Scarves Determining what scarves look best on you

turfnsurf

Authenticator
Feb 6, 2014
1,574
9,163
The question that I’ve often wondered, and am pondering lately, is: How do you know what scarf really suits you? Considering colors, patterns, type of designs, even formats, etc.

I’ve been enjoying my collex of H scarves for many years and it’s been an enlightening journey (especially for my wallet). :giggle: I’ve valued the words of wisdom shared here in many threads and have curated a silk stash that I’m pretty pleased with (though there’s always room for one more). :graucho:

There are so many differences in scarf collex just within the H realm (love the SOTD thread to showcase this). I’m always amazed at how TPF’ers share designs and color ways that suit their personal style and look beautiful on them. There’s the odd carre that gets rehomed because it “doesn’t work” for the wearer. I’d love to explore & discuss just what factors make a scarf “work”...

Many rely on the skills of their trusted SA, their own innate judgment or adhere to a particular color system. I can hear Sandra Bullock’s character in the Blind Side saying, “It is not in my color wheel and I'm not gonna wear it." :lol:
Many of the vintage H designs have wide borders that some absolutely avoid. I’ve discovered that these work just fine for my aesthetic.
Ex: La Poursuite
4565FEED-850B-43B0-B1C0-CA6E2C107C69.jpeg
In fact I’ve determined that designs that offer bold clear colors (occasionally pastels), contrast and less intricate designs stay in rotation.

Grayed color ways with less contrast seldom make it out the door on my neck, though if I love the design it’ll get tied on a bag, etc. This Les Boxes is beautiful, but seems to rob my skin of warmth and makes me feel like a zombie...
DAAB6187-63EC-4364-8173-86828584BC08.jpeg
Is this phenomenon due to my dark hair? My neural skin tone? I’m not sure...

What epiphanies have you had? Notice any similarities throughout your silken stash? Have any insight to share on how you select scarves?
:happydance:I’m interested to hear- Please share!!
 
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Christofle

O.G.
Apr 21, 2011
5,009
6,512
Montreal
I usually choose a scarf to match a particular outfit rather than wether it suits me.

My first was the mythique Phoenix in a blue colour way (got it to match my linen suit for my brother's wedding)
Second was an orange scarf-tie to add a pop of colour to a black tuxedo that I purchased for an event.
Third was a 90cm square black silk jacquard quadridge because I needed an evening scarf to attend a scholarship event (went with the black tuxedo mentioned above).
Fourth was the original into the wild 90cm scarf with the red border to match a blue silk/cashmere jacket for a Christmas party.

If there's anything to note about these is that none of them have bold prints aside for the into the wild. This is probably because I tend to wear very bold coloured tops/pants so I need a more subdued scarf. Another thing that I've realized is that I much prefer silk scarves over cotton/wool/cashmere ones. The way silk shines and colours change a bit with lighting is probably the reason I prefer silk.

Not entirely sure if this is what you were looking for but this was my attempt!
 

turfnsurf

Authenticator
Feb 6, 2014
1,574
9,163
I usually choose a scarf to match a particular outfit rather than wether it suits me.

My first was the mythique Phoenix in a blue colour way (got it to match my linen suit for my brother's wedding)
Second was an orange scarf-tie to add a pop of colour to a black tuxedo that I purchased for an event.
Third was a 90cm square black silk jacquard quadridge because I needed an evening scarf to attend a scholarship event (went with the black tuxedo mentioned above).
Fourth was the original into the wild 90cm scarf with the red border to match a blue silk/cashmere jacket for a Christmas party.

If there's anything to note about these is that none of them have bold prints aside for the into the wild. This is probably because I tend to wear very bold coloured tops/pants so I need a more subdued scarf. Another thing that I've realized is that I much prefer silk scarves over cotton/wool/cashmere ones. The way silk shines and colours change a bit with lighting is probably the reason I prefer silk.

Not entirely sure if this is what you were looking for but this was my attempt!
Yes! I’m interested in whatever method(s) others use to choose. Now that you mention matching clothes I’ve been known to by blazers to match scarves I couldn’t resist. So I’m a bit backwards.

