By Anne T. Donahue
Most of us understand that the majority of what we wore between 2001 and 2012 were variations of the word, “disgrace.” I wore flip-flops with rubber kitten heels. Owned a denim mini skirt that was ruffled to excess. I donned 14 polo shirts at a time. Showcased 34 henley tops simultaneously. I belted everything and believed calf-length leggings were as stylish as they were fancy.
And then there were the scarves.
In grade 13 (alternate title: my second attempt at grade 12), I saw Lindsay Lohan wearing a very long scarf, and decided I must wear the same. This, of course, was validated by the fact that Nicole Richie, Rachel Bilson, Sienna Miller, and Mischa Barton had all begun using long, skinny scarves as the ultimate accessory, pairing them with tank tops and t-shirts, and inspiring most of us to do the same.
Then, as quickly as they arrived, they disappeared. And the only proof some of us (mainly me) had of our descent into scarf-induced mania were a few photos from the era in which our choice to wear a scarf so large it nearly eclipsed our faces and still touched the ground. Bless us everyone.
And then came Serge Ibaka’s incredible scarf, worn last night, to the joy of everybody who saw it.
First, some context: as part of a series with Holt Renfrew, Raptors Serge Ibaka and Ogugua “OG” Anunoby Jr. began talking about who influenced who (whom?) style-wise. This particular video is a gift and a dream on its own, but it reached new heights when Serge was confronted with the ultimate question: “What about scarves?”
What about scarves indeed. Last night (February 5), Serge and OG (my close and incredible friends) were kind enough to include us all in their scarf-off, with OG’s Burberry choice going head-to-head with Serge’s massive, all-encompassing, Lenny Kravitz-esque offering. And understandably, the internet exploded. So in the midst of this knit glory, I closed my eyes and whispered to the memories of my large 2003-era scarves, “soon.”
Or, because it’s snowing and cold and February, maybe now. Maybe right now, we use the perfect aesthetic tastes of two style icons as a reminder that we were right to put scarves front and center, once upon a time. Maybe, instead of freezing until March, we wrap ourselves in a trend that never should’ve died and walk with the confidence of an NBA player who 100% knows how important a good scarf is to not only personal style, but winter survival. Maybe, instead of weight training, we maneuver through life under several dozen pounds of soft wool, reveling in how right we were once to wear scarves with everything. (Except polo shirts. Anyone who grew up in the 00s knows that you would never wear a scarf with one of those.)
What matters most, of course, is that Serge and OG have done the impossible and made what I once believed to be a decade’s most embarrassing trend a vital part of our 2020 discourse and approach to life. And also, by doing this, they’ve also allowed Lenny Kravitz to play witness to this moment so that he can finally be vindicated in his own choice to scarf it up bigtime in 2012. Most importantly, they’ve posed a question to us all that I hope we take seriously as we move through the rest of the NBA season and into the early days of spring: what about scarves?
What about scarves? Who wore theirs best? Who introduced whom to what? And should OG and Serge begin wearing skinny versions with graphic t-shirts ala every person alive in 2006, will we follow them down the rabbit hole, or succumb to our painful memories of the noughties and choose to lay down and curl up and weep?
Spoiler: we follow them, obviously. They’re impeccable dressers and all of us know it.