When the temperature drops, it’s important to ensure that you’ve got the right clothing at hand. And no, I’m not talking about super soft pajamas so you can retreat from the outside world altogether and curl up on the sofa. Occasionally, at least, we all have to venture out into the elements, no matter how badly we want to stay indoors. And when that time comes, it’s time to be properly outfitted for the elements. One essential garment that should be in every man’s wardrobe is a scarf – it will keep your neck toasty, and also finish off your outfit beautifully. But with so many variations of knots, colors, and combinations, how can you make sure you look awesome in yours? I’m about to tell you – read on!
How to tie your scarf
There are plenty of different ways to tie your scarf, and which knot you choose will depend on a number of factors – your personal style; the outfit that you’ll be wearing; and how cold it is outside! Different knots can make your scarf loose or tight around your neck, and can vary the amount of material around the neck area. For instance, the ‘twice around wrap’ will offer more warmth than the ‘drape’. Antonio Centeno from Real Men Real Style offers an incredibly useful video that takes you through seven simple ways to tie your scarf – each will only take a few seconds to achieve!
How long should your scarf be?
For guys who are of average height or shorter than average, the length of a scarf isn’t usually much of an issue, as most knots can easily be achieved with enough material left over to keep the overall look in proportion. But for taller men, it can be all too easy to ‘run out’ of scarf, so to speak! If you’re over 6’ tall, or you’re a bigger guy, finding a scarf that is long enough for your frame can be tough. Often, there simply isn’t enough fabric to wrap the scarf around more than once without risking strangulation (making the ‘twice around wrap’ nigh on impossible). Also, some knots look odd with shorter scarves, because the ‘tails’ of the scarf aren’t long enough. Generally speaking, you should look for a scarf that is roughly as long as you are tall. This will offer a wider variety of options in terms of knots, and also mean that your scarf looks good with the rest of your outfit. How long the ‘tails’ of your scarf are will depend on the knot, but you’ll want more than a few inches of fabric in any case. Any less than this, and the scarf will look too small, and also be in danger of coming undone at every turn! With this in mind, we’ve recently released a scarf especially for tall men – take a look here.
How to wear a scarf
Now that you’ve got a handle on the various knots available, and what sort of length you should look for, it’s time to consider incorporating your scarf into the rest of your outfit.
Color really is key, here. If you want to make a bold statement and you’re confident enough to carry it off, then by all means go to town with your color combinations. But if not, then choose just one item in a bold color, and keep the rest of the outfit looking more neutral. Many men choose their staple coats or jackets in subdued tones for this reason – it allows them to change things up and add a pop of color through accessories like scarves and hats. If your coat is doing all the talking, though, then I recommend choosing a scarf in a more subtle shade to avoid clashing.
- Inside or outside?
Another aspect to consider is whether you’ll wear your scarf on the inside or outside of your coat or jacket. Generally speaking, wearing the scarf on the outside creates a bold look and allows you to show off the scarf, while tucking it into the inside of your coat offers a more subtle, understated effect – and can also offer more warmth! This choice depends a lot on your personality and the specific outfit that you choose, but it’s worth considering the options so that you can create the look that suits you best.
- Other accessories
In the colder weather, it’s pretty common to see scarves joined by gloves and hats in a common bid to keep you warm. Don’t worry too much about getting a matching set of all three, but do try to co-ordinate the colors of your accessories if you can. Christmas red gloves and a bright green hat may look festive in your wardrobe, but when worn together they may make you look more like an extra from Elf than you’re comfortable with! Go for a mixture of classic creams, greys or blacks if you’re at all unsure, or choose one color and stick to it to stay stylish.
How to care for your scarf
It’s easy to forget to wash scarves altogether – because they often sit over other clothing, they don’t seem to get dirty as quickly. But that doesn’t mean that they should be ignored. According to Sarah Jilo at Real Simple, we should aim to wash our scarves between three and five times per season. How you should wash your scarf will depend on the type of fabric that your scarf is made from – always check the label to be sure. Silk and cashmere, for instance, should only ever be hand washed or perhaps dry cleaned, whilst fleece, cotton and polyester items can usually be washed by machine. When you wash your scarf, be sure not to wring it out or hang it over a clothes hanger if it’s wet, as this could stretch it out of shape. Allow it to dry flat on a towel instead.
I hope that this has proved helpful. What’s your favorite scarf knot? Do you wear yours on the inside or outside of your coat? Let me know in the comments!