Writing this post has been such a happy experience dear Reader, because collecting silk scarves is another of my passions.
Welcome today to Gloriously Vintage – here is some news – I have created a Facebook Page for Gloriously Vintage which may make it easier for some of you to find me and leave comments about my posts. I would be delighted if you left a comment after joining me today. Let’s get to know each other more!
I realize scarves are not for everyone, but I hope you are reading on because you share my love of wearing vintage style and are intrigued to know how a scarf can make an enormous difference to the finished ensemble.
May I ask you, do you wear scarves often? How many do you possess? Where have you found some of your favourites?
I love scarves, but silk ones are particularly wonderful. Why silk? They drape beautifully and feel amazing. They are warm in the winter and cool in the summer. They can finish an outfit better than other accessories. Every so often a scarf comes along that you want to wear and wear because it is so versatile!
How you wear your scarf is very personal, but before you get that far, you need scarves – lots of them, if possible! Here are some tips for finding amazing scarves in charity shops, at vintage fairs, car boot sales and markets.
Look at the edge of the scarf, feel if it is made of silk, and check if it a named one. Look for scarves by Jacqmar, Richard Allan, Hermes, Alexon, Viyella, Country Casuals and Cornelia James. Laura Ashley scarves are good too although I have yet to find a silk one. There are many makers of scarves, so being armed with some knowledge will help you to spot something remarkable.
This small square from Zara is a modern scarf with a machined hem made out of polyester.
Here is a silk scarf from Richard Allan, with a hand rolled edge and signature on the corner of the scarf.
Have a quick look at my last post on finding scarves in charity shops. Look too, at this You Tube video from Beckford Silk showing how to hand roll the edge of a silk scarf. It may help you if a repair to the edge is needed.
Of course it goes without saying that you will all be hunting out scarves with a clear idea of what colours and styles will go with your existing wardrobe or planned outfit!
This French Ted Lapidus scarf is silk, but has a machined hem.
Look and see if there is a label. Scarves made in Italy are always rather special. The label will tell you what the scarf is made of. Polyester scarves should not be disregarded, but bear in mind they do not drape as well as silk.
Today, scarves come in many shapes and sizes. As we are looking at silk scarves, these can be square, rectangular or long. You, dear Reader, will know the type of scarf you like.
My preference is for silk squares when I am wearing a vintage style outfit. I wear both vintage scarves from the 1950’s and 1960’s as well as more modern ones. I have recently been collecting a series of graphic prints on silk from Accessorize. How big the scarf is will also determine how you wear it.
Here is one of the Accessorize silk scarves, featuring a machined hem. This scarf is very large and whisper fine. The pattern allows 2 or 3 different colours depending on the fold.
New scarves bought to finish a special outfit or to add to your collection are of course wonderful too. Here are some links to some interesting places to look! Check out Beckford Silk, Scarf Room, British Silk Scarves, Hermes and Aspinal.
There is a lovely video on You tube about How to tie a scarf! It is delightful and shows you many ways, 25 in fact in four and a half minutes! You may have seen it already, but do have another look, it is charming. When I decided that I wanted to make silk scarves part of my signature look I wanted to learn about tying them.
Here are some more ideas that I have found enormously helpful. Armed with this practical help, it is all about finding out the way of tying your scarf that does the most to enhance how you look and feel when you are wearing it.
I have to confess growing up; scarves were worn inside the neck of a winter coat – often to stop the wool irritating my neck. My mother did not wear scarves other than with winter coats, when I was young. I just could not get on with them or scarf clips. What a change of attitude now! I started to collect scarves because creating vintage looks I finally understood the part one could play in finishing an outfit.
Going on holiday for 3 weeks also had a lot to do with it. Having limited items to mix and match – 3 skirts. 9 tops, 2 pairs of heels and 3 small evening bags – I found the saving item was a scarf.
With different scarves tied 3 or 4 different ways, outfits could look out of the ordinary each day both in the daytime and especially in the evening.
Another particularly helpful source of ideas was a you tube video by the shirt maker T.M.Lewin on matching your shirt, tie and pocket handkerchief. Dear Reader, change the context and you have a lesson in matching a scarf to your choice of dress, coat, skirt, jacket or top.
I must admit that I always try to work a scarf somewhere into the outfits I plan. Whether the scarf is to be a main feature or not. If not – I tie it onto my bag. This works especially well with S/S outfits. When the scarf is to be my signature, I work it, tied in the drape that I feel suits me best. This has made me stand out and be remembered surprisingly often.
My signature fold to wear a draped neckline
Take a square scarf
Fold opposite corners together, to make a triangle.
Put over your shoulders with the 2 smaller points in front of you
Tie points together in a flat knot.
Turn the scarf a quarter turn, putting the knot onto the left or right shoulder.
Arrange the drape to your liking.
It is that simple. Your left or right handedness will determine how you like yourself if you try this look. I am left handed. So for me, dear Reader, the knot is always on my right shoulder, with the central point draped and arranged on the left one. I like a brooch on my right shoulder which will show on a top or jacket with this arrangement.
This photograph shows me wearing another Richard Allan scarf and a Monet brooch on a very simple jacket from Minuet bought from Oxfam.
Look at the pattern on your scarf. Do you own a brooch that echoes the shape of the pattern? If you can link your jewellery together with the scarf by shape, colour, texture and size you will look amazing.
The jewellery and the scarf work together to take your outfit up a number of gears. This is the essence of personal style that is truly unique and memorable.
I am wearing the Ted Lapidus scarf here with a jacket from Precis Petite also from Oxfam. The scarf tones well with the camel colour of the jacket, but it is the amazing earings by Schiaparelli that set off this black top and pencil skirt under the jacket. The tones in the scarf echo the colours in the earings. This combination is truly original and memorable. I recently bought these wonderful earings with some 60th Birthday money which makes them all the more important for me. I have realised a long held dream to finally own something by Schiaparelli. I bought them from on Etsy from the Chronically Vintage shop.
Here I am wearing another of the Accessorize scarves on a collarless red jacket from Oxfam.
I am smiling so broadly because I am wearing the fabulous Pennino demi parure with the scarf that is the centrepiece of my 60th Birthday gifts. More about that in another post! I am standing in front of our beautiful 1930’s Art Deco mirror.
I want to finish this post by showing you the other two ways that I use long scarves.
This is a very large red scarf draped over one shoulder to create a softer neckline on this jacket. Both the Alexon jacket and the Country Casuals skirt were bought separately from Oxfam. I often wear them together.
Here is my other favourite way to drape a long scarf over a jacket to change the neckline and create dramatic impact. The scarf is simply thrown over both shoulders giving a draped cowel effect to the neckline. This makes your neck look longer and is very easy to do.
This drape creates interest at the back and provides a great splash of contrasting colour.
To get the waterfall effect with the scarf – hold it by one corner with your finger and thumb. Make the finger and thumb on the other hand into a ring. Pass the whole scarf through the ring and you have points that will give you the drape you see in these photographs.
I hope , dear Reader, you have enjoyed spending time with me today looking at how I have made silk scarves work for me. Also how I use long scarves to change the neckline of different jackets.
Maybe this will encourage you to experiment with your scarves and find the tie or drape that really suits you.
Thank you for visiting Gloriously Vintage!