I have been a scarf girl since Gap debuted their collection of accent scarves back in 1997. I had a collection of about twenty by the time I graduated from TCU, and I still wear some of them today.
Scarves are timeless, and yet, lately it seems scarves are having a moment. In my experience, most people like the idea of wearing a scarf, but come up short when it’s time to actually wear the scarf. I get it. Scarves are not a subtle accessory, and they take a certain amount of confidence to wear.
My secret? Just wear the scarf. No one is laughing at you, I promise. The best way to get good at wearing a scarf is to just wear it! Today I want to share a few different ways you can incorporate a scarf into your wardrobe. Some of these require larger squares, and some are best with smaller squares, but all of these methods add a pop of color and interest to an outfit.
ON THE PURSE.
By far my most frequently used application, tying a scarf to your purse or tote bag is easy. It’s less daunting that tying one around your neck, so if you need a gateway scarf experience, start here.
AS A BELT.
Granted, you will need a larger scarf for this to work, but using a scarf as a belt is super cute. If you don’t want to wrap the scarf all the way around your waist, or if your scarf isn’t long enough, try looping it through the front belt loop for an abridged belt look. My college-aged daughter did this, which means it’s cool.
AS A HEADBAND.
Wrap your scarf nice and thin, press it briefly with an iron (or a straightening iron!), and voila! you have a great headband. You can tie the knot underneath by your neck or on top of your head for more interest. I also like using scarves as head wraps when I am in a windy situation and don’t want to continually mess with my hair in my face. Riding on boats, attending outdoor events, or that one time when our family hiked Pike’s Peak and I almost passed out from a lack of oxygen are all examples of when I have employed a scarf as a head wrap for functionality as well as fashion.
AROUND YOUR WRIST.
I love this look. In fact, I think it is one of the best ways to wear those smaller printed scarves. It’s part bracelet, part arm band, but totally cute. The trickiest part is tying it on one-handed. I hold one end in my teeth and then tie the knot with my free hand. It takes a couple of times to get it, but it works.
AROUND YOUR NECK.
I know you might think this is “not you” or “too much,” but trust me. You can wear a neck scarf. Yes, this scarf application takes some confidence, but trust me, you look great. There are a lot of ways to tie a scarf around your neck, and some of them depend on the size of the scarf. I have two favorites, and they both rely on a medium-sized square.
The first is to roll or fold the scarf and then casually tie it into a knot, leaving space between the knot and my neck. I generally pull the knot a bit off-center, and then let it be. It will never be perfect, so embrace the quirkiness.
My second favorite way to wear a scarf around my neck is to fold it in half diagonally, and tie the two ends behind my neck. This leaves a large triangle hanging in front, and while it does give western bandana vibes, it’s super cute and comfortable.
If you’re on Instagram (@katherineannsasser), I posted a reel showing all the different ways to tie a scarf. And if you’re looking for a cute scarf to add to your collection, here are a few of my favorites…