The season of neck warming is upon us but there are some things you should know…
1.Find the right size
You don’t want to be weighed down like Tom Baker’s Doctor Who with a sea of wool jangling around your ankles, nor something so small it’s closer in size to a cravat than a scarf. The rule of thumb is that it should sit roughly on your waistline when it’s draped around your neck — about five foot, or 150cm, long. Most men’s scarves are around six inches wide — twice that when they’re made of a thin material designed to be folded over.
2. And the right material
Fashion statement in warmer months? Linen. Rug up against the elements in winter? Wool. To layer with a suit? Satin, silk, cashmere, cotton — something thin in a print like paisley or a geometric pattern. The thickness also needs to reflect the thickness of the rest of the outfit — a bulky cable knit woollen scarf looks lopsided against a T-shirt or a thin hoodie, but cosy with a heavy winter jacket.
3. Know how to tie it
When you’re adding a scarf to your casual wear, opt for a loose casual knot — the relaxed toss over the shoulder, or a loose once-around loop. Donning a suit? Maintain that sleek silhouette with a simple overhand knot, or a drape tucked into your lapels. Also keep in mind the texture of the scarf when you’re tying it up — a Parisian knot isn’t going to work with a big chunky scarf, whereas a thinner, shorter scarf doesn’t suit the breezy, nonchalant vibe of the toss.
4. Contrast is your friend
Take stock of the jackets in your wardrobe and weigh up which scarves go best. Navy blue complements a tan jacket — like a trench coat — beautifully. A simple dark jacket can be livened up by a colourful knit. Black-on-black completes an edgy ensemble. A monochromatic scarf can maintain the attention on an eye-catching statement jacket. The scarf is an accessory that allows you to play with contrast in colour and texture — a thick cable knit scarf with a leather jacket, say, or a slim, smooth cashmere with a quilted jacket.
5. Choose the right one for the occasion
A chunky woollen knit works better with your streetwear than your suit, while that satin paisley number is more at home with your business wear in the office than your casual get-up at the bar on a Saturday night. Be especially mindful of maintaining the sleek silhouette you’re trying to achieve with a suit — stick to a thin scarf simply draped over the coat or tucked into the lapels.