In French, there are two words that mean scarf. Écharpe means to wear for warmth and foulard means to wear for fashion. In English, we just have the one word – scarf – but that one word can be worn a multitude of ways.
In my opinion, all scarves can and should be worn fashionably – and in this weather, they better be warm. There are about a handful of different forms of scarves to choose from.
The carré, or square scarf, is traditionally made of silk. I’ve got a (knockoff) Louis Vuitton in my closet that I get to wear for about two months out of the year. Standing at 90 square centimeters, the carré is also popular not only in silk, but in cotton, linen, satin and even wool.
A wrap scarf is defined by its elegant and romantic style. It’s also known as a shawl, but that makes me think of Scarlet O’Hara in “Gone with the Wind.” Southern belles aren’t the only ones who can rock a wrap scarf. What makes a wrap scarf a wrap scarf is that it’s soft and light because it’s made to wrap around your head or bare shoulders in the southern summer heat while you say, “Why I do declare!”
More well-known is the rectangle scarf. You probably don’t call it that though. It’s the classic form; generally a yard long and 10 inches wide. It’s easy to wear with practically everything and keeps your neck warm.
My favorite is the infinity scarf, also nicknamed the loop, chunky or circle scarf, but I like the name “infinity scarf” best. It’s as though someone asked Buzz Lightyear how to design a scarf: “To infinity and beyond!” They come in a variety of cotton, wool or even fur. And I happen to be making them to offset the cost of my trip to the largest theater festival in the world.
Now that we know the forms scarves come in, let’s talk about what we can do with them.
Take a rectangle scarf and wrap it around your neck once, you’ve got “the modern one loop.” You probably didn’t even know that had a name. It’s the most common way to wear a scarf, but can also be the most flattering way as well.
The European loop offers the most warmth to your neck. You fold the length of the scarf in half, put the two ends in one hand and the folded end in the other on either side of your neck and place on your shoulders. Reach in the folded end and pull the loose ends through it until it’s tight around your neck.
To do “the magic trick,” wrap the rectangle scarf around your neck once, leaving both ends dangling in front of you on either side of your neck. Reach in under the loop you have made on your neck and grab part of the loose scarf. Do not pull it the whole way through. Pull that loose part up through the one loop you made, just far enough so that you can take the other loose end and pull in through the hole you just made with the first loose part.
If you’ve got a nice thick scarf, try something called “the braid.” It starts out like a European loop. Once you’ve pulled the ends through the folded end of the scarf, twist that loop 180 degrees, and pull those loose ends through the other way.
If you want to explore more scarf-tying methods, visit Wendy’s Lookbook on YouTube for “25 Ways to Wear a Scarf in 4.5 Minutes!”