Scarves Power Scarves--scarves that could run the meeting all by themselves

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  1. I couldn't find a thread about this topic, and I could use advice and help.

    OK, so any scarf Christine Lagarde puts on becomes a power scarf. Me, not so much. I am still searching for the power scarf of my dreams, but it's possible I own it already and just don't recognize it as such.

    I have scarves that make me feel like a million bucks, but I need to know what kind of scarf says, "I feel like a million bucks, and I mean business, so listen up."

    A helpful SA pointed out to me what is probably obvious to many: a larger, bolder pattern often reads as more "powerful" than a small dainty one. But maybe there are exceptions?

    Red is a standard power color. What else strikes you as a power color (given that any color that makes you look your best is probably a power color for you)? Is black a power color? White? What are your "power scarves," and what makes them so for you?

    Les Leopards in cw 07 is my most recent attempt. It gets many compliments and I love love love it, and it has red and is a bold-ish pattern, and yet, for me, it's not quite there yet. I want a scarf that looks like it could run the meeting all by itself. What do you suggest?
    CoffeeSLP likes this.
  2. I also think the size, material and fold make a difference as well. A large 140 in silk twill folded on bias says business, vs the same size in cashmere worn as a draped cowboy fold. The former is polished and deliberate while the latter is casual and carefree.


    Passau, csetcos, lulilu and 3 others like this.
  3. Any scarf, accessory or item of clothing should be a power item if you wear it and carry yourself with confidence. Ms. Lagarde carries herself like the accomplished woman she is, wearing items that make her happy and are appropriate for the setting. An object can't substitute for self confidence and it can't say I mean business if your demeanor doesn't. That's asking an awful lot from a square of silk.
  4. I have 6 H bags and two scarves/shawls - that's how picky I am with my shawls. I usually obsess about one or two per season, I dont just buy it because it looks like a million bucks on someone I saw on tpf, IG, celebrity etc. I always try it on and if it doesn't run the whole world for me, what's the point of spending $1500 on a cashmere and silk shawl? I work very hard for my money and would hate to waste on something of a price tag like that. When you wear the right one, you just's all in that feeling.
  5. Interesting question. I think I share your issue in some regard. Some people can carry off anything, with their presence and demeanor. Others, like me, need an extra layer of polish and presence that the right clothing and accessories can provide.

    I've been narrowing my scarf selection process as well to discover what I like, what works and what doesn't. I've fallen in love with some gorgeous scarves only to find they overpower me, or just look wrong for how I intend to wear them.

    Here are the things that are too feminine on me:
    Small florals and paisleys - eg Chasse, Portes, Jardins etc
    Small people (maison des Carres),
    Small animals
    Oddly enough the split version of Cheval/Phoenix - the horseshoes looked amazing and the phoenix part looked like a hot mess.

    What does work beautifully with my clothes:
    Abstracts, bridlewear, and bold sweeping lines and colour blocks like Iris, Festivals, Ceintures
    I'm gaining appreciation for some soft neutrals to offset a bolder outfit or handbag choice, but those are not the ones I am naturally drawn to, when selecting H scarves as a piece of beautiful wearable art..

    I agree with cavluv that the fold also makes a huge difference.

    Do you have some scarves that you hoped to be power scarves? Can we see what look you're hoping to achieve?
    ninakt, prepster and Belphoebe like this.
  6. #6 Jul 24, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017
    I have never thought of scarves in this way. I dont have many and I usually wear a scarf to meetings when I want to dress up a boring black outfit.

    Wear what makes you feel confident and happy because you cant control what others think of you. Even if this forum and all of the H SAs worldwide arrived at a consensus on the power scarf there is no guarantee that people in a business meeting would perceive it the same way. If they noticed it at all.

    To add, all of this being said, I spent most of my youth planning outfits because I needed the feeling of being stylish. It was extra security in high school! It definitely never hurts to dress for that. But it has to be based on what you perceive because it is impossible to know what others will think.

    When I used to play competitive tennis I felt like I had to have certain clothes to wear for a match. I guess I thought if I lost at least I would look good. I also had lucky clothes and earrings, and meals but that's another topic :smile:
  7. #7 Jul 24, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017
    This is super helpful, thank you! I was going to ask what people thought about size. I am toying with the idea of a maxi twilly (the frontrunner was Zebra Pegasus in black and red) but the 140 in a bias fold does look more formal in the picture, so that Suite et Poursuite is now high on this list. The maxi twilly seems more . . . fun, or something.

