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  • Scarf It Up… Scarves on trend, but don’t tell the Europeans

    Q:The idiot-proof guide to Euro-style scarf folding

    I bought some cute scarves and afraid that when I tie them I look like my grandmother. What’s the best way to wear a scarf and look on trend for fall? (Cincinnati, OH)

    >>WATCH: My how to wear a scarf video


    The big, slouchy scarf is having its American fashion moment. I’ve been interviewed about this a few times recently, with more to be published.

    But, what about this so-called trend?

    Europeans have been casually wrapping a long or very wide scarf around their neck in cafes from Paris to Rome with all spots in between, up and down, or left and right for as long as I can remember. Perhaps, this classic Paris chic look is because of climate, buildings with centuries old drafts, or simply because it looks good in an off-handed yet purposeful manner.

    Now here come the tastemakers looking for a hot new trend: Voila, it’s a scarf.

    We will wear scarves for fall.

    Okay, so what if you are all thumbs in the scarf-folding department. Don’t fret, this one is easy. This is not your grandmother’s dowdy, over fussed scarf. The look is natural; you don’t even need a mirror after you get the feel for it.

    The idiot-proof guide to Euro-style scarf folding:

    Take an oblong scarf or lightweight muffler and fold it in half width-wise and then in half length-wise. Fold that again so you are holding the open end in one hand and the folded over in the other hand. Put the scarf behind your neck and fold the loose end in the loop of the fold end. Fluff out the ends, off you go.

    Take a very large square in a malleable fabric like rayon, washed cotton, or anything that’s soft. Fold it in half to form a large triangle. If it seems too large, twist it so that there are some gathers. Hold the scarf in front of you, point down, ends in each hand. Wrap it behind your neck once. Bring ends to the front. It’s your choice to drape the ends through each other once or let them hang.

    Take an oblong scarf or muffler that is not very wide. Hold it in front of your neck, with an end in each hand. Let the long ends hang free or loop them over each other once.

    Classic Silk
    Wear a classic heavy-gauge silk scarf in unexpected ways like the girl in Paris, photo above. She has her scarf tied just like man’s tie to look unexpected and chic in contrast to her T-shirt. It’s an old world pattern but worn in a modern way.

    The key is to never over think how to wear a scarf if you don’t want it to look contrived. It’s about being easy!


    –September 16, 2008

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