Marimekko Coco scarf

The Virtues of Large Scarves

 
A scarf can be a lovely finishing touch, elevating an ordinary jacket or adding complexity and depth to a more considered ensemble.

In addition to its aesthetic value, a large scarf (e.g., 12 x 60, 36 x 36 or larger) made of silk, linen, cotton gauze or some combination of those fibers is incredibly useful in times and places that should be warm but are chilly, like: airplanes and trains; San Francisco in the summer; and the D.C. Metro system in the spring and fall. So when I am traveling for work, I often wear a large scarf, and when I am packing for vacation, I will include two or three.
One of my favorite scarves, so awesome it  elevates the zip code in which it is worn

A scarf so awesome it elevates the zip code in which it is worn

Here, a confession: I feel safer when I am wrapped up in a scarf. I don’t mean cozy. There is something above keeping my throat covered that gives me a sense of security, as though I am warding off disease with a scarf when, in fact, the good health I enjoy is probably attributable to some combination of annual flu shots, Vitamin C and frequent hand-washing. Yet, when I am trapped on a long flight, listening to a person crouping uncontrollably in the seat behind mine, my response is to slide down in my seat and wind my scarf a little more securely around my neck.

Marimekko Suomo scarf

Marimekko Suomo scarf

Eileen Fisher Handloomed scarf

Eileen Fisher Handloomed scarf

Eileen Fisher Filcoupe scarf

Eileen Fisher Filcoupe scarf


Marimekko Kumpula scarf

Marimekko Kumpula scarf

Lem Lem scarf

Lem Lem Amash scarf

Marimekko Coco scarf

Marimekko Coco scarf

But on this blog we deal in cold, hard facts, so let’s set aside my irrational convictions about the biomedical power of scarves,[1] and focus on their demonstrable virtues, which are: un, they are beautiful; deux, they will keep you warm, and; trois, they will provide good protection from poison ivy (on your neck) and some protection from vampire bites. But remember, no long ends trailing glamorously behind you; The Directrice does not want to read about a spike in accidental strangulation deaths in the MMWR.[2] So wrap, knot, tuck!

If the idea of wearing scarves appeals to you, but you don’t have any and aren’t sure where to begin, may I make a suggestion? These four will cover a lot of territory: (1) a black and white scarf (geometric, abstract, or floral pattern), to wear with almost anything; (2) a leopard-print scarf in shades of brown (ideally camel and chocolate) to wear with tans and browns, as well as red, pink and lavender; (3) a patterned scarf in which your favorite color predominates, and; (4) a colorful striped scarf (light background) to wear with jeans.

Try: Marimekko; Eileen Fisher; Tory Burch; Lem Lem; JCrew. Also, check Orla Kiely in the future; there aren’t any scarves on the site right now, but she did a wonderful collaboration with Uniqlo a few years ago.

But what do you think?