How scarves saved my wardrobe

How scarves saved my wardrobe

Truth time: The scarf is the perfect accessory.

In all seriousness, scarves are probably the most versatile items you can have in your wardrobe. Available in a wide range of material weights, patterns and styles, plus the fact that most can be worn in at least fifteen different ways makes them one of the great closet saviors.

Speaking from experience

Here’s some more truth for you: my wardrobe is hopelessly plain.  Plain closet

My closet is stocked almost exclusively with solid colored tops, skirts and dresses, most of them in neutral tones. The fact that I match is usually the only compliment I can give myself.

But here is where the scarf saved me.

On an overseas trip a few years ago, I quickly grew tired of the limited wardrobe I had available in my suitcase (and by quickly, I mean by the end of the first week).

I was relaying my predicament to a friend when we happened upon a small market. There amongst the stalls we found stacks and stacks of colorful scarves in floral and geometric patterns. We pawed through them with giddiness, each coming away with a handful of vibrant fabric.

And thus began my love affair with the scarf.

Scarves: What can’t they do?

I was well aware of the merits of scarves in keeping the neck warm during winter, but the use of lightweight scarves to lend color and versatility to an otherwise plain spring and summer outfit was a revelation to me.

Colorful scarvesIf the summer staple of a simple white t-shirt paired with denim shorts has you yawning, fret not. Colorful scarves are an easy way to spice up even the most basic of ensembles.

Additionally, scarves are a lifesaver when you travel. They weigh next to nothing, take up very little room and can even be used as packing material around delicate objects if you so desire.

If you’re packing for a long trip that involves a few dressier occasions, you can often get away with taking just one basic dress and then a handful of scarves that coordinate. You can use a silky scarf tied in a circle for a nicer event, while a floral jersey scarf simply draped around the neck can dress down an outfit nicely. The opportunities are endless.

Beginning the collection

I am now the proud owner of an overflowing scarf drawer, full of color, vibrancy and hope for a formerly hopeless wardrobe.

My scarves cover the gamut from heavy to light weight, from dark to bright colors and from plain to patterned styles. At this point, it’s pretty rare for one of my outfits to require a scarf I don’t have.

If you’re looking to begin adding some scarves to your wardrobe, you might try starting with some of the basics:

  • grey infinity scarf
  • pashmina-style scarf in a basic color
  • lightweight floral scarf

These all make excellent and versatile options for adding that little extra something to even the most boring outfit.

And besides, it’s infinitely cheaper than a brand new wardrobe.


Check out these five new ways to tie your scarves!

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Story and photos by Jackie Long