Fashion 9-1-1 — What Length Scarf?

Dear Abby and Elle: I have a handkerchief size neck scarf that is used as an accessory tied with a simple knot. Lately I have been seeing very long scarves tied, wrapped around, elaborately knotted, and hanging down to the waist. May I still wear the much smaller one, or do I have to drag all that excess material around my neck? –Unsure

Dear Unsure: Aren’t scarves fabulous? We love how they can be used as a simple accessory or as another piece of clothing, depending on their size.

Handkerchief scarf

Handkerchief scarf

Smaller scarves tend to offer a neater, more conservative look. Here’s a favorite (Ann Taylor) that looks just right over a black or grey turtleneck, and the whimsical design helps to temper its conservative nature. By the same token, if you love wearing low v-neck tops but don’t want to appear too “spicy,” try tying a small scarf around your neck to provide a bit of balance.

We love these two crinkle scarves, picked up in a boutique in Pennsylvania. They are easily tied around the neck and offer just the right splash of color. Because the material is lightweight, they work especially well with summer fashions.

Crinkle scarves

Crinkle scarves

Small scarves are here to stay, and if you’re more comfortable tying a small square around your neck rather than one the size of a bedsheet, by all means.

Of course, smaller scarves can only be tied so many ways, so check out this resource for some fresh ideas: 37 Ways to Tie a Scarf. Happy knotting!

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