I totally agree with you about preferring the silk twill (and for the same reasons). :yes:
 

AnnaE

Team Scarf Mistress 2021
O.G.
Mar 9, 2011
2,052
13,188
California
The question that I’ve often wondered, and am pondering lately, is: How do you know what scarf really suits you? Considering colors, patterns, type of designs, even formats, etc.

I’ve been enjoying my collex of H scarves for many years and it’s been an enlightening journey (especially for my wallet). :giggle: I’ve valued the words of wisdom shared here in many threads and have curated a silk stash that I’m pretty pleased with (though there’s always room for one more). :graucho:

There are so many differences in scarf collex just within the H realm (love the SOTD thread to showcase this). I’m always amazed at how TPF’ers share designs and color ways that suit their personal style and look beautiful on them. There’s the odd carre that gets rehomed because it “doesn’t work” for the wearer. I’d love to explore & discuss just what factors make a scarf “work”...

Many rely on the skills of their trusted SA, their own innate judgment or adhere to a particular color system. I can hear Sandra Bullock’s character in the Blind Side saying, “It is not in my color wheel and I'm not gonna wear it." :lol:
Many of the vintage H designs have wide borders that some absolutely avoid. I’ve discovered that these work just fine for my aesthetic.
Ex: La Poursuite
View attachment 4892609
In fact I’ve determined that designs that offer bold clear colors (occasionally pastels), contrast and less intricate designs stay in rotation.

Grayed color ways with less contrast seldom make it out the door on my neck, though if I love the design it’ll get tied on a bag, etc. This Les Boxes is beautiful, but seems to rob my skin of warmth and makes me feel like a zombie...
View attachment 4892629
Is this phenomenon due to my dark hair? My neural skin tone? I’m not sure...

What epiphanies have you had? Notice any similarities throughout your silken stash? Have any insight to share on how you select scarves?
:happydance:I’m interested to hear- Please share!!
The color wheel system is a little arcane for me, but we all have colors in which we look great. For me, there are also colors that work for me nominally, but don’t work psychologically — e.g., I cannot wear scarves with a lot of white in them, even if the main colors look great, which is why the current season had some mismatches for me. I feel like I generally know ‘my’ colors, so I shop accordingly. I am lucky because my husband is fairly attuned to my scarf collecting, so he often acts as an arbiter if I am not too certain. The SAs are usually not very helpful, except for on France, where they are usually quite honest.

With regards to the two scarves you shared, I defining liked the first one — it’s a nice, bright color, and it contrasts nicely with your hair and skin. The second one seems too pale for your coloring, and perhaps too cool. It might be better with a different outfit though.
 

ajaxbreaker

Member
May 1, 2019
1,237
10,373
-I look best in bright/jewel tones, nothing pastel. So no pastel scarves for me no matter how beautiful they might be. The brighter the color, the better. I particularly love yellow and fuschia.

-I love scarves that have a bright contrast hem. This is something Hermes does so well. It's unexpected, it immediately captures the attention and adds pizzazz to an outfit.

-At the beginning of my H journey I bought a couple of classic designs with borders: Double Sangles and l'Ocean (vintage). Oooooh boy what a mistake. My clothing style is very casual, tomboyish and modern. Those classical designs clashed completely with everything I was wearing and aged me, I felt. Whenever I try to wear something more classical I feel like a little girl playing dress-up in her mother's closet. I'm 37 but I still feel like there will never come a day where I will look put together enough to carry off a classic, feminine outfit :lol: I still struggle with wearing 90s for this reason, as I can't find a way to make them seem casual. So lesson: no borders, no classical designs. I think I'm finally learning my lesson because I've only bought one 90 this season and it's to frame, not wear!

-I've discovered I actually love the way abstract or graphic patterns look on me: anything with stripes, polka dots, bandana prints... Hermes makes many many beautiful designs that are like paintings, but the truth of the matter is, when they're folded and tied, you can only see bits and pieces of the design. That bugs me somewhat. But it's not an issue with anything abstract or all over graphical. (Also, those kinds of designs match better with my casual wardrobe than, I dunno, imperial French carriages or noblemen or whatever.)

