From Jackie Kennedy to Carrie Bradshaw, from Audrey Hepburn to today’s influencers: the divas of the past and present share a passion for an accessory that never goes out of fashion, able to give a chic touch to any look: the timeless scarf!
At the origins of the myth
The legendary square handkerchief takes its name from the French word “foular”, that is “to full”, a technical term that indicates a particular manufacturing process that results in a fabric that is more compact and resistant. Its origins go way back: while in the beginning it was used as a male accessory (even in the military) to then be adopted by farmers to protect their heads from the sun and bad weather, in the ‘1930s it became a real fashion item, destined to become iconic between the ‘50s and ‘60s.
Jackie Kennedy used to tie it around her face, matching it up with a large pair of sunglasses, Grace Kelly didn’t do without it even when she was wearing a cast, using it as a brace to support her arm. Audrey Hepburn, for her part, used it to decorate her hat, as in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Around the neck, with fantasy
And these are just some of the ways in which a scarf can be worn. Here are some fanciful idea to wear this accessory while exploiting its great versatility, which makes it suitable for an elegant evening as well as a day on the beach. The secret is to always chose it on the basis of its colors more than the pattern or design: once folded or knotted, they will be what makes your outfit stand out.
The most classic use of the scarf involves wearing it around the neck. If you wear a white shirt or a low-cut outfit, you will immediately obtain a sophisticated effect. It’s enough to fold the square handkerchief over itself to form a triangle, and then to tie it around your neck and leave the knot at the center or on the side, according to your taste. If the scarf is wide, you can also close it with a nice bow or allow one extremity of the knot cover the shoulder. Lastly, you can also use a wood or metal ring to close it in a symmetric fashion and obtain an even more elegant effect.
One alternative use of the scarf allows us to transform it into a very chic belt. You just need to twist it around the diagonal line to make a colored band to insert in the loops of trousers or to be tied around the waist of a solid colored dress. With a backless outfit, perhaps worn for a ceremony, a large scarf can become a refined shawl. All you need to do is to place it on your shoulder. Make sure, however, that the garment is plain colored or the combination of patterns could be too much. The scarf can be made precious, becoming a real piece of silk jewelry. Tied around your wrist it turns into an elegant bracelet, around your ankle – in the summer – into an anklet to show off with cropped pants and flat shoes. You can also have fun creating a maxi-necklace in material, knotting it a couple of times and then tying it at its two ends.
For a vintage effect, instead, the scarf can be tied around the handle of a handbag in a perfect ladylike style, or on a broad-rimmed straw hat, to immediately become country-chic.
A sophisticated headdress
Why not wear it, lastly, directly in your hair? The scarf is an excellent accessory to give a sophisticated touch to your hairstyles: used to tie a simple ponytail, for example, or in a chignon, or perhaps entwined in a Frida Kahlo style braid. Rolled up like a bandana it can become a colored headband, while the most daring can wrap it around the head like a turban. All you need to do, instead, is to tie it under your chin and wear a pair of large diva sunglasses to transform yourself immediately into Susan Sarandon in Thelma & Louise… you can’t get more iconic than that!
And men? A man can also wear a scarf for a refined and original look. With a dark tailored suit, under a jacket or knotted like a scarf, he’s sure to cut a dashing figure.