2019 Accessories

In Praise of the Humble Scarf

By Lena Dystant

Jul 13, 2022

In Praise of the Humble Scarf

A scarf's ability to transform an outfit is too often underestimated. Lena Dystant seeks to correct this. 

With spring well and truly underway, now seems a perfect time to return to a highly important subject: the art of introducing colour to one’s wardrobe. We’d be the first to acknowledge the tricky territory that can come with dabbling in bright tones: the judgemental glances on your morning commute, colleagues passing comment on your sudden jazzy appearance, friends wondering if you’ve changed. Sounds like a lot of hassle for the sake of sporting a pair of yellow socks. Indeed, subdued blocks of colour are very much our thing. Who could deny the power of a simple navy-suit-and-white-button-down combo, or the very specific (ranch-related) appeal of a chambray shirt matched with a pair of dark denim jeans? Layered hues of quiet colour are reliable, fuss-free and certainly make up the majority of our wardrobes.

That being said, we are also firm believers in the power of colour. Its ability to reflect a mood – or even transform one – makes it a potent tool. Uplifting, eye-catching, an expression of individuality, colour adds depth and interest wherever it’s found. So, when sartorial fatigue has set in and the idea of a complete style overhaul seems appealing (though far too much work, of course), colour comes to the rescue. For those who prefer to keep it low-key, the trick is in scale and form. A flash of colour can be as effective as a head-to-toe blast and it’s here where we bang the drum for the humble scarf. Breathing new life into a wardrobe that feels routine and run-of-the-mill can be as simple as the addition of a well-chosen accessory.

For most, an afterthought picked up “in case it gets a bit chilly,” then often left in the backs of cabs, or lost forever under pub tables, the scarf is an underrated item that deserves its due praise. A safe way to introduce not only colour, but colour in the form of print, that navy suit and white button-down take on a new direction with a reworked paisley scarf in rich shades of blue and purple. Likewise, your favourite Paul Newman-esque combo of chambray and denim is suddenly smartened with the introduction of a classic tapestry print in vibrant reds. It’s hard to imagine an outfit, casual, formal or anything in between, that wouldn’t benefit from the addition of an instantly cheering vivid check scarf.

Fabrics for this season range from ultra-lightweight wool/silk mixes, as in the case of this beautiful canine-inspired example, to luxurious cashmere and summer friendly linen mixes, such as this contemporary crocodile number.

Confident, outfit-changing colour is the scarf’s strength and while ties and pocket scarves offer a similar revitalising effect, it remains the simpler option - no careful arrangement necessary. We do of course encourage experimentation in the multiple ways to wrap one around your neck, however the clever old scarf works just as effectively untied, hanging loose, without a care in the world.

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