Fashion notes: Make your scarf-tying more stylish
We’re in the midst of November – which happens to be my favourite month, filled with fuzzy socks, snugly blankets and mugs of pumpkin-spiced lattes, topped off with whipped cream and sprinkled with cinnamon – no matter what the temperature is outside. It’s also the month of scarves – printed, woven, knitted and fringed. There’s something incredibly wonderful about seeing a warm, bulky scarf in a plaid or tartan print, worn with jeans and a blazer or oversized cardigan, with hair tied in a messy bun. It’s one of those pictures you find posted over and over again on Pinterest, captioned “serious outfit envy”.
In my humble opinion, a nice plaid scarf is essential for the winter season. If you’re looking for an investment piece, a Burberry design is classic and timeless – you’ll probably wear it every winter of your life. If you’re tight on cash, however, most high-street stores carry similar scarves in their autumn collections. I’ve just seen some ultra-soft ones at Dorothy Perkins for Dh100 – a steal, if you ask me.
If plaid isn’t your thing, try leopard print. There’s a look that’s become quite common, but it still holds a lot of appeal: a basic white T-shirt, black leather jacket and leopard-print scarf. Fall back on this if my next few suggestions are too extreme for your liking. For a tongue-in-cheek take on the scarf trend, fish out some printed silk scarves and start adding them to your outfits. They don’t have to match – it’s granny chic.
If you want to know exactly how I’ll be wearing scarves this season, just grab a blouse (preferably printed) at random from your wardrobe, throw a cardigan on top of it and pick out a clashing scarf to loosely tie around your neck. Put on big pearl earrings to complete the thrift-store-chic outfit. If you’re wary of your look becoming too layered, fear not – over-layering is very “in”. Just look at street style from Paris Fashion Week, where a turtleneck was worn underneath a blouse, underneath a blazer, with a scarf tied around the neck to finish it off. Sure, the woman in question may have been wearing an orange pinstriped suit with leopard-print pumps, but it’s fashion. Have fun with your scarf, and don’t over-think the styling or matching. Clashing patterns are perfectly acceptable in today’s fashion environment.
If the above sounds intriguing, and you’d like to initiate a hunt for quirky silk scarves, start out in your grandmother’s trunks or mother’s dresser drawer – their vintage belongings just might surprise you. If your search comes up dry, head to the high street. H&M has plenty of options – from monochrome stripe and polka-dot mixes to nautical and floral patterns.
If the thought of bundling up in a scarf or having long scarf tails hanging from your neck makes you somewhat claustrophobic, why not try a technique that all the fashion bloggers are rocking – the bandana? No, not on your head, but around your neck. If you don’t have one lying around at home, try your luck at your nearest hypermarket. Your outfit can be anything from a jeans-and-tee ensemble to a maxi dress paired with a cropped bomber. Look for the traditional paisley-patterned, square-shaped cloth in red, blue or white, fold it into a thin rectangle, tie it in a knot around your neck, and voila, your look is officially in vogue.
Bandanas, as well as other thin scarves, can also be wrapped around your wrist, sort of like a cuff. This is a great way to give a pop of print to an otherwise solid ensemble. Or you can wrap your scarf around a handle of one of your handbags – it doesn’t have to be a Birkin, though many do prefer a touch of Hermès for this trend.