I’ve an odd confession: it’s only been in recent years that I’ve become acquainted with the scarf. Being from the South, it isn’t so much a cold weather necessity. Plus, I used to think that scarves were too effeminate, since I only saw women pull off the look successfully. But, after a little bit of experimentation (that didn’t involve tequila), I’ve decided that scarves are Normal Guy acceptable.
Scarves get the seal of approval because as a removable accessory, you can branch out and add a little bit of character into your wardrobe. Yet, unlike jewelry they retain their masculinity because they’re actually useful and not just for adornment. They’re relatively inexpensive (and are a common sale item), allowing you to purchase more than one and cycle based on outfit/occasion.
Pulling off a scarf is best when it looks thrown on. So, there’s no reason to over think it.
What to Wear
There are two ways you can go with the color and pattern of a scarf, and it really depends on the occasion and the outfit. You can blend it in (typically best for dressier occasions), or you can make a bit of a statement by adding a hint of color. I’d never advocate going too over the top (nothing that glitters), but having a punch of Fall/Winter color can be a good thing.
I tend to go with solids, since I don’t want anything really loud. I let the color combined with the rest of my outfit add the necessary style. Plus, they’re really easy. You can throw virtually any color scarf on with any casual outfit.
Here’s a couple of cool solid scarves that come in a variety of colors.
If you’re going to go with a pattern, why not branch out beyond that of the boring Burberry plaid? Go with some cool stripes (I prefer horizontal stripes because they’re shorter) with bright fall colors, or mix it up with a casual outfit with something like a buffalo plaid. Just don’t go overboard.
How to Wear It
I’m in the camp that you shouldn’t tie it around your neck. Often times, it looks too clunky or feminine. I’ve found this especially true if the scarf is particular thick or short.
Thick, it looks like you’ve got a boa constrictor around your neck. Like this dude.
And if it’s too short it just looks dorky if not worn beneath a coat.
Incidentally, I’m not sure why this guy is wearing a scarf with a tshirt. Needless to say, do not emulate this look.
My preferred method is to either have it around my neck without it tied or treat it like a garbage bag tie and just twist it once or twice. This gets around both issues: looking too bulky around your neck and the shortness of the scarf.
What to Wear it With
If you’ve got a scarf on, you probably have a jacket, so twist/wrap it and tuck it inside your jacket. As long as the rest of your outfit is suitably modern, the scarf will be a great addition. A little more caution should be taken if you’re not wearing a jacket, as the look can be a little bit more stylistically advanced (there’s just something about the look that is difficult to pull off for a guy).