Have you ever tried to tie a scarf—particularly a long one—and thought it just didn’t look right? We know the feeling. Explaining how to wear a scarf might seem like a silly thing, but there’s truly an art to it. French women seem to be born knowing how to tie scarves beautifully in a matter of seconds, but there’s some work involved here for the rest of us. Here are four ways to wear a scarf, plus styling tips for each.
1. The Simple Knot
When tying a scarf, some of the best techniques are the easiest ones. For example, the simple knot is a perfect way to wear a scarf under or over your winter coat. Just double the scarf and pass the ends through the loop. If you tie the scarf over a coat or jacket, just make sure your outerwear doesn’t already have a lot of detail around the neck. A simple solid-colored coat or jacket paired with a printed or metallic scarf is the perfect way to add a touch of personality to your put-together look.
2. The Basic Loop
Drape the scarf unevenly around your neck with one end shorter than the other. Then wrap the long end around your neck. You can wrap it more than once if the scarf is on the longer side. While this is the most obvious way to tie a scarf, it’s all about how you style it. The trick? Make sure you don’t wind it too tightly around your neck. Once you’ve wrapped it around your neck, fluff it up a bit to make it look a little more effortless.
3. The Wrap
Whether you’re working with a lightweight summer scarf or a thick blanket scarf, wearing it as a wrap is the perfect go-to trick for weddings and events during all seasons. You just wrap it around your shoulders for a simple, elegant touch.
The scarf is going to be the centerpiece of your outfit here, so go with one that has great texture or one that’s made of a soft, luxurious fabric. If you’re petite, look for a scarf that’s on the smaller side or one that’s a finer knit, or else it could overwhelm your figure.
4. The Neckerchief
Fold the scarf in half twice so it forms a rectangle, and then fold it again to form a triangle shape. Grab two ends (the longer two), wrap them around your neck, and tie a knot in the back. You can do this with a big, wide scarf or even a short silk scarf. During the winter months, this scarf trick is great for mixing up a constant rotation of solid-colored turtlenecks.
If you’re learning how to wear a scarf, practice all these different ways to tie one in front of the mirror. This is a great opportunity to watch and learn as you perfect your scarf-tying skills, and you’ll be a scarf-tying master in no time.