-This seems to be a general rule: If you're petite, avoid large patterns. And I'm only 5'1! So I could never wear something like the Three Graces CSGM with its enormous giraffes. I'd get lost.

-Hermes scarves are the best way to jazz up plain, neutral outfits in brown, grey, black, white... I love to use them as a pop of color. You can even do this with twillies!

-I like to wear earrings that match or complement the scarf in some way!

-In terms of formats, I like the ones that are longer/thinner rather than square: maxi twillies or losenges. A square is kind of a weird format for a scarf, you end up with extra material bunched up around your neck and I don't like the cowboy knot (just looks like a bib to me). I still have 90s and CSGMs, but they're never as easy for me to wear as the other formats.

A few illustrations:



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turfnsurf

Authenticator
Feb 6, 2014
1,574
9,163
The color wheel system is a little arcane for me, but we all have colors in which we look great. For me, there are also colors that work for me nominally, but don’t work psychologically — e.g., I cannot wear scarves with a lot of white in them, even if the main colors look great, which is why the current season had some mismatches for me. I feel like I generally know ‘my’ colors, so I shop accordingly. I am lucky because my husband is fairly attuned to my scarf collecting, so he often acts as an arbiter if I am not too certain. The SAs are usually not very helpful, except for on France, where they are usually quite honest.

With regards to the two scarves you shared, I defining liked the first one — it’s a nice, bright color, and it contrasts nicely with your hair and skin. The second one seems too pale for your coloring, and perhaps too cool. It might be better with a different outfit though.
I’m so glad you joined in, Anna. :smile:
You definitely are the queen of red silks and look outstanding in them! Have you done any musing as to why (hair color & skin tone I’m guessing)? I love that your DH provides honest scarf feedback -my limited SA experiences were less than stellar and the most my DH will say is “nice scarf.” I remember you were on the fence about a non-red selection in SOTD not too long ago, but forget the details...

I appreciate your input on my shared pics and fully agree with you. I haven’t figured out how to wear those cooler, grayed tones near my face with success...
 

jmen

O.G.
Jan 15, 2007
5,677
672
If one follows the Color me Beautiful concept, it works and there will no longer be those instances where a scarf c/w does not work. iIf there is a dress or top that is not in your color scheme, using a scarf that is in your best colors will magically make the item come together. Hth
 

papertiger

MOD
Moderator
Authenticator
O.G.
May 23, 2009
43,330
72,410
G-orgeous H-eaven
It's a bit like the rules that (good) stylists give:

1. There is a shade/tint/hue of most colours that someone can wear. Make sure you select the right one for you.

2. Know your face (even body) shape, shapes of patterns should echo, not compete.

3. Like 2, check whether you have high contrast, mid-contrast or low contrast colouring between features.

Silk reflects so make sure the reflective tones compliment your colouring too (and not just the flat colours of the scarf.

@turfnsurf I would guess that your colouring is probably more harmonious with rich, bright, clear tones (colour) geometrics and strength of features (hence good with wide border and bold pattern as in e.g. scarf 1) whereas perhaps less successful with muted tones and a melange-type pattern (e.g.2.)

I would add to all some tips I picked up through make-up artists (talking about wearing colour rather than makeup):

4. Try not to wear your shadow colour, the colour of your natural under-eye (mine is a red/blue mix that looks like a greyed-purple from a distance).

5. You can also treat scarves as makeup. E.g. wear your most natural blush or complimentary (opposite) colour as pick-up colour. If you blush pink (or look good with pink blush) go for pink or green (as strong or as subtle as your colouring) orange/peach go for peach/orange or blue, very golden go for gold or purple and so on.

6. Scale is also really important.
 

turfnsurf

Authenticator
Feb 6, 2014
1,574
9,163
-I look best in bright/jewel tones, nothing pastel. So no pastel scarves for me no matter how beautiful they might be. The brighter the color, the better. I particularly love yellow and fuschia.

