Scarves can be one of the best accessories for men everywhere, but sometimes they can be a tricky one to get right. With our ultimate guide, we make the humble task of wearing a scarf easy, versatile and above all, stylish.
Accessorising can be tricky for guys. We get it - any item of clothing which swings away from the purely functional toward the more ‘decorative’ end of the spectrum has the potential to incite jeers over beers. And while no one’s denying that, in certain weather conditions (i.e. all year round, if you’re lucky enough to live in the UK), a scarf can come in handy.
But what kind of scarf will net you respect rather than ridicule? Can you wear one to work? With a T-shirt? And just how are you supposed to tie the thing so it doesn’t become a trip hazard? No worries - with our ultimate need-to-know guide, we’ve got it (and you) all wrapped up. Read on to find out how to wear a men's scarf.
How to Find Your Perfect ScarfScarves are one of the best male accessories for guys. So, it’s time to invest in your all-purpose ‘starter scarf’. When it comes to the basics of scarf buying you need to consider size, material and colour. Your perfect scarf is probably somewhere between 16 and 30cm (about 6-12 inches) wide and 140 and 180cm (about 55-70 inches) long. That gives you enough length to play around with if you fancy getting creative without it bulking you out.
If you only buy one scarf, does it have to be made of wool? Well, it might be the obvious choice, but don’t dismiss cotton and acrylic blends either - they often wear better and give rise to fewer cases of the itchy-scratchies. If you can afford the investment, though, a cashmere scarf will repay you in multiple years of happiness.
When it comes to colour, there is a time and a place for look-at-me prints and rainbow brights, but, if you’re nervous, we suggest starting neutral. Remember, though, neutral doesn’t necessarily mean black - in fact, grey is probably your best bet in terms of versatility. Take a look at your wardrobe. Wear a lot of brown and cream? If so, beige might work for you.
How to Tie a Scarf For Men
There are numerous ways to tie a scarf, and believe it or not, each one can make a big difference to your outfit. Get it right with our step-by-step guide to the ten key techniques you need to master. They're easier than they look, promise.
The draped scarf look is achieved by quite literally draping it around your neck - it's so easy and requires zero effort. You’ll look even cooler if you don’t carefully match up each side centimetre for centimetre, however, don't mismatch the ends too much either. The scarf drape is just the thing to give a more formal look a bit of oomph - no tie required. Simply tuck into your blazer or suit jacket, allowing your scarf to sneakily peek out from under your lapels. Just be wary of this style - it is easily unravelled by strong winds and annoying mates.
The TossThis style is just as easy as draping the scarf. Begin by draping the scarf and then toss one side of the scarf over the opposite shoulder - easy. This way of wearing the scarf will keep you warmer than the ‘standard’ drape. This is another great look for when you want to use the scarf to add another dimension to your smart outfit.
The Once AroundYep, we’re starting out with our good old friend the drape again. This time, make sure you leave one side longer than the other when you drape it over your neck. Then simply wrap the longer side around your neck again creating the loop around it, making you nice and snug. This style will mean wind-related mishaps are much less likely, although you may well be late for work thanks to the additional hour you’ll have spent adjusting your end lengths in order to perfect the ‘too cool to care’ look.
The All Around
Feeling the chill? This technique builds on the once around, above, but takes things a step or two further. Start from the drape, leaving plenty of extra length on the longer side. Then, wrap the longer side around your neck a couple of times, so that the end hangs down your back. Throw the other end over your shoulder and you can stop here if you like, or go ahead and tuck the ends in. This style will keep you warm in the colder months and you can rest easy in the knowledge that, however blustery things get, you won’t be slapped in the face by your own accessories.
The Parisian Knot
OK, time to step things up a gear. Once you have it down, this practical, timelessly slick knot (also known as the European or French knot) will become your go-to, trust us. Fold your scarf in half, end to end, and throw your (folded) scarf around your neck in (you guessed it) a drape. Thread the loose ends through the loop and pull to tighten. This look will have you toasty and secure and it works with smart and casual gear alike.
Inspired by the tie knot of the same name, this one is also known as the overhand knot or, slightly less appealingly, the bib. Start by doing they standard scarf drape and then cross one end over the other. Thread one side under the other and pull it over the top. This style looks great with a suit and it can be loosened for a more casual look.
The Fake Knot
This deceptively simple knot is perfect for the guy who wants to make a statement (or cover up a nasty stain on his T-shirt). This is good if you don't know how to tie a long scarf, as this tie easily gathers up excess material to create something more manageable. Drape the scarf around your neck so that one end is longer than the other. Tie a loose knot on the longer side by taking the end under and over itself to create a loop, then loosely pulling the end through. Thread the other end of the scarf through the loop, too and then tighten it and adjust. Your first few attempts will probably require a relatively clear head. And a mirror.
The Reverse Drape Tuck
OK, we’re into intermediate territory now. Don’t panic - you’ve got this. This double-wrap style is perfect for chillier weather. Let’s jump straight in from the once around (you know the drill - drape and wrap). Now, take one end and thread it through the loop then repeat with the other end and adjust to taste. This style works with both casual and formal gear and it will make you look pretty darn sharp.
The Reverse Drape Cross
This is basically a slightly less fussy version of the reverse drape tuck. Take it from the once around again and thread one end over and under the other. Pull to tighten (yes, you’re basically tying the ends together - it’s that easy). The reverse drape cross looks good worn over a casual bomber or biker jacket and it's perfect in cold and/or windy weather.
The Four in Hand
Don’t worry - this has nothing to do with the tie knot of the same name. Try this out when you’re ready to get a bit fancy, but beware: kit yourself out in this knot and there’s no getting away from the fact that you are making a statement. Follow the instructions given for the Parisian knot, as above, but, this time, only pull the top piece through the loop. Follow this by twisting the loop, creating a second opening beneath the first (a bit like a figure '8'). Pull the other end through the second loop and tighten to adjust.