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All Wrapped up and Confused about How to Sport a Scarf? Here’s Your Guide

on January 14 | in Fashion | by | with No Comments

scarf article-pic 2-fashion

Besides a warm winter coat, a scarf is a gentleman’s best defense against the elements. But a scarf can be so much more than just frostbite protection.

Men don’t have many accessories to play with—and a scarf is one of them. A scarf can keep you warm and instantly add interest, class, flair, and some color to your outfit.  There are hundreds of different kinds of scarves around, which will provide you plenty of opportunities to try different styles. A scarf is a basic item in a man’s wardrobe, yet it seems like most men are baffled as how to properly wear one. Here are some tips on how to wear a scarf—just make sure you adapt them to your lifestyle, climate, and yes, your body shape as well!


What fabric to choose? If you live in a cold climate, make sure the scarf keeps you warm. You need to establish which fabric is best for you based on your city’s climate. Wool is generally a good choice. When it comes to scarves, the most common fabrics are: wool, angora, cashmere, silk, cotton, linen, synthetic materials, or a combination. In winter, wool or cashmere are the best choices.

Silk scarves are also great, but you might want to wear them more to a certain occasion or environment where you know you are not going to be very cold, since wearing a silk scarf might not keep you very warm.

length and width

Yes, the size of your scarf matters! The average length for a man’s scarf is generally around 70 inches. A rule of thumb: Scarf length should be proportionate to a person’s height.  If you are tall, you should look for longer scarves. In terms of width, your scarves should be between 6 to 12 inches. But once again, the rule of thumb is to keep things proportionate. A longer scarf will make you appear longer and slimmer, while a bulkier one around the neck can become the center of attention, as it keeps the eyes at the top portion and height of your body. If you are shorter or very muscular, the chunky scarf can become your worst enemy!

However, you can still wear scarves by choosing a shorter styled and not-too-chunky scarf. Apply the classic Ascot knot (description below) and tuck the loose ends of the scarf into your coat, jacket, or suit (make sure it is not too bulky), so there are no loose ends flapping. This type of knot should be worn with lightweight attire on your bottom half. Also, make sure that the knot is not too close to your neck or you will be swallowed up by either your height or your muscles; if you lower the knot a little further down you will elongate the neck area and draw out your body vertically at the same time. It is important to get the right length with the oversized chunky scarf. As a general rule, the scarf should never hang lower than your coat.


                           NO!  This is a FAIL

color and pattern

When it comes to colors, there are no rules as long as you choose a color that compliments your skin tone and matches what you are wearing. Of course, it is essential that the color be harmonious with the event you are attending. When it comes to your chunky knit scarf, I believe that neutrals are better. The scarf is flashy enough in the outfit to be sporting the bold and bright!

pattern scarf-fashion articlestriped scarf- fashion

                        Do This                                                       Not This

How to wear a scarf

One question you hear the most about scarves is: “What’s the best way to wear one around your neck?”

There are so many ways you can wear a scarf! Here are 9 different ways to get you started.

The European knot or Parisian knot:

parisian knot1Parisian knot2This is when you fold your scarf in two and stick the two ends through the loop and around your neck.

The Ascot knot:

ascot knot1ascot knot2The over-hand knot, when the scarf is wrapped primly around your neck and then knotted properly up close to your neck. The two ends lie perfectly on top of one another.

The twisty scarf loop:

guy wearing a scarf,old italian street-fashionYou twist your scarf and tie it once close around your neck and then again, loosely knotting the ends together.

The drape:

the drape1the drape2When you simply fling the scarf around your shoulders and don’t bother tying it around your neck.

The single wrap, over shoulder fling:

single wrap shoulderThe scarf is wrapped once around your neck. One end hangs down in front and the other is flung over your shoulder.

The single wrap:

guy wearing a scarf- fashionThe scarf is wrapped once around your neck. Let the ends hang loosely at the bottom.

The loop and tuck knot:

loop and tuck knotTake the scarf around your neck and hang both ends down your back equally. Then wrap them over opposite shoulders, wrapping your neck, so they now hang over the front. Then bring the two ends under the bit of the scarf that is wrapping your neck at the front, loop them over, and let them hang down.

The double wrap:

double wrap1double wrap2The scarf is wrapped twice around the neck, the ends hang in front of your shoulders. Absolutely acceptable; actively encouraged.

Square Scarves:

square1These scarves originate from traditional Arab headdress, which is called a Keffiyeh. In the Arab world, Arab men wear it as protection from sun exposure. A keffiyeh is a square piece of fabric, usually cotton; these square scarves became popular in the West after the wartime, as many people desired the individuality they provide. Also known as a “Desert Scarf,” today it’s utilized as a fashion accessory for both men and women. This is simply an unexpected, slightly urbanized addition to a casual outfit.

How to tie it:

square2Fold the square in half, making a triangle. Grab the two ends of the folded edge and tie them together at the back of your neck, leaving the triangular point front and center, facing down.

Now that you’ve found out that there are a million and one ways to tie the darn things, don’t get overwhelmed! My best advice to guys looking for guidance: Don’t over think it! The best looks are the ones that look like they only took a few seconds…you should always look effortless, no matter how much time you spend trying to get it look right.

The best looks are the ones that look like they only took a few seconds

Go and give it a shot!  Below are some images of one of my favorite “scarfer” David Beckham, who never hesitates to put a scarf around his neck. A simple accessory that tremendously changes an outfit!  Get some inspiration from all his different looks; try several and see what works for you. You can buy scarves in every store, from high end to low end. Here are some of my picks for you:

scarf selection

Top left to right: Zegna, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Burberry

Bottom: Scotch & Soda

So many different ways to wear a scarf!


Street Style

burberry gmI stopped this young man at the red ball event and asked him to take his picture. He was the only gentleman sporting a scarf and he also did it perfectly! After a brief conversation, he turned out to be the general manager of the Burberry store in Cherry Creek; you can pay him a visit or stop at Scotch & Soda. It’s a new store in Cherry Creek Mall in Denver with a variety of men’s scarves.

Have fun “scarfing”!

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