There are many different ways to tie a scarf.
Fortunately, you really only need to know how to tie one in about three ways.
In this sense, scarves are sort of like ties, while there are many different ways to tie a tie all you really need to know how to tie are three basic knots: the four in hand, the half-Windsor, and the full Windsor knot. The rest is superfluous.
In fact, the same thing can be said about pocket squares. If you know the three main ways to fold a pocket square then you are pretty much set.
So in keeping with the tripartite theme, here are my three best ways to tie a scarf:
The drape is a nice way to wear a scarf underneath a larger jacket like a pea coat or a top coat. For guys who want to wear a scarf and not fuss about it, the simple drape is the way to go. It’s a very nonchalant way to wear a scarf and a good way to highlight a sense of effortlessness (aka sprezzatura) with your style.
The second method is the Parisian knot. This is a great way to tie a scarf if you are particularly interested in keeping yourself warm and protected from the elements.
The way to tie the Parisian knot is to first fold your scarf in half length wise. When you do this you’ll notice that a loop is created on one side. You then wrap the scarf around your neck, passing the loose ends through the loop. This creates a secure, clean knot with the scarf fitting snugly around your neck.
Here’s a great step by step guide on how to do it by Antonio over at Real Men Real Style:
Once Around (aka Loose Knot)
The third method of tying a scarf is called the once around or loose knot.
This is a great way to tie a scarf if you find the simple drape a little too boring but also don’t like to have a scarf too close to your neck. This is my preferred method of tying a scarf and it’s dead simple to do.
You start by wearing the scarf in a simple drape around your neck but making sure that one end is a bit longer than the other. You then take the longer end of the scarf and simply wrap it around your neck once more in a loose fashion. This creates a large loop around your neck. You can then tuck one end of the scarf through the loop, creating a loose or lazy knot.
This is my preferred method of wearing a scarf when I’m turning my sports jacket or blazer into a piece of outerwear.
Again, Antonio has a great step by step guide on how to tie the loose knot over at Real Men Real Style:
How many scarves do I need in my wardrobe?
I think every guy should have at least a few scarves in his wardrobe for the fall and winter season. For those of you working on building a lean wardrobe, there are three types of scarves that I would recommend:
A solid basic scarf
A solid wool scarf in a neutral colour like navy or grey is a great asset to have in your wardrobe. This type of scarf can be a workhorse scarf in the sense that you can pair it with just about anything in your closet.
A great example would be this grey wool and cashmere knit scarf by Calibrate (Nordstrom’s house brand). It’s currently on sale for $50 which is a good deal for a premium scarf.
A patterned scarf
Another scarf worthy in your rotation is a patterned scarf. Patterned scarves are a great way to add some visual interest to an otherwise neutral outfit. You don’t even have to get too crazy, a simple dot or stripe pattern can easily do the trick.
In the image above, Eli is wearing the Ted Baker Raschel Striped scarf that he got on sale from Nordstrom. Another great deal at $38.
A bold scarf
Lastly, having a bold coloured scarf is a great addition to your wardrobe. A bold scarf can help you stand out without going over the top. I recommend guys look for a bold scarf in either of the two power colours: red or purple. These colours look great on basically everyone and they are a great way to signal power and status, albeit in a subtle, unconscious way.
My pick for a bold coloured scarf would be Deenek Scarf from Ted Baker. It’s a nice deep purple colour with a little blue accent trim. Once again, it’s on sale at Nordstrom for $42.
Another option if you’re interested in red would be this cashmere scarf from J.Crew. It comes in a very rich, deep red colour and is 100% cashmere. This scarf will get you noticed for the right reasons.
Scarves are a great accessory in any man’s wardrobe. Fortunately, you don’t need to have a ton of them in order to look good. You also don’t need to know a bazillion different ways to tie them. Just three scarves and three ways of tying them can easily do the trick.
Here’s to looking sharp!