Blast from the Past: A Scarf for All Seasons

Like dreadlocks, seasons come and go, but a beloved scarf lasts forever. Here our columnist David Morgan shares on one of Goodwill’s most plentiful items: neck-cuddlin’, head-turnin’, eye-catchin’ scarves.

A few of my favorite scarves, Brady-Bunch style!

Very, very soon along the East Coast, it’s going to get cold. I mean coooold. What better time to get some tips on wearing scarves?

Last year on my personal blog, I created a post on exactly that, featuring a lot of my favorite scarves, many of which were purchased at secondhand thrift shops (thanks Goodwill!). Scarves come in all shapes and sizes, and can add a lot of dramatic flair to the most monotone of outfits. Learn what size scarf I recommend, the types of materials I would suggest for colder and warmer weather, and take a look at the many ways you can style your favorite scarf. Discover it here or just click “More” below. Then, share your thrifted scarves with us on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Anyone who has seen me on a regular basis knows that I love to wear scarves. I have a lot of them, in many different colors and textures!

I don’t think scarves should be regulated to seasons, nor do I think they should be limited to fashion trends. Scarves come in many different materials, from silk and cotton, to wool and cashmere, and in an infinite range of patterns. There are equally as many ways to wear them.

Here are a few suggestions for picking great scarves:

1). Go BIG! I’m not a fan of the skinny scarf. There are so many more options when you have a huge scarf! I suppose a big scarf would be a “shawl.” In my book, shawl = scarf. The scarves I wear in the above picture are 45-56″ squares, except the stringy, burgundy one (top right). That one is a huge triangle, handmade for me by my brother’s girlfriend’s wonderful mother.

Not only is it more practical in colder weather, it adds a healthy amount of flair to your outfit. There have been countless days when, in a rush, I quickly throw on a t-shirt and jeans with a big scarf. You can style it any way you want and you’ll look so chic too!

2). Get crazy color and patterns! If you typically wear a muted color palette, like greys, beiges and blacks, a scarf is a wonderful way to quickly add a lot of color. Don’t be afraid to pick a color you wouldn’t dare wear otherwise. If you change your mind, you can always take it off. Scarves are a great way to experiment!

3). Think about materials. I’m not too familiar with all of the fabric names, but I tend to pick scarves that are soft and smooth. When shopping for a scarf, always test it first. Style it the way you normally would and pay attention to how it feels against your skin, and how it feels in room temperature. I typically go for scarves that I can wear in more than one season, although there are times when a really great wool scarf catches my eye. A big scarf in a light fabric can be really warm when layered, and is a wonderful contrast to winter’s typically heavy materials.

4). Be a smart shopper. Scarves are such a versatile accessory that it isn’t a fashion crime to spend upwards of a $100 on a good one. On the other hand, most of my scarves were found at thrift stores like Goodwill. If you are a thrift store shopper (and you should be!), you can find a lot of wonderful scarves, vintage and new, and in a host of colors, for very cheap.

Still, be careful: just because something is cheap does not mean you should buy it. Like anything you buy, be selective when shopping for that perfect scarf. Only buy something that catches your eye and that can be worn with many outfits.

5). Make twists and turns. Have fun when wearing a scarf! While it’s great to simply let it drape over your shoulders, don’t be afraid to try different knots and loops. One scarf worn in different ways is a great way to transition an outfit from day to evening.

If you haven’t done so already, I hope you will begin implementing more scarves into your outfits. You will be surprised at how they add a new level of style to your look!

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