Wearing Scarves - Dos and Don'ts

Scarves are one of the most loved and used fashion accessories. They not only provide warmth but also add a dash of style and sophistication to our outfits. As with any fashion pursuit, however, there are certain rules that need to be followed in order for you to look dashingly great rather than crushingly bad.

Wearing Scarves - Dos and Don'ts


When it comes to patterned scarves, you are faced with the particular problem of the potential to go overboard with your outfit. If you are wearing a single, heavily printed item, the rest should be toned down and kept simple.

Let’s take animal prints for example: a leopard, tiger, or zebra scarf will go a long way towards proving your confidence and sense of style alongside an entirely black, white, or beige outfit.

Wearing a scarf with other, similarly-printed tops or bottoms, however, will just make you look like the animal itself. You’ll certainly stand-out, but not in a good way. The same rules apply to floral prints. Such scarves are a wonderfully fresh compliment to your wardrobe, but they must be used with caution.

Take a look at the scarf and use the colors it has printed upon it. Select an outfit that contains one of those colors and use the scarf as an accent. Otherwise, you are in danger of looking like a walking bouquet.


As a general color matching rule when it comes to scarves, you can wear dark or dull colors with bright outfits and vice versa. If you are a fan of black or white monochromatic outfits, a bright red or yellow scarf, for example, could finish your outfit in a way that makes you seem less intimidating and shows your fun side. Even better, if you have green or blue eyes, you can wear a matching scarf with your black or white outfit and enhance the beauty of your eyes.

Shape and Size

Scarves come in all shapes and sizes. A general distinction can be made between skinny and thick scarves and you should consider the top you are going to wear in order to choose a type of scarf to suit. Tightly fitted tops call for skinny scarves, while looser models call for the thicker kind. A very important no-go is the idea to combine a loose top and a skinny scarf – it can look frumpy.


Scarves are quite an attention-dragging accessory and as such, carry with them a very large chance of you over accessorizing  If you are wearing a scarf, try to restrain yourself from putting on large hats, or enormous jewellery – an outfit has to have balance.

How to Wear

As for the wrapping style for the scarf, there are plenty to choose from – long skinny scarves can be worn tight around the neck and hanging on the sides, tiny bandanas may be worn kerchief style and wide scarves like a bandana. You can also wear your scarf spread around the shoulders, simply draped, or even as a headband. A fine, sheer satin scarf may look very elegant if it is tied in a small knot on the side of the neck. A giant scarf knotted right below your chin, however, can make you look like you’re about to start choking which is not a good look.

Dress For the Occasion

Before you decide which one to use, think carefully about where you are going. Formal events, for example, would allow for a beautiful shawl around your shoulders; kerchief style would be more appropriate for business meetings; headbands are perfect for hanging out with friends and so on. As long as you don’t appear with a bandana to a cocktail party, you should be okay.

The most important thing to use when picking out a scarf for your outfit is your common sense. If you are going to try to be innovative, make sure you feel very comfortable and confident that you are able to pull it off, otherwise your strange look could draw unwanted attention. Follow these simple guidelines and you can’t go too far wrong.

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