-I love scarves that have a bright contrast hem. This is something Hermes does so well. It's unexpected, it immediately captures the attention and adds pizzazz to an outfit.

-At the beginning of my H journey I bought a couple of classic designs with borders: Double Sangles and l'Ocean (vintage). Oooooh boy what a mistake. My clothing style is very casual, tomboyish and modern. Those classical designs clashed completely with everything I was wearing and aged me, I felt. Whenever I try to wear something more classical I feel like a little girl playing dress-up in her mother's closet. I'm 37 but I still feel like there will never come a day where I will look put together enough to carry off a classic, feminine outfit :lol: I still struggle with wearing 90s for this reason, as I can't find a way to make them seem casual. So lesson: no borders, no classical designs. I think I'm finally learning my lesson because I've only bought one 90 this season and it's to frame, not wear!

-I've discovered I actually love the way abstract or graphic patterns look on me: anything with stripes, polka dots, bandana prints... Hermes makes many many beautiful designs that are like paintings, but the truth of the matter is, when they're folded and tied, you can only see bits and pieces of the design. That bugs me somewhat. But it's not an issue with anything abstract or all over graphical. (Also, those kinds of designs match better with my casual wardrobe than, I dunno, imperial French carriages or noblemen or whatever.)

-This seems to be a general rule: If you're petite, avoid large patterns. And I'm only 5'1! So I could never wear something like the Three Graces CSGM with its enormous giraffes. I'd get lost.

-Hermes scarves are the best way to jazz up plain, neutral outfits in brown, grey, black, white... I love to use them as a pop of color. You can even do this with twillies!

-I like to wear earrings that match or complement the scarf in some way!

-In terms of formats, I like the ones that are longer/thinner rather than square: maxi twillies or losenges. A square is kind of a weird format for a scarf, you end up with extra material bunched up around your neck and I don't like the cowboy knot (just looks like a bib to me). I still have 90s and CSGMs, but they're never as easy for me to wear as the other formats.

A few illustrations:



View attachment 4892962

View attachment 4892963
View attachment 4892964
View attachment 4892965

View attachment 4892966



\ View attachment 4892976
View attachment 4892970

View attachment 4892968
Wow, you’ve really dialed it in! I love your choices and insights on many details:

Yellow seems to be less appreciated in scarf land, yet I’m a fan and your selections look lovely. Fuchsia is also a personal fav’ of mine- is there a hair/skin/eye color out there it doesn’t compliment do you think?

Contrast hems are an ingenious detail! The ones you shared are total superstars. Your mention of earrings is also something I’ve dabbled with- I love the idea, but dangly ones usually get caught in my curls. I often wind up pairing a necklace with a scarf if it needs something else, but will explore that a bit more now that you’ve mentioned it.

I’m impressed that you’ve figured out ideal formats and even patterns for yourself- while I love dots, stars & stripes I haven’t quite been able to limit my collecting to just graphic designs. The classic & especially equestrian illustrations are irresistible to me. I purchased a hanging system at DH’s surprising suggestion, but haven’t put it up yet...
 
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Apr 15, 2007
63,995
9,322
Choosing the "right" color in your scarf reminds me of choosing the right lip color.
You just never know what is going to work until you try.
Why we all may favor certain color palettes, when it comes to H the rainbow of choices can be
beguiling.
I tend to favor certain colors but many of the designs & colorways are so unexpected I keep
an open mind & over the years have chosen colors that were unexpected for me.
So I look every collection at times I will rely on my SA but I know what really works for me.
I much prefer the cashmere & on occasion have purchased the same design in a silk to wear under a jacket
 

turfnsurf

Authenticator
Feb 6, 2014
1,574
9,163
If one follows the Color me Beautiful concept, it works and there will no longer be those instances where a scarf c/w does not work. iIf there is a dress or top that is not in your color scheme, using a scarf that is in your best colors will magically make the item come together. Hth
Ooooh- that sounds so simple!
I’ve heard of those color systems, but don’t ever feel like I’m certain where I fit.

