Teri Agins answers: Is There a Hands-Off Way to Wear Shawls?

  1. I thought this would be appropriate to post here in this sub-forum. Teri Agins is the fashion reporter for the Wall Street Journal.


    Is There a Hands-Off Way to Wear Shawls?
    Fashion reporter Teri Agins answers readers' questions

    August 16, 2007; Page D8​
    Q: I have several of those oversized scarf shawls, but I hesitate to wear them because they seem to occupy my hands. Is there a hands-off way to wear them?

    --K.M., Wasau, Mich.

    A: When the pashmina cashmere-scarf craze became all the rage in the late 1990s, young socialites started popping up in party pictures clutching those pastel wraps like security blankets across their bare shoulders. The effect was decidedly more frumpy than chic.

    So just how do you make a big scarf or shawl drape artfully and stay put? I called upon stylish French fashion professional Nicole Fischelis, who is women's fashion director for the East Coast division of Macy's stores -- and, like so many of her fellow countrywomen, seems to have scarves in her DNA.

    "European women get their comfort level with scarves because we wear them all the time," says Ms. Fischelis, a former consultant to Ferragamo, the Italian footwear firm that is also famous for its printed silk scarves.

    In choosing these accents, consider scarves and shawls in different sizes, fabrics, prints and colors. You'll get more versatility from the 54-inch squares, or larger, in thin wool challis -- which is less slippery than silk. Ms. Fischelis says: "You can fold it into a triangle, tie it around your shoulders -- and flip the ends" in different directions. She also suggests putting the point of the triangle in the front, slightly off center. If the scarf is long enough, you can wrap it around yourself twice, and it might not have to be tied.

    Rectangular scarves and pashminas can be folded lengthwise once and then placed around the neck, with the ends pulled through the loop -- some call it an "Italian tie" -- which frames your face and fills in a neckline. As for bulky wool scarves, Ms. Fischelis admits, "There's not much you can do but wrap it around your shoulders and then force it to stay closed with a vintage brooch."

    She strides through the airport with a big shawl tossed over her shoulder. The shawl not only looks dramatic but also serves as her blanket for the plane.
  2. Thanks for posting. I love my scarves and shawls. It astounds me to think that my scarf collection could buy an exotic. Oh well! At least I remain warm during formal events.
  3. I often wear a shawl-esp when I travel cause I also use my shawl as a blanket on the plane.