    Aha, this is great. You know, I think abstracts may be a good idea for me too. My closest thing to a power scarf right now is my black and silver Vif Argent. My scarf equivalent of brass knuckles! But I can't wear it to every meeting, so I need ideas to help me mix it up! I almost always wear solid black to an important meeting, whether a suit or dress, so there are a lot of options. Let's pretend this is me:

    It goes without saying that confidence comes from within. If I couldn't convey authority without a scarf, I'd quit my job. But the extra mental oomph that comes with a distinctive accessory is a fun thing to think about, talk about, and shop for. I am always envious of people who can put things on and just know. I myself benefit from good SAs, friends, and tips from stylish folks here who have helped in all kinds of ways.

    Some people get paid to talk to the public about what fashion choices convey what look and why! That is so cool! Nobody will every offer me money for my opinion. If I could afford a personal stylist, I would totally do it. But instead, like the immortal Blanche Dubois, I have always depended on the kindness of (friends and) strangers. Especially the scarf-knowledgeable and scarf-experienced people here! : )
    lovetheduns likes this.
  8. I don't think there is any one scarf or accessory you can wear to project power. It really is, as others have touched on, in how you carry and put yourself together. Some people look fantastic/powerful wearing small prints or an ultra feminine look, while others don't, and vice versa. I think the danger is that something you're wearing becomes the focus of attention, rather than the actual business statement you are trying to make through words or a presentation or a projection of authority in how those things are delivered. In some environments a scarf is appropriate, in others, it's not. It might not even be noticed, even if it makes you feel like you are extremely well put together, or it could convey the wrong impression depending on the setting. Again, as others have said, it's really your call as to what makes you personally look and feel confident and powerful.
    nicole0612, ninakt, marbella8 and 8 others like this.
  9. In case somebody else is interested in this topic in the future, I've put together a few posts featuring a scarf that gets described as a power scarf (sometimes by its owner, sometimes by others). It's extremely useful to see what they have in common and what differs from person to person.

    There seem to be two predominant categories: 1) geometrics in not too many colors; 2) more traditional patterns in the classic gold, white, black combindation. The Flanerie a Versailles is kind of an outlier (if I have the right cw): is it something about the bright and dark, in a surprising color combination?

    If anyone else wanted to add their own personal power scarf (or scarves) to the thread and, if you felt like it, mention what makes it a power scarf for you, I'd be grateful.

    Circuit 24 Faubourg, cw 05, Rouge Orange/Noir/Anthracite

    Peinture Fraiche, cw 07, blanc/encre

    Astrologie Nouvelle, black, white, gold, bronze

    Flanerie a Versailles, I'm guessing cw 15 (ardoise/rouge/jaune), since the picture isn't displaying for me--I hope @papertiger will correct me if I am wrong:

    Les Cles in black, white, and gold

    Princess Daimyo, black, white, gold, red

    Not sure which one this is:

    I swear there's a Legendes de l'Arbre Coloriage somewhere that someone describes as a power scarf, but I can't find it now.

    Thank you for indulging me!
 likes this.
  10. Knowledge is power. Scarves are just an accessory. When your co-workers know that you are knowledgeable, you could wear a paper bag to a meeting, and they will still defer to you.
  11. The projection of confidence, power and style is individual and unique. It develops through time and accomplishment. It also evolves and adapts to changes in environment - seasons, work setting, foreign lands we visit, people we are meeting.

    There are active H scarf threads here full of discussion and daily inspiration where people get ideas for what will suit them. To the OP, the journey is yours alone. But you can take the same road on which many others travel. In time, your scarves will convey (more) power, by your expertise and accomplishments, and in the ways you comfortably wear them. Take the daily steps to that goal and enjoy it.
  12. #12 Jul 24, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017
    Ah, everybody is so philosophical and deep when I meant only to be shallow and fun! So embarrassing! I appreciate the thoughtful responses.

    I am sorry my exaggerated opening was misleading. Rest assured, I can kick a** in a meeting while wearing nothing but Confidents des Coeurs and a tutu (though I hope I never have to).

    My extremely accomplished and confident team members and I enjoy chatting about what we wear into battle--our power suits, power ties, power shoes (a colleague has some Proenzas that could run a meeting on their own), statement necklaces. Helps us release tension. Everyone's style is a little different, but often our ideas and impressions overlap, and it's fun to try to identify some general principles.