Would you consider sharing some more details of your personal method... a photo or 2 to illustrate? I’d love to see it in action!
 

turfnsurf

Authenticator
Feb 6, 2014
1,574
9,163
It's a bit like the rules that (good) stylists give:

1. There is a shade/tint/hue of most colours that someone can wear. Make sure you select the right one for you.

2. Know your face (even body) shape, shapes of patterns should echo, not compete.

3. Like 2, check whether you have high contrast, mid-contrast or low contrast colouring between features.

Silk reflects so make sure the reflective tones compliment your colouring too (and not just the flat colours of the scarf.

@turfnsurf I would guess that your colouring is probably more harmonious with rich, bright, clear tones (colour) geometrics and strength of features (hence good with wide border and bold pattern as in e.g. scarf 1) whereas perhaps less successful with muted tones and a melange-type pattern (e.g.2.)

I would add to all some tips I picked up through make-up artists (talking about wearing colour rather than makeup):

4. Try not to wear your shadow colour (the colour of your natural under-ye (mine is a red/ble mix that looks like a greyed-purple from a distance).

5. You can also treat scarves as makeup. E.g. wear your most natural blush or complimentary (opposite) colour as pick-up colour. If you blush pink (or look good with pink blush) go for pink or green (as strong or as subtle as your colouring) orange/peach go for peach/orange or blue, very golden go for gold or purple and so on.

6. Scale is also really important.
Thanks for sharing this wealth of great ideas! :nuts:
I’m pleased that your assessment falls along the lines of what I was thinking for myself. It’s tricky to look objectively at yourself at times b/c superfluous details can confuse and ideals distort (does that make sense?). I’ve explored the 4 color/type system with hue/tint/shade/tone and know grayed tones near my face should be avoided and icy/reflective finishes seem to compliment.

I’m thoroughly intrigued by your make up artist color tips!! I’m running to mirror now to examine my under eye shadows and will probably overthink what I find. :giggle:
I adore the concept of using a scarf as make-up; what a fresh way at looking at my collection! I’m going to try this out and see what happens...

Your last point of scale is something that I haven’t yet mastered. If you have any additional pointers for determining what is ideal I’d love to hear them.
 

turfnsurf

Authenticator
Feb 6, 2014
1,574
9,163
Choosing the "right" color in your scarf reminds me of choosing the right lip color.
You just never know what is going to work until you try.
Why we all may favor certain color palettes, when it comes to H the rainbow of choices can be
beguiling.
I tend to favor certain colors but many of the designs & colorways are so unexpected I keep
an open mind & over the years have chosen colors that were unexpected for me.
So I look every collection at times I will rely on my SA but I know what really works for me.
I much prefer the cashmere & on occasion have purchased the same design in a silk to wear under a jacket
Yes, my scarf journey began with straight trial & error. I purchased what appealed, but had no trusted scarf/color/style advisor to rely on. Over the years -and with the help of posting photos in the SOTD thread- I began to see that some looked better than others. I’m a total fan color and needed to try them all. :rolleyes:

I have a handful of cashmeres, cotton & mousseline scarves, but gravitate more towards silk twill b/c of the sheen I think.
Your preference for cashmere makes me wonder if it’s a warmth thing or the less shiny finish?
 
Apr 15, 2007
63,995
9,322
Yes, my scarf journey began with straight trial & error. I purchased what appealed, but had no trusted scarf/color/style advisor to rely on. Over the years -and with the help of posting photos in the SOTD thread- I began to see that some looked better than others. I’m a total fan color and needed to try them all. :rolleyes:

I have a handful of cashmeres, cotton & mousseline scarves, but gravitate more towards silk twill b/c of the sheen I think.
Your preference for cashmere makes me wonder if it’s a warmth thing or the less shiny finish?
I prefer the cashmeres because they are luxurious & they offer me the warmth that I look for especially
now that the weather is changing although I use my cashmeres during the spring/summer where there
is air condition. The silks that I do choose I tend to wear as an underpinning.. So at times the colors
of the silk scarf become serviceable where I need that..