Scarves are practical accessories. This winter has done a lot to underscore that point.
They’re adaptable—you can put them to good use covering parts of your body that get cold. In fact, you may not even realize those body parts are exposed to the elements until they actually get cold. A scarf is a good thing.
Then again, it’s possible to have too much of a good thing…
The phenomenon of “overscarfing”—wearing way too much scarf for it to be even remotely practical—has been on the rise over the past few years, as more and more people walk around with their throats wrapped like the butt end of a hockey stick.
Of course this trend can be traced to fashion icons like Queen Elizabeth (the first one), Dr. Who’s Tom Baker or Return of the Jedi’s Bib Fortuna (pictured above, on the right). But is there a place for such absurd adornment in contemporary, non-science-fiction/fantasy society?
“Scarves are an absolute must,” says fashion consultant Amy Berenbak. “A scarf is an accessory that is fashionable as it is functional—but only when done correctly.”
The key to scarves is proportionality.
“When I’m shopping for a client I take into mind their height and frame. I don’t want the length or thickness of the scarf to swallow the rest of their body,” says Berenbak. “Scarves should not look like your wearing a bath mat or your throw blanket.”
Aside from overall ridiculousness, there are some other key factors to consider before purchasing a scarf. “Look at the fabric content, which is a good indicator of warmth. You want wool, cashmere, or alpaca,” says Berenbak. “Scarves last forever so maybe invest in buying one or two good ones.”
Scarves are not all business, and can be fun.—just keep them within the realms of practicality. If there’s even the slightest chance your scarf might cause you to fall over because wearing it makes you too top-heavy, you might want scale back a bit.
“The fashion benefit of wearing a big scarf (not too big) is that it builds texture to an outfit,” says Berenbak. “Say you’re wearing all black and you wanted to add a fun color or print, a scarf can easily do the trick. I feel it shows off someone’s personality too.”
Bottom line: your personality may be larger than life, but your scarf probably shouldn’t be.
Stay warm, and be careful out there.