    But none of them is a scarf junkie like me, so I turn to you all! If it's not fun for you, or you don't think of your accessories that way, I understand.

    In the meantime, here's a post with a shawl that someone called a power scarf. Wowza! Not a combination I can pull off, but I get it. Falls more in line with the Flanerie des Versailles kind of power above, maybe?

    And another black-white-gold-red: Soleil de Soie, the owner's "go-to scarf for power dressing":
  13. Interesting that you mentioned Les Léopards in cw10. As soon as I saw your initial post, before I read down to the bottom, this was the one I was going to recommend! But you say it's "not quite there."
    I find that the border of this scarf is a bit problematic when using a normal bias fold. It's just plain black, and you're pairing it with a black dress, which means that the border kind of fades into the background. But the design takes on an entirely different character when tied close to the neck with a scarf ring, and perhaps even paired with a necklace, like this:
    LeopardsTied - 1.jpg
    As you can see, I'm just wearing it very casually here, with a cashmere sweater & tee. I realize that you would be pairing it with a dress. But you might want to play around with less drape-y knots and see if that gives you the "wowza" factor you're looking for.
    Good luck in your quest! "Power dressing with H scarves" is a fun topic for a thread. :smile:
  14. #14 Jul 24, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017
    If you want a "power" scarf, color matters. No pink, no baby colors, no "sweet." When DH has to lay down the law at work he wears a red tie with a discreet pattern, a white shirt with plain cuffs, an expensive dark navy suit with plain, lace up shoes. When he is meeting with someone and wants to convey trust and responsibility, he wears a navy suit, a white shirt and a blue tie with a small print. When he is being "friendly" and "approachable" he wears a French blue shirt and an interesting French blue tie with a gray suit. I don't think he does this consciously, I don't know, maybe it just works out that way, or maybe it is so ingrained that it's second nature. He also has a tie that is downright fierce. When I see him put that on, I know heads are gonna roll! Lol! It goes without saying that he does not wear his golden retriever tie to important meetings.

    A power scarf would likewise avoid animals, animal prints, little people, anything cute or funky, anything that looks like lady-of-the-manor (or Lady and the Tramp :lol:). Keep the print serious and subdued or straightforward and graphic and tie it so that it isn't fluffy. A scarf will soften a look, in general, so keep it relatively flat if that is not your intention. You don't want grand billowing clouds of silk wafting about your face if you want to look like you mean business. And never fuss with it as if you are primping. No big clown bows, or romantic tails trailing over your shoulder like Isadora Duncan. If you jauntily tie it around your neck like a flight attendant you'll look like a flight attendant. (Which is fine if that's the look you're going for.) No big square tied like a waterfall, bib, or bandit. A simple ascot tucked into a blouse or bias folded and tucked inside the collar of your suit jacket is a polished power look.

    The rest of the outfit should be tailored and high quality. No jangly jewelry or big diamonds or sweet little ear wires. A gold wedding band and a watch, closed-toe shoes and a pair of close-fitting earrings. No ruffles, no obvious designer labels. A jacket is a must. If you want to look business-like, and as if you are hard at work at work, but still professional, do what the guys do and take off your jacket and turn back your cuffs or roll the sleeves of your shirt no more than 2 folds. This is where scarf-as-ascot looks great.

    Once you have identified a basic formula you can tweak it to suit various professions and occasions where lesser formality or greater creativity is desired or expected.
  15. YES YES YES--the disappearing border is a major part of my difficulty with Les Leopards. You are right to guess that I've been wearing it with the bias fold. The scarf loses some of its drama against black and becomes a little more sweet than the ideal power scarf I seek. (I have taken to wearing it primarily with chocolate brown, where it sings! It looks splendid and regal with your purple: I will try that color combo next.)

    Thank you SO much for articulating the issue--now I know a new thing to watch for when I select my next purchase. In the meantime, I will experiment with less drapey knots and maybe with the shirtfront arrangement @etoile de mer uses with the Peinture Fraiche I linked to above.

    I do love a classic bias fold, though, and that Suite et Poursuite @cavluv posted above has my finger itching to push a buy button. But I'm going to try to be patient and see what else I can learn. I always learn from hearing what works for other people: even their differences from me help me define my own style. Also, it's just fun. I'm glad you agree! : )
    klynneann and ElainePG like this.