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The Scarf, 8 Ways

The Scarf, 8 Ways

If you are absolutely clueless when it comes to accessories, like I am, you’re going to want to read ahead.

To look forward, try looking back. History is steeped with innovation, not the least of which is how to keep your hair looking like you washed it sometime in the last week. Men and women alike would tie it up, pin it back, shave it off, wear wigs and hats, bind it with wire, add powders and pomades and decorate with jewels and birds and, like, boat models. But you and I? We’ve got somewhere to be. I promise it’s easy.

A full headscarf is the most glamorous look I can possibly think of. If you know one better, don’t tell me, I like this world I live in. It calls forth the look of 50s starlets and actresses and heiresses, of Marilyn and Elisabeth Taylor. Pair with big sunglasses, perfectly applied lipstick and drive with the top down, your hair will stay perfect. The satiny material is gentle, especially on fine and dry hair—it slips over your locks, reducing split ends, and won’t suck out the moisture like cotton.

Wear it as a headband. Start with your scarf unfolded in a square, then fold over hot dog style or diagonally in 1-2 inch segments until you’ve got a long, thin strip. Wrap over your head and tie under your hair at the base of your skull for a sleek, 60s look (or tie the knot on top to channel the working wartime women of the 40s).

Tie up your ponytail! A high ponytail or braid swept up with a scarf looks intentional and chic, but it’s deceptively simple. A mid-height ponytail is romantic and timeless. Embrace the 1700s low ponytail look if you absolutely must, just pull out a few curls to frame your face.

From the bottom of my heart, I encourage you to fully embrace your inner prairie goddess with a cottagecore look. Fold your square scarf in half, into a triangle, and tie the long ends at the base of your neck, under your hair. Adjust bangs as needed. This look also works with jeans and a crop top, for a more casual but very of-the-moment look, and is an absolute savior for second (third, fourth…) day hair. If you’re the motivated type with freshly washed hair, slip a bobby pin on either side of your head for a bit of grip.

But surely the scarf is not just for your hair, you ask. Yes, friends, I am in fact giving you permission to wear a scarf around your neck. Call it girl scout chic, call it an ascot, I truly do not care. It’s adorable, it’s unisex, and it’s going to add that certain je ne sais quoi that elevates your style.

A scarf around your neck like a bandana calls up images of the wild west. You heard me. This is what prairie dreams were made of. Even if floaty, tiered dresses aren’t your thing, the necktie scarf takes its inspiration from masculine styles that look incredibly cute when worn with denim, or fresh and trendy with bright colors.

You’re wearing your CE pendant around your neck already? Tie the scarf around your wrist. You’re a cool girl, you can pull it off. Your Telfar just came in? And you thought I wouldn’t notice? Tie that scarf around the handle. Beyonce did it first, but you did it differently. And I love that for you.