If you've been a reader of my blog for any length of time, you'll know how much I love scarves. Vintage scarves, mostly. Over the years, I've gathered quite the collection: silk ones, cotton ones, rayon ones and even polyester ones fill my drawer. Is it bad that I have one drawer entirely for scarves? Please say no.
Vintage scarves really are my signature look. For me, they can finish an outfit as well as any pair of earrings or the right shade of lippy. My scarves often comes in handy for me when I just don't feel like styling my hair (or I badly need a haircut, like I do now). A scarf these days is the equivalent of what a baseball cap was for me in college.
A while ago, I made a scarf tying tutorial which you can read here and recently, I've been asked again to share some tips for scarf tying. I love sharing these tips, but I'm no expert. The key to any styling tip is to just try it yourself and make it work for you. There's no right or wrong.
So, here are some things to consider when styling and wearing vintage scarves:
First, size matters. I have the best luck using large square scarves (30 inches x 30 inches or larger) that I can double around my head. More often than not, this is the size I'm wearing. I feel like these ones have most versatility in the way they can be worn. Most commonly, I wrap them around my head starting at the back, crossing over at the front (varying this by twisting once) and then tie it in the back and tuck in the loose ends by totally rolling them under. I also like to tie my scarves in bows, and this size works nicely for that as well. Recently, I've purchased a few more rectangular shaped scarves. I'm still figuring out the best way to style those. Lately, I've found the larger rectangle scarves that people use around their necks work really nicely as turbans.
Next, consider the fabric. As I mentioned, I have scarves in a variety of fabrics. I have found that the silkier-feeling they are, the better (with the exception of cotton, of course). When rummaging around looking for scarves, pay careful attention to the way the fabric loops and folds. Polyester is perfectly suited for tying around your head provided it's lighter weight and more like silk. This is because polyester is easier to tie in bows if it's softer. Just make sure that it's lightweight or you'll be sweating. I don't turn my nose up at poly because let's face it, I wear vintage and a great deal of gorgeous stuff is polyester or poly-blend. Also, when folding your scarf, don't make it too neat. By this I mean don't fold the fabric or crease it so it's flat. Instead, just loosely gather it. The silky fabric looks nicer if it's not flat. Allow the material to ruche naturally for texture. When tying your scarf in a bow, pull the fabric out so the bow is fuller (see the picture where I'm wearing orange).
Finally, be daring. Don't play it safe with prints and color. Vintage scarves, like everything else vintage, can come in some amazing prints, and I love novelty prints. I've grown so used to mixing prints that I don't give it a second thought now. All that matters is that there is some similar tone in both the scarf as well as your oufit. To let your scarf be an accent to your outfit, make sure it doesn't blend and match too much. Let it pop.
The same goes for tying your scarf. Play around, be adventurous. I'm always trying new ways to tie my scarf and the only way to make it look good is trial and error, even if you don't remember what you did for next time.
I hope these tips help. Please leave me a comment or send me an email if you have any questions or there's something else you'd like some tips on. And, before you think I can take credit for the turban tying of this white floral scarf, I need you to watch the video tutorial from my friend Nora over at Nora Finds. I really love what she does with her scarves.
***Blog post adapted from a post I wrote for Sisters in Vintage HK on Style by Asia.