So when I used to work at LOFT (oh how I miss it) one of the most frequently asked questions was how to wear a scarf.  Not surprising, it is just a big piece of fabric that doesn’t come with directions.  So today I will try to address the issue and give you an idea of what a scarf can do for you!

Scarves are the best. They are one of the easiest ways to look put together without too much effort.  They are also a way to add a splash of color, pattern, and personality to your wardrobe without breaking the bank. You could almost just buy a new scarf each season and be done with shopping … (no need to tell the men about this—you NEED a new wardrobe for Fall…)

all the scarves

Clockwise from top Left: 1. LOFT maxi dress, Madewell silk scarf 2. LOFT denim jacket, Madewell scarf, LOFT maxi dress 3. alice + olivia sequin dress, Forever 21 booties. 4. LOFT scarf, Madewell chambray shirt, LOFT skinny corduroys 5. Jcrew Sweatshirt.

Pick your scarves based on what colors are in it that will go with what you have.   I have one scarf that I can almost wear with everything in my wardrobe—It has tons of colors in it!  Think taupe and grey, not black! I have a couple scarves with black in it, and although they are cute, they only go with a few things.  I also suggest starting with cotton scarves that have volume.


1. Scarves are a great way to add interest to an outfit:

Ok,  this is pretty obvious, I know.  But pick a scarf that you like. Pick a scarf that makes you smile.  I love floral prints and scarves that have something crazy on them, like animals and maps, etc. Madewell is a great place to find scarves with funky prints.  LOFT is also a great place to find scarves, they have great floral prints! Add it to a basic t-shirt, tank top, sweater or dress and you have an outfit! (Another bonus: that means you can take almost any of your outfits to different seasons depending on the scarf you wear)

boring scarf

Madewell scarf, Madewell Jeans, Madewell Sweater, Target shoes.

When you wear a fun scarf with a little black dress, your scarf is the statement– also, if you bring your cat around with you everywhere, that would make a statement too– just maybe not the statement you want to make…


From left to right: 1.Madewell scarf, Loft dress 2. LOFT scarf and dress, Madewell shoes.

2. You can use them to “dress down” an outfit:

One of the best things about scarves is that I can take my fancy sequin dresses that I never get to wear, put them with a scarf, and voila, I can wear it out to coffee.  I mean, why shouldn’t we be able to wear sequins every day?? Seriously.  Of course you can do it with fancy non-sequin dresses too—anything too lacey, silky, or velvety for every day wear.

fancy scarf

3. Putting something sparkly under your scarf adds dimension:

Also, if you get hot and need to take your scarf off,  you still have your third piece!  I love wearing a sparkly necklace under my scarves so that it shines through.  A great necklace for this would be the Clear bead statement necklace or the Tribal Triple Triangle pendant necklace.

necklace under scarf

Anthropologie scarf, Jcrew Necklace, American Eagle sundress.

4. How to wear them:

  • Square scarf—fold in half diagonally, tie the outside points together, and put it over your head.
  • Infiniti scarves– these are pretty self explanatory, but can be confusing if you’ve never seen one before! You can either just put it on as is, or double it up to give it more volume– which is what I do.  ALSO, you can make long rectangular scarves into infiniti scarves by tying the ends together.
  • Long rectangular scarf—put it over your shoulders so the two ends are in front of you, then take one end and wrap it around your neck.  Make sure that it is a little lopsided to give it a more easy/ breezy look.
  • Long rectangular scarf II—put it over your shoulders so the two ends are in front of you, and just tie it loosely.

square scarf

Urban Outfitters scarf.

rectangle scarf

J. Crew scarf

5. Scarves can bring your clothes through different seasons:

I have so many sundresses that I HAVE to be able to wear them in multiple seasons! I just add a jacket, a scarf and boots to bring it into fall, and tights to bring it into winter.


6. Scarves are a great way to try new trends:

For example: mixing prints.  This is a new trend that can seem quite scary and a little crazy, but try a floral scarf with a striped top or dress—you might surprise yourself! (and start feeling like you could be a celebrity stylist)

mix prints

7. They have multiple uses:

A good friend of mine once taught me the value of a great pashmina scarf when you are traveling.  You can use it not only as a fabulous accessory, but also as a pillow and a blanket.  In fact, the school I am working at right now is FREEZING, and I am currently using it as a blanket. (Luckily I wore a necklace under my scarf, so my look didn’t have to sacrifice!) You can also use it as a shawl as well—they pack small so you can put it in a small purse and bring it with you on a date, just in case it gets a little breezy.


Bring a couple of scarves with you if you are trying to travel light and you can have multiple wardrobes in a tiny suitcase!

maxi dress

Left to right: 1.Madewell scarf, Anthropologie dress 2. LOFT denim jacket, LOFT scarf, Anthroplogie dress.

There is so much more to say about scarves because there are so many ways to wear them! This is just a place for you to start, but have fun experimenting!


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