Scarfing Up

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I am scarf challenged. I am. I love scarves, and surprisingly I wear them quite a bit… now. But I didn’t always. In fact I wrote a post a while ago pretty much swearing off scarves in favour of turtlenecks. I adore turtlenecks, and I’m not naturally gifted with scarves. But since the weather here will soon turn cold, I feel the need to prepare for scarf season. And to do that I need some scarf remediation. Or as the Brits might say… I need to swot up on scarves. 

My scarfing skills have improved a little in the past year. I’ve become quite handy with small silk scarves, and with longer, light weight scarves. And I’m even learning to wear my classic winter woolen scarves a bit more “wrapped up,” instead of just hanging them loosely around my neck. Like my favourite burgundy and camel reversible scarf on the right.

     Learning to wear scarves again: "Scarfing Up" on High Heels in the Wilderness     Learning to wear scarves again: "Scarfing Up" on High Heels in the Wilderness


And lately, I threw caution to the wind and bought myself a blanket scarf. A blanket scarf … the mother of all scarves. 

What was I thinking? They’re huge, hot, unwieldy, hard to make do what you want them to do, and then when you do make them do what you want… they never stay that way for long. At least on me.

But they look so good. So casually insouciant, tossed on, like this soft brown scarf, over a grey coat sweater.

Inspirational looks. "Scarfing Up."
Death by Elocution

Or chic and a bit more polished, like this monochromatic look below.

Inspirational looks "Scarfing up."
Death by Elocution
Or beautifully swathed with a tee shirt and maybe a blazer, like these two looks from
Inspirational looks. "Scarfing Up."        Inspirational looks. "Scarfing Up."
Okay… I know…. I’ve obviously been suckered by too many images of chicly-swathed blanket-scarved women on the internet and in fashion magazines, and in store windows. All those blanket scarves began to make my little scarf collection look downright puny. And boring. And I began to wish for a blanket scarf of my own. And I began to think that if everyone else could tie a great blanket scarf, surely it can’t be that hard. And then when I saw a lovely grey and burgundy scarf at Aritzia, well… I could not resist.  

I know. I know. What… am I fifteen again? Bowing to peer pressure? Not able to withstand temptation? Or am I so competitive that I can’t stand it when someone can do something so much better than me? Or all of the above? Huh. Don’t answer that.

The salesgirl at Aritzia gave me a great little tutorial on how to tie my new scarf. And of course I mastered it right away. And then promptly forgot everything she said to do when I hauled my new scarf out for a test drive a few days later. 

See what I mean? This effort just looked like I had a bath towel around my neck. 

"Scarfing Up" on High Heels in the Wilderness
This was better. A bit smoother. But when the scarf is folded like this it’s really, really thick. But it looked okay.

"Scarfing Up" on High Heels in the Wilderness     

And emboldened by my efforts above, I tried something a bit more complex. Looked good. I could wear my new scarf like this… for about three minutes. Akkkk. I was choking. “Help… my new blanket scarf is killing me.”
     "Scarfing Up" on High Heels in the Wilderness
So… since I was going to the mall. And undoubtedly would die of the heat if I was too scarfed up. I settled for a simple over the shoulder maneuver. And it looked … good, I thought. And lasted for maybe ten minutes in the mall. 

"Scarfing Up" on High Heels in the Wilderness     

I’d just come through the doors when I bumped into two former students, sisters Stephanie and Natalie, and their mum. Such lovely girls. They’re both grown up now, and recently married, and of course we talked and laughed, and I waved my arms around as I am wont to do when I get animated. And then I got hot. And well… you know. The scarf came off, the coat unzipped. Phew. That was better.

So… blanket scarves. Maybe they’re not for shopping in malls. Maybe they’re better for strolling downtown when it finally snows. Or sitting in cold arenas at hockey games. Then again. Maybe it’s just me. 

If you’re scarf challenged, like me. Try watching this Blanket Scarf Tutorial  on the blog Kelly in the City. Kelly shows ten ways to tie a blanket scarf, very easy to follow. With pictures. In fact, I think I need to read it again. And then go practice.

How are you at scarfing up? Any problems with your blanket scarf… and its potential homicidal tendencies? 


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43 thoughts on “Scarfing Up”

  1. Hi Susan, I have loads of scarves and rarely wear them as I never feel I'm wearing the scarf, it's like the scarf wears me! So. I understand where you're coming from with this post. However, I do like the blanket scarf and oddly enough I prefer the first styling as it shows the nature of it off to it's best and really only looks as they do – as a bit big, loose and not at all tailored or organised. You look fab in these skinny jeans too!
    Anna's Island Style

  2. I have so many scarves and I find I wear them less and less. I guess I feel challenged as you do. You look great in them and actually encourage me to not be as frustrated with them. I am finding I wear necklaces lately more than scarves…but I own so many I need to keep "hanging" in there with them. This is a great scarf, btw!

