How to Style a Scarf

Posted by Carrie Thompson on

I get requests constantly from people asking how to tie a scarf and how to wear them. A lot of people have scarves but they never wear them because they don't know how to. I am here to help with that today. 

I am going to show you some basic techniques as well as some more advanced techniques. 

I am going to be focusing today on the oblong scarf. An oblong scarf is basically a fancy way to say long rectangular shaped scarf. It's the original, basic shape of scarves and in my opinion it has the most options for styling.  

Shown in the picture above is the scarf just draped around the neck. It can hang freely without any fussing. 

You can add a little fun and dimension to the neck drape look by adding knots towards the ends of your scarf like shown below. It will give the tails a little bit of weight helping the scarf to stay where you want it to. 


Sticking with the simple and easy for the next styling is a simple drape around the neck. It makes me think of an old fashioned pilot but can really add a pop of fun to your outfit. 

What you do with this is the basic neck drape, that I showed above, and wrap one of the tails around your neck and let it hang down your back. You will have a tail from the scarf on each side of one shoulder. It can add some great elegance to your outfit depending on the scarf material. Chiffon, skinny, or shimmery scarves would be perfect to wear this way if you need to dress an outfit up. 


For look number 3, you are going to do the single wrap and keep going all the way around until both tails are hanging down the front and you have a wrap around your neck. 


You can adjust this look by bringing the part that is wrapped around your neck down lower onto your chest and the tails higher up. The options are endless with this look because you can wear that loop where ever you want to. Have it close up to the neck or further down the chest. It's completely up to you. 

Look 4 is a continuation with this style and tying the ends of the scarf together. 


You have your two tails hanging down, and all you are going to do is loop one tail over the other and you have a slightly more intricate look in your scarf. 

Going back to the very first one, the simple drape, and combining the very last step of look 4 will get you another classic look. That sounds way more complicated than it actually is. Let me walk you through it. 


Start with your scarf hanging around your neck. Then loop your 2 tails around each other. You can stop there, or if you want to make sure that your scarf stays the way you have it, then loop the tails around each other again. Simple. 

We are going to step it up a little now and I am going to show you some fun ways to wear the scarf closer to your neck. 

First thing you are going to do is take your scarf and fold it in half. This next set of styling is all going to deal with the scarf being folded in half. 

Drape the folded scarf around your neck so that you have the loop on one side and the 2 tails on the other side. 


Pull the tails through the loop and allow the tails to hang from the loop. This is a great way to wear a scarf if you need to fill in the chest area, cover low cut shirts, or add a little extra warmth. 


This next style is called a pretzel. You start the same way as above but instead of pulling both tails through the loop you do one tail, twist your loop then pull the second tail through and let it hang. 


The last style with the folded in half scarf is going to be a simple tie. You do just that. Take the loop end and the 2 tails and do a little loop over, just like you do when the scarf is hanging long in the first stylings, except its all up top.The thickness of the scarf I used did not allow for the scarf to be tied in a full knot, so I did the first step of the knot and then I tucked the tails into the loop to secure them and give the finished look. 


Wear your knot off to the side or in the center depending on what you want for a look. 


Now for some more advanced and fun looks.

Up first is using a stretchy ring to accent your scarf. Fold your scarf in half and slide the folded end of the scarf into the ring. Pull the ring down the length of the scarf until you have it in the desired position and slip over your head.


I should tell you that not all scarves will work for this technique. Your scarf needs to be on the smaller side for this to work. Really thick scarves wont slide through the ring and you risk breaking the ring. But you also don't want the scarf to be too thin either because the ring wont stay on. This one takes a little experimenting to find what works. In all honesty, this scarf was just a tiny bit too thick. 

This next styling is one of my favorite ways to wear a scarf. It is great for filling in the chest area, covering our belly bumps that we all have and don't like, and adding a some dimension to a solid or simple top. First step is to take opposite corners of the scarf and tie them in a knot. This was a little hard to show in the photos. You are taking the top corner of one side of the scarf and tying it to the bottom corner of the opposite side. This is what gives the scarf the fullness and fun. Once the knot is tied, place it around your neck so the knot is in the back. 


Now you are going to treat this like an infinity scarf and twist the scarf and place the bottom loop around your neck. Fluff and fix to your liking and you are set to go. 


The final style is wearing a scarf as a vest. To be able to do this you need to have a wide oblong scarf. It should be at least 2 feet tall/wide (roughly the length of an arm) To start you are going to fold the scarf in half, then tie a knot with the corner of the fold and the 2 ends. 


Next you are going to open up the scarf with the knot on top, you will see the 2 arm holes making the vest. Put the scarf on with the knot behind your neck. You can wear this with anything you would wear a vest with. Its a fun way to wear your scarves all year long. 


I created a video of this style this summer with a different scarf. If you need a video representation you can watch that here

There are a ton of ways you can wear a scarf. These are just a few different ways that I enjoy wearing them. Stay tuned for future Friday Style Tips, you might just see some other scarf stylings. 


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