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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 14 November 2018

Fashion notes: Make your scarf-tying more stylish

We’re in the midst of November, the month of scarves – printed, woven, knitted and fringed.
The designer Kimberley Jenneskens shows off her neckwear. Vanni Bassetti / Getty Images
The designer Kimberley Jenneskens shows off her neckwear. Vanni Bassetti / Getty Images

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.

hlodi@thenational.ae