  3. Scarves are especially tricky for short necked folk like me – my niece calls it the family chinneck . I have one blanket scarf I bought as a cheap experiment from Zara last winter but do struggle with it . I usually toss it over my shoulder , as in your last example , & sometimes manage to get to the bus stop before it flaps around . Both your burgundy scarves are lovely & I wish we had an Artizia shop over here
    Wendy in York

    1. Aritzia is a great store for minimalist type items, jeans, good jackets, scarves. I guess that's why I love it. Some things are a bit too young for me, but mostly they carry great basics. I'm envisioning you at the bus stop on a windy day. I'd be so frustrated that scarf would end up in my bag.

  4. i have just gotten comfortable with wearing scarves to finish my outfit and now they hit us with this new wrinkle! thank goodness i live in south louisiana where the blanket scarf would be way too much!

    1. I'm not sure how all those girls I see wearing blanket scarves can stand so much fabric around their neck. Maybe it's because many of them have only a tee shirt underneath. But if it's warm enough for just a tee…. isn't it too warm for a big scarf. Blanket scarves confuse me, clearly.

    1. Roasting to death IS a mid-life problem, to be sure. I'm always worried that because I have such a big head, a big scarf will make me look all top heavy…. even more than I do already.

  5. Hi Sue, I have lots and lots of scarves and wear them regularly, but I have yet to add a blanket scarf. Probably won't – as Jennifer said above, I think you might need to be tall to carry them off. I love all the scarves you've shown, especially the brown one with the grey coat – I would never have thought of combining those. I used to have a lovely pashmina in a similar colour but lost it in, of all places, Winners – I had it tied to my bag (I was too warm in the mall) and it slipped off I guess. I imagined that someone found it on the floor and then took it to the cash to buy it. No, I'm still not over it! :0)

  6. I purchased a few blanket scarves this year and they don't work at the mall since they get too warm. BUT, they sure are nice when my truck is cold to take the chill off of me until the heater warms up, or when I am outside with the pups or simply going for a walk. Keeps the cold off my shoulders. xox…

  7. That scarf is beautiful! I love the colors! But it does look huge and warm. I would probably only wear it outside, or bundled up inside on a freezing day. Do you think a seamstress could cut it in half? It may be more workable that way.

  8. Ha! So funny and so true about blanket scarves! They look stunning and sophisticated on others, while they make me feel like I'm "all scarf!". I have found that while walking in the freezing cold they provide a cozy nest for neck and nose, but beyond that, I need to take mine off or I feel as though I am trying to manage some huge runway prop. When out to dinner they can function as a shawl to keep one warm in a drafty restaurant or theater, and I can appreciate that. I even saw on a decor blog where one was used as a tablecloth! I still love my smaller linen and silky scarves and wear them constantly. Definitely won't be adding a second blanket scaft to my wardrobe!

  9. Same here! Always seems a struggle with blanket scarves! I've got two so I'm grateful for the link to the Tutorial. Hoping it helps! Wearing them is a little like thick winter jumpers … fine initially but then I find I can't wait to take them off!! Too hot!
    Have a good week, Sue

    1. I know! I take ten minutes fussing with the darn thing.. and then pull it off at the first chance I get. Sometimes I womder if menopause makes one unduly scarf sensitive!

  10. Agree absolutely – hot and unwieldy and what about itchy? I got one for Christmas last year and I've worn it once! I think we need a really cold winter to appreciate a blanket scarf. I'm going to check out the tutorial, 10 ways to tie a blanket scarf and like you, practice!


  11. My daughter gave me an Aritzia blanket shawl for Christmas a few years ago, one of the earlier iterations which were much thicker than what they've sold for the last two years (I know!). So I struggle as well, although I love it for really cold days if I'm going for a long walk. Sometimes a pin helps, but it has to be a really skookum one! I must say, though, it's great to wear to yoga class 'cause I can use it as a blanket during shavasana?

  12. Ok, thank you for this hilariously honest post. Scarves are everything in the cooler months but they can feel so impossible! I love your inspiration images, and I feel like you're getting there! Regardless, you're looking good. Love it!


  13. I have to be honest and say I think they ALL look great on you, even the bath towel version. You look like a real fashion blogger with it all towel-like! You're so tall and slim and you don't have long hair that gets in the way, so personally, I love them on you, I really do. I'm very hot natured as well, so I don't wear them often. Only if it is REALLY cold.

  14. I love the look of blanket scarves on others but like you I am challenged by the size and heat of it. I really don't need them in California and have way more than I should. I have to say, they have come in handy during my son's evening soccer games.

    I think you did a great job with the different ways you've wrapped it.


    Would love for you to stop by & join TBT Fashion link up.

  15. I cracked up laughing while reading your post. I'm sort of scarf challenged too, when it comes to heavy duty "actually-meant-for-cold-outside-and-not-warm-inside" scarves. My guess is that blanket scarves are a passing fancy, and won't be a fashion craze for long. Thanks for such a humorous take on scarves!

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