Reader Request: Wearing Scarves and Necklaces Together

Reader Sarah sent me this question:

I love making and wearing necklaces. Between my own creations and the necklaces I have purchased, I have a large collection of necklaces, and wear a necklace most days. As a result, I have been slow to take up the scarf craze. Lately, I have seen women combining a necklace with a scarf. Can you offer tips on how to do this?

This is a tough one, but I’ll do my best!

Long strand and loosely tied square

scarf and necklace worn together

HOOOWEEE, that’s an oldie from the archive. This represents one of the few times I’ve done a necklace/scarf combo myself, and it looks fun if a little haphazard. I stole the idea from a catalog page and recreated it as closely as I could, right down to the long pearls and vintage-print scarf.

Strand wrapped around bias-folded square

pearlnecklace

I ADORE this trick, which I shamelessly stole from Mai Tai’s Picture Book, a treasure trove of scarf-tying resources. Take a large square scarf, fold into a triangle, roll into a snake. Then drape the snake over the back of your neck, and drape a strand necklace over the scarf. (Doesn’t have to be pearls. Chain works just as well, but you want something that is even in width along the entire length of the necklace.) Wind the necklace around the scarf, fasten in front, and knot over the clasp. There’s a video tutorial if you click through the link to Mai Tai’s.

Long pendant with tied square

Hermes-Locke-Artsy-Grand-Dame

This idea and image hail from Privilege, with commentary that this combo is for the skilled. I love the look but tend to agree: Most scarf/necklace combos are challenging, including this one. But I think a lot of it has to do with unity, assembly, and attitude. Here, there are gold tones in the scarf and necklace, which makes them harmonious (unity). There is space between the scarf and necklace, but they overlap a bit, too (assembly). And the scarf is tied jauntily and a bit messily, it’s wearer happy and confident in her accessorization (attitude). I’ve also seen a variation of this using a longer rectangle or infinity scarf looped large around the neck. Works best with a chunky pendant like this.

Looped scarf and looped necklace

scarf-necklace

These are actually single unit accessories sold (in 2011) by Anthropologie … but they can be re-created using your own scarves and necklaces. The easiest route is to use a long rectangular scarf: To create the two end looks (white and coral scarves), loop the scarf around your neck and let both ends hang long. Tie a loose slipknot toward the middle of each tail. Thread a lightweight strand necklace with a clasp through both openings. Do this several times until you’ve got as many draped strands as you’d like. Fasten the necklace inside one of the slipknots to cover the clasp. If the whole contraption feels insecure, knot the scarf tails together.

To create the center look, follow the same steps, but rotate the necklace portion to the side. In both cases a lightweight necklace with drape will work best. Chunky beads will weigh down the scarf and pull the whole thing out of whack. (Believe me, these pre-made combos would do that, too. This is an option that will take lots of readjusting throughout the day.)

Scarf grouped with outer layer and a distinct necklace

scarf and necklace

More from Mai Tai. She really is brilliant. Here, the slim scarf serves as a kind of false trim or lapel for her cardigan, and she adds a large, statement-y necklace in the space between. This could also work with a blazer or duster, and will probably look best if scarf length and outer layer length are close. Since you’re grouping the cardigan or jacket visually with the scarf, long dangling scarf ends will be distracting.

Draped chains and looped necklace

ScarfNecklace_lg

This is a slightly closer-to-the-neck version of the first option, and actually comes from instructions for sewing a scarf-necklace combo. But this look could be re-created with a cowboy-tied square scarf and a multi-strand chain necklace.

And that’s all I’ve got! Anyone else a whiz and creating scarf-necklace combos? How do you wear YOURS together? Share links and tutorials if you’ve got ’em!

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Originally posted 2014-09-04 06:12:37.

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  • Anamarie

    I can’t do scarf necklace combos. They seem too fussy, like you’re trying too hard, and I worry about snagging nice scarves on the necklaces. That said, the only combo I kind of like is yours, Sally.

  • DesignWrtr

    I’ve always liked how scarves look, but I just don’t do them myself. They feel too fussy and too close around my neck, and they always come untwisted/draped. Plus, I have a short neck and don’t like to cover it up completely.

  • Pam

    Yikes! This is why I choose to wear dainty, short chain/pendant necklaces only. I can’t imagine wearing all that “debris” around my neck. Some of those necklaces look like Chinese gongs! Imagine bending forward to pick up a child and WHAP! right in their little head!

  • Ginger

    I love the scarf with an outer layer. If you’ve got statement pins you can fold the scarf like a collar and secure it. It’s like on shows like Downtown Abbey where the men have separate collars for their shirts. The scarf gives the sweater a different look.

    A plus of layering a necklace and a scarf is that it can give the scarf more weight and it will stay put better.

  • You could also take a small square scarf, roll it up, and tie it with a strand of pearls.

  • crtfly

    I don’t like the combination at all. Pick one or the other, not both.

  • fashionforgiants

    I’m not a whiz at this by any means, but I have tried it. I wore a long, long pendant and a cozy, cowl-like scarf here: http://www.fashionforgiants.blogspot.com/2014/02/pinned-it-and-did-it-mustard.html

    I think it turned out well, but I also think that it’s the only time I’ve done it.

  • Kirsty

    I do this all the time. I loop a long scarf low and loose around my neck so a loop hangs in front of my chest and the sides dangle free (I often use my scarves to cover up something a little too busty or low cut) and then nestle a shorter pendant above it.

    • Roxane

      Yes, or the reverse. I wear a long pendant under a the same kind of long, oblong scarf looped close to my neck. I think of it really the same way I think of layering necklaces.

      • fashionforgiants

        This is how I’ve done it as well, but with a cowl instead of an oblong scarf, but still with the long pendant underneath.