Confessions of a Scarf Challenged Woman

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I’ve come to the conclusion that I am scarf challenged. That’s a shame because I love the look of scarves on other women. And I actually own quite a few scarves…. one might even say more than a few scarves. And most of them I rarely wear.

That’s because I can’t abide anything that requires complicated swathing, wrapping and tying of knots. If a scarf is simply draped around my neck, I’m okay, but otherwise, I fuss with it or take it off altogether.

I’d love to be able to throw on a gorgeous scarf in the morning, flip it deftly into some sort of chic arrangement and head out to face the world. And actually make it to the car before I start fiddling with it.

Especially this season. Because scarves were everywhere in the fall fashion magazines. Cravats, neckerchiefs, bandannas, and silken squares small and large were featured in this article in Vogue’s September issue.

September issue of Vogue

I clipped a few shots from several magazine articles and fashion shoots to pin on my inspiration board. They’re right at eye level so that I can’t avoid being reminded that this is a fashion challenge I should be able to conquer. Or at least try to conquer.

A portion of my inspiration board above my desk.
When I was younger, I used to love wearing silk scarves tied tightly, like an ascot, and tucked into blouses or sweaters, or cotton neckerchiefs knotted with the ends fluffed out over a shirt collar. But I haven’t been able to do that lately. Not for years, in fact. I don’t know why I grew out of the ability to wear complex scarf arrangements, but I did.
There are a few shots of me on this blog with a silk scarf tied around my neck and tucked neatly into a sweater or tee shirt…. but I must confess (this post is all about confession after all) that none of those looks actually made it out the door… with the scarf intact.
Except for this one. I love this blue animal print cotton scarf. It’s light and I was able to tie it at the ends to create a kind of infinity scarf.
But with the weather in Ottawa looking like this today… snowy, cold and very windy…
my light cotton “infinity” scarf won’t cut it. I’d have to wear a heavier one like this one from Lovely isn’t it?
Sadly, a real infinity scarf is too much scarf commitment for me. Being unable to untie it and just let it drape around my neck would drive me crazy. And with weather like this just around the corner, I probably need to figure out how to wear a lovely, warm scarf. I can’t be defeated by a scarf. Can I?
So, I book-marked a post by major scarf lover Alyson at That’s Not My Age which shows a couple of great scarf looks that I aspire to. You can read that post here. I’ll try to replicate them… tomorrow. Or maybe the next day.
I might even think about knitting myself a non-infinity, infinity-type scarf. A scarf that doesn’t demand too much commitment. One with a button in the back, so I can wear it like an infinity scarf, if I want. Or I can unbutton it if I start feeling rather engulfed by it and thus a bit twitchy. Hmmm… we’ll see.
You know, I started thinking about scarves last week, after I wrote a post about turtlenecks. I love them, turtlenecks, I mean. Especially with a jacket. And a scarf, but one that is not swathed or wrapped in a complicated fashion around my neck.
Several readers commented on that post that they didn’t like the feeling of a tight turtleneck… too constricting… that they preferred a scarf at the neck instead.
So, I started wondering. Do you think that maybe it’s just that there are two types of people in this world… turtleneck people… and scarf people?
If so… then, I am definitely a turtleneck person.
And as such I need not be intimidated by my inability to swath myself chicly in a scarf, even if it is the fashion. I gotta be me. So… I guess I won’t be tying one on after all. Well, I must say… that’s a relief.
So, tell me are you a scarf person? Or are you scarf challenged like me?

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24 thoughts on “Confessions of a Scarf Challenged Woman”

  1. Hello Susan,

    I love both scarves and turtlenecks, and wear both almost every day. Some of my turtlenecks are shells, that work well under jackets.

    Scarves are a part of my signature look. They seem to complete any look. Even for evening, a silk scarf can make an elegant shawl or wrap.

    I find the shape of the scarf makes a difference. With some of the longer ones, I can achieve more variations.

    Thanks to the blog, Mai Tai's Picture Book, I've gained lots of inspiration on how to wear scarves.

    You can do this. Your scarf challenged days can soon be behind you.

    Winter is a great season to have a nice warm scarf around the neck. They can be as snug or as loose as you like.

    Enjoy the challenge!

    Honey Bee

    1. I will take a look at that blog. But I'm not sure that I can be patient with a complicated scarf arrangement anymore. Thanks for the suggestions, though. And for reading.

  2. I'm like you Susan….
    I have lots of scarves, put them on and then take them right off…they seem like "too much clothing" to me, on me. I have cut scarves in half lengthwise to have less fabric but I still struggle. I love turtlenecks. Wish I could wear both.
    Love your blog….it is very relatable for me.

  3. i used to think i was just not the scarf type. then they became so popular that i could no longer ignore them and made an effort to learn how to tie them in different ways. now i love the pop of color or pattern they can give an outfit. i also love the fact that the same outfit can look different depending on the scarf worn to go with it. having said that, tho, i think you have a definite style that works beautifully for you, so why mess with that?

    how's this for a coincidence? i have the same "neckerchief" photo in my style file. i worry tho that the neckerchief style of scarf is a little too young for my age (65), so i have 2 of them but never manage to make it out of the house wearing one.

    loved your recent travel post. i didn't have time to reply as i wished, but wanted to at least tell you how very much i enjoyed it.

  4. I love scarves, but it's a relatively recent love — maybe the last 8 or 10 years, although I flirted on and off over the previous decades. I think the scarf I would most recommend to someone like you for heavy winter weather is one a knit of laceweight alpaca. A large triangle, the lacework makes it so light and fine that it can be drawn through a wedding ring, like those classic Shetland shawls. The alpaca is soft and warm, yet it doesn't ever feel suffocating. . . . still, I like that I can take it off if I have one of those internally generated warm moments. . . .unlike a turtleneck. . . .

  5. Susan, first of all, compliments on your blog. I enjoy your postings and point of view. I love scarves as accessories and believe they add a great deal to the basics I wear every day. I have a similar build to yours, similar facial structure, and similar hairstyle. I find that when I put a scarf on and it feels wrong it's because its volume or intricate knotting is crowding my front, rather like a bib that becomes a rather fussy, trying-too-hard focal point. I also keep scarf elements no higher than the lower third of my neck–when things get higher on the neck it gives my cheeks a chipmunky sort of look. I will take an Hermes size scarf and tie it into a Windsor knot (yep–see Mai Tai) and tuck it into a v-neck and then add a vest; or I will take an oblong like the one you have in your picture (you look wonderful!) and wear as you do over a t-neck or blazer, looping it around my neck once if it is not too bulky. Please keep trying; they are an acquired taste, but add so much, and when you find your comfort zone I think you will be a convert.

  6. I do love the last look you've shown of yourself.

    I wear scarves all the time and turtlenecks although I do find that the latter can give me a bit of a double chin if I'm not careful. Sometimes when it is extra cold I'll wear 2 scarves, like one of the silk ones and then a wool one on top of my coat. Yes…it can make me look HUGE…but really…in a Canadian winter I prefer to stay warm and look like a fatso rather than freeze and look great. Those days of dressing despite the weather passed me years ago.

    stopping by from the link-up : )


  7. The infinity scarf is a great solution for those of us who wrestle with the scarf-tying thing! Thanks for sharing with Visible Monday, you look wonderful. xo

  8. Me ha gustado mucho tu post y yo sí soy persona de bufandas, foulares ó pañuelos, ah!!! y también de jerseys de cuello alto.
    Lo cierto es que aunque sea colgando y sin anudar también quedan estupendamente. BESICOS.

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