Fashion: How to Make Scarves Work For You

The leaves have changed, festive drinks are upon us, and your winter coat is prepped and ready to go. However, as our Canadian winter sets in, the seasonal uniform is far from complete without the presence of a scarf “ and not just because it’s necessary, but because there’s far too many styles to ignore everyone’s favourite trend. Here’s our guide to wearing one, the best looks and how to make one part of your basic wardrobe.

Length
In the early 2000s, the likes of Lindsay Lohan and Sienna Miller embraced the infamous bohemian style that saw floor-length scarves nonchalantly sweeping the floor. However, as fashion (and common sense) would have it, 2010 maintains that regardless of how great something looks on B-list clientele, an accessory with cape-like qualities (and the ability to get stuck in an escalator) is less than desirable.

So this season, with pashminas (still) taking precedence and cowl scarves on the horizon, you’ll want a scarf that runs between short and medium “ especially since the year’s coat selection is much more tailored than it is thrown together and oversized. Just remember to balance: a short, thin scarf hardly suits a bulky leather bomber, while a knitted cowl piece will not work with a delicate trench.

Material
The beauty of this season is that in terms of material, anything goes. From feathers to sequins to metallic embellishments, texture is present in nearly every aesthetic, so whether you’re eclectic and thrifted or sophisticated and feminine, you’re covered in terms of scarves and style.

In terms of warmth, a heavier knitted scarf will always come before a silk or cotton-blend, but if you want to opt out of lint on your coat, you may want to seek something a little less substantial. (Though let the record state, not all wool or knit scarves pill or transfer.)  Faux fur collars are the perfect option for Blair Waldorf-inspired looks while tartans and pointelle styles add just enough texture to keep a basic coat interesting and non-traditional.  And word to the wise: just because something’s stylish doesn’t mean it’s lacking substance.

Style
Speaking of styles, scarves have come a long way from the days of being mere pieces of fabric that rotated between black and red stripes. This season, we’ve seen the prominence of the blanket scarves (worn like capes and usually indoors), eternity scarves (whose ends are sewn together making it a pullover style) and snap-on collars (which add something to an otherwise traditional look).

While the blanket scarf is ideal to pull an outfit together, the eternity scarf functions similar to a pashmina: worn as either part of an outfit or with a jacket, it works to add dimension to an otherwise standard aesthetic through texture and layering.  Snap-on collars, on the other hand, work best with sweaters or oversized cardigans (unless they come with a coat), providing a great solution to staying warm on relatively mild evenings.

How-To
The beauty of scarves lies in their fluidity “ meaning that while you may see countless people fashioning their outer accessory in a similar way, you don’t necessarily need to follow suit.  The classic wrap-around will always suffice, but it’s important to have fun with style and to dabble in different aesthetics.  If you want ruffles and pointelle one day, it’s more than okay to embrace warm and wool-knit the next.

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Tags: blanket scarves, detail, embellished, eternity scarves, Fashion, pashminas, pointelle, scarves, snap on collars, style, winter 2010

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