*With apologies to English teachers.
So, a long, long time ago, a very lovely blogger over at Beurre et Pain (a delicious food blog--definitely go there if you're looking to gain some weight) asked me a very good question: How do you wear a scarf without looking like an English teacher?
Yes, the scarf (and we're talking about silk scarves here, not their warm fuzzy cousins, which trend more toward science teachers) is a risky accessory indeed. One wrong fold or drape and you could end up looking like this:
It's never a good thing when your fashion statement causes people to cross the street in order to avoid being given a stern lecture on appropriate comma usage.
So to Beurre et Pain and everyone else in the entire world who now gets to look at detailed pictures of my face (good god where is my valium?), here are some other options for your scarf, which may or may not help you, but hey, at least I got to play dress up. To create all of the following looks, I used a medium -sized square silk scarf straight from my dealer.
First up, we have the fairly classic scarf-as-headband:
What I love about this one is you can vary the level of subtlety depending on how wide you fold the scarf (just fold it to the desired size and tie it under your hair). It can either be a nice little shot of color holding your hair back, or you can create a really wide headband and tease the top of your hair up like eight feet (that's what I was going for but I ended up settling for a couple inches) and wear huge sunglasses for a more dramatic 1960's effect.
Next, ah yes, French peasant chic:
Folding your scarf into a triangle and tying it around your head may have dusty connotations (like, as in actually dusting, and as in boring--god I'm clever), but as long as it's a cute scarf and you're not wearing ratty sweatpants and carrying a duster, I swear this can work. And yes, French peasants totally wore Coach scarves.
Try tying one around your ponytail:
Sweet jesus when did I get the same scary hair tendrils as Ed Norton's girlfriend in American History X? Time to make a hair appointment, I guess. Some people get their hair done every six weeks; I wait til I resemble a neo-nazi. But besides that little problem, the scarf is cute, right?
Here's the Jack Sparrow/Lindsay Lohan special:
I love this one for summer. Let your hair down and fold the scarf in a triangle, then tie it straight across your forehead, knotting it in the back. Add gold teeth and goatee for the Jack Sparrow; huge aviators, trendy peace sign and coked out stare for the Lohan. Or maybe not.
One morning about a year ago, I was struggling to fold my scarf right, and when my boyfriend offered to help I found out that although he has no idea how to tie a tie, he can expertly prepare a gangsta-style headscarf. I chose not to press the matter, but here's a picture of his work:
As Lucky magazine would put it: "this is delightfully gangmember-y." And just so you know, that is so not a gang sign; it stands for Winona. Yep, that's my name so don't wear it out. Intimidated? I thought so.
What I've found in my scarf experience is that it's all about context. For example, if you tie a scarf loosely around your neck while wearing a collared button-down shirt, subtle flower print rayon skirt, clogs, and your hair in a bun, you're gonna have some English teacher issues (actual English teachers, again, please refer to the apologies section above).
But, if you throw on a menswear vest and keep your hair a little messy, the look is suddenly more "funky" than "Faulkner" (as in Faulkner, William, read to page 40 by Monday).
Also, if the scarf is long enough, they look great weaved through the belt loops of pants or wrapped and tied around a simple dress. But there's no way I'm posting a close-up of my waist, sorry.
And last but not least, a super-easy and super-foolproof way to showcase a cute scarf is to tie it to your handbag:
It's very hard for a bag to look like an English teacher. Problem. Solved.
Now, I know what you're thinking: My goodness, how did she afford such an elaborate photo shoot?? I mean, a dirty door as a background, distracting shadows, really bad lighting--I do hope she's established a paypal donation account of some sort for us to help her offset these huge productions costs!
Totally getting that set up, don't you worry.
p.s. Even though I probably killed my credibility somewhere between flashing gang signs and featuring "The Lohan," if you have any other scarf needs, like more specific instructions or to see the one I used or more scarf options (although I have a hunch it's all downhill from here) or whatever, leave a comment and I'll get right to it.