Scarves, no seriously

One of the beautiful things that comes out of recessions is a greater use of accessories.  With less money or inclination to expand one’s wardrobe, the well-dressed whatever turns to nails and legwear, hair and jewellery.  The current accessory toeing into the spotlight is scarves and neck accessories.

Illustrations from ‘Sewing Made Easy’, 1952

Miu Miu had its coy collars that remind me of the chapters in mid-twentieth century sewing and fashion books, where a lady is encouraged to expand her wardrobe with cheap and changeable collars and cuffs.  We’re not seeing cuffs yet, which is a pity, but even the summer looks of Resort 2011 struck a claim in that most mutable of accessories, the scarf.

Resort and menswear have been approaching the scarf cautiously, not straying too far from simple wraps and loops—though folks like Gaultier are playing with shapes that invoke the Empire/Regency cravat.  But, like any accessory, there’s an endless possibility in a scarf.  In the era of power dressing they were integral to dressing up or altering a look and taking it from office to evening.  Though it can be difficult to get a hold of classics like Scarf Tying by Judy Reiman, the great web does hold pockets of how-to’s that offer more options than a couple basic loops and twists.  Unfortunately, none share quite the perfect balance of clear instructions and priceless photography of the scarves in action (modelled by various Miss Calgaries) as Scarf Tying.

To get you started, here is an awkward quickie video tutorial for a simple option to try before playing with search terms.  Start with a larger square:

And you’ll end up with something like this:

It really pumps up a power suit
A lot of the scarves available at your local super-department like Fred Meyer or Target are of the long and loosely woven or square and fringed variety.  Thrift stores’ scarf bins—or, if you can sew, the remnant and discount bolt bins at sewing stores—have a sea of options that fulfil the classic silk-scarf style of easy drape and tighter weave.

Like Reiman says in Scarf Tying:

You too can look and feel like Cinderella at the ball without the help of a fairy godmother.  With creative scarf tying, your hands are magic wands.  A flick of the fingertips and a length of silk becomes a rose, a square of fabric appears as an evening gown.

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4 Responses to “Scarves, no seriously”

  1. Chronographia Says:

    Hermès had a gorgeous pdf on scarf tying techniques a few years ago. Some are simple, some less so, all highlight the incredible loveliness of their printed scarves, which one assumes is the point.

  2. bzedan Says:

    Oh, that is lovely! As you well know, I am terribly pro black & white line art tutorials.

  3. frederic Says:

    nice tying technique video! I love scarves and I have a huge collection! check my website and tell what you think !

  4. I Like Socks » Blog Archive » Power Dressing (part one, of hopefully two) Says:

    […] briefly mentioned power dressing last week, in context of scarves as accessories.  Now, power dressing—a very formalised approach to […]