee bit of an obsession with vintage scarves. I can’t resist buying them when I see them, but never seem to be able to work them into my outfits in a way I feel happy with. So I never wear them. Also when I try them in my hair they always slide out. If you have any ideas on this I’d be so glad!
I began collecting silk scarves before I really had any idea how to style them. There are loads of scarf-y resources out there – MaiTai’s Picture Book and Deja’s video tutorials among them – but here are some of my favorite ways to style and wear silk scarves. And you’ll notice that these images span the seasons and showcase many hair lengths … I dug deep into the archives to make sure I had visuals for each example!
As a belt
Longer silk/vintage scarves make fantastic belts, if you’ve got a couple in your collection that can comfortably fit around your waist. Wearing a belt draws attention to your waist, but wearing a bright or patterned belt – as is often the case when belting with a scarf – is even more effective at accentuating your waist. Rectangular scarves are a natural for belting, but large squares can be folded into a triangle and rolled into a snake for easy waist-cinching.
It took me a while to get comfortable with this style since it’s SO floppy and seemingly messy, but now I just adore it. To emulate this look, take a square silk scarf, fold into a triangle, and tie two of the ends behind your neck. You can arrange the fold a bit, but it’s easiest to just let it dangle where it’s gonna. This tie is ideal for scarves with interesting or intricate patterns.
In your hair
Portia asked about this one specifically, and I’m happy to oblige! I don’t do scarves as headbands often, but I adore the look. For my hair and head, it works best to create a roughly head-sized loop, tie a loose knot at the nape of my neck, slide the loop over my forehead, and then tighten and adjust the knot. I know some folks tie the knot on their foreheads and slide it back toward the nape, but that just creates all kinds of coif mayhem for me.
As for keeping a scarf in place in your hair, mine is thick and bushy enough that I’ve never had migrating headband troubles, but I’m sure that securing it to your hair with two bobby pins at the nape of your neck and one behind each ear would go a long way toward keeping things stationary.
With a necklace
I’ve only tried this once myself, but I love the look on others. A cowboy-tied scarf and chunky necklace make wonderful partners, creating an artfully-messy look. This will probably work best with a scarf and necklace that share a color or other design element, but play around. Disparate elements may end up feeling harmonious. Other variations include weaving a necklace in with a scarf, or layering a longer necklace beneath a tied scarf.