We’ve all been there; standing in front of the mirror, all dressed up and ready to go out, just as soon as you put the final touches on your ensemble. But what? Who doesn’t envy their stylish friends–the ones that seem to be able to accessorize every outfit and can coordinate, compliment, and color match just about anything? Accessorizing seems like something that ought to be pretty easy! A bracelet here, a hair ornament there–and yet, getting it just right can be a bit of a challenge, which is why learning a little something about styling an outfit can be so helpful. That’s where scarves come in.
Fashion scarves come in all kinds of textures, colors, prints, and fabrics, and can be anything from that fun piece you picked up in the thrift shop to a prized, timeless Hermes. On top of that, when the weather starts to cool off, grabbing a cozy knitted piece that you made yourself or bought at your favorite outlet store can add fashion and function to any outfit. What makes a scarf such a great accessory is that there are a whole slew of scarf knots that you can learn to add some fun to the piece–the possibilities are practically limitless. We’ll go through each of the scarf knots pictured above to give you a great starting point for accessorizing with scarves. Let’s start with the top row.
The Basic Wrap
What could be easier? This is a favorite for winter scarves and summer scarves alike. In the winter, this will keep the chill at bay, and a summer chiffon will keep you feeling breezy. And even though this isn’t technically one of the scarf knots that you can experiment with, it’s an easy way to dress up an outfit in seconds, without getting tangled up in the particulars.
- Find the midpoint of the scarf and place it on your neck.
- Take the ends of the scarf and drape them over your shoulders.
- Cross the scarf at the nape of your neck and bring the ends forward so they hang down your front.
The Faux Bolero
Using a scarf or shawl to fake a bolero is a great idea if you’re headed to an event where you might get a little chilly or need to dress up a sleeveless ensemble, like at a church wedding. These types of scarf knots work best with a Pashmina shawl or wide scarf that will give you some coverage.
- If you are using a wide scarf, open it so that it is as wide as it will go. If you are using a shawl, fold it horizontally to make sure you don’t have too much bulk. You want about 12-18 inches of fabric to drape.
- Drape the wrap across your back so that the top edge of the scarf is touching your shoulders.
- Grab the ends and gather them to make the scarf knot easier.
- Tie a simple knot, bringing the right end over the left and then looping the right end up and through.
- Arrange the scarf so that the top end is nice and even over the knot and not bunched up or wrinkled.
The Loop Through
Are you feeling adventurous? That’s good, because now we’re heading into some of the more advanced scarf knots. No worries, though! A lot are much more simple than you’d think, and just require a little bit of practice to get them right. Loop through scarf knots only look complicated–in fact, they’re one of the easiest ones to do, and they look great on both a woman and the well-dressed man. So grab your scarf and get ready!
- Fold your scarf in half vertically.
- Drape your halved scarf around your neck so that the end with the fold in it is shorter than the other end.
- Take the other end and thread it through the fold, tightening it just so it is comfortable. You can let the ends dangle to the side or have them fall straight down.
The Infinity Wrap
Not to be confused with the infinity scarf, which is a scarf that is twisted once and sewn together at the end to create a continuous mobius loop, infinity scarf knots only create the illusion of one continuous piece of fabric. This type of knot works best with a knit scarf, which will give you some stretch and give.
- Halve your scarf and put the ends edge to edge before knotting the loose ends.
- Place the scarf around your neck so that the knot is at the back of your neck.
- Hold the looped scarf out in front of you and twist it to make an “X”.
- Bring the ends of the “X” under your armpits so that the scarf is crossed in front of you.
- Pull the remaining loop of fabric up of your head and drape it behind your neck to cover the knot.
Well done! Are you ready to move on to the next row?
Short and Sweet
Sometimes you just need a quick way to dress up an outfit and don’t want to run the risk of having an accessory overshadow the entire look. That’s where shorter scarf knots come in handy. With a shorter knot, you can keep the scarf nice and tidy and tuck it easily into a blazer or overcoat.
- Arrange your scarf so that one end dangles four inches longer than the length you want your end result to be.
- Wrap your scarf around as many times as necessary until the other end dangles six inches longer than you want your end result to be.
- Tie a simple box knot in the scarf and arrange the ends. If you need a quick refresher on box knots, we’ve got you covered!
The Side Knot
Skewing your scarf knots can change the entire appearance of this awesome accessory. Letting your scarf drape off to the side gives you a slightly Parisian look, and has the added benefit of keeping it out of the way if you are easily distracted. If you’re tiring of straight scarf knots, give the side knot a try.
- Drape the scarf as you usually would, except put the fold on your neck at the opposite side of where you want your scarf knot.
- Take one loose end, and make a knot high up near your neck, using only that end.
- Before you tighten the knot, slip the other end through the open knot.
- Pull it snug, but don’t forget to give yourself room to breathe!
This look is classic and quirky all at the same time and doubles as an androgynous look for anyone who is fashion conscious, not just the ladies. If you know how to tie a necktie than you already know how to tie Windsor scarf knots, but just in case let’s go over it really quick.
- Drape the scarf across your shoulder and leave one end about a foot longer than the other.
- Take the longer end and cross it over the short end.
- Bring that long end up through the loop you’ve created, and then down and across the narrow end.
- You’ll notice this creates another loop. Bring your long end (though it’s getting shorter now!) through the original loop, and than the loop that you just created.
- Slip the knot that you’ve created up towards your throat, leaving it as tight or as loose as you desire.
The Quick Cable
Any of the cable-type scarf knots are going to look very complicated, but in reality, they’re a cinch to do! It’s worth it to master the quick cable, which is also sometimes called a figure eight knot.
- Start just as you would with the loop through.
- Instead of pulling both loose ends through the fold, bring just the inner end through the loop.
- Make a figure eight with the loop after the end, and pull the other loose end through that fold.
Excellent! Let’s finish it off with that last row of scarf knots.
The Easy Drape
This is a lot like the basic wrap, but is best done with a lighter fabric, like a linen or chiffon.
- Begin with the scarf draped over the back of your shoulders, letting one side hang much longer than the other.
- Bring the long end of your scarf across the front of your neck, and wrap it as many times as you need to, until both sides hang evenly in front of your shoulders.
Chained scarf knots are absolutely perfect if you need a look that won’t flutter in the wind, like if you are headed to work and need something stylish but sensible.
- Drape your scarf across your shoulders so that both ends hang evenly in front of you.
- Starting about six inches from your collarbone, make a basic knot, but don’t pull it tight.
- Repeat every six inches until you reach your desired stopping point, and then double knot the ends so that they won’t come loose.
The Loop Through With A Knot
Here’s the secret to most scarf knots: once you master one or more basic kinds, the more “complicated” knots will come much more easily. You can experiment with different scarf lengths and styles until you find your favorite. This variation on the loop through is extremely easy to accomplish, and is a great example of how easy it is to experiment with new looks!
- Begin as you would with the loop through, bringing both loose ends through your doubled scarf at the fold.
- Do it again, this time doubling the remaining length and bringing the loose ends up and through the new fold you make.
- Pull the scarf knot tight, but not so tight that you won’t be able to undo it if you need to.
The Rose Knot
If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, rosetta scarf knots–where you manipulate your scarf into the shape of a flower–might be the perfect look for you. This one takes a little practice, of course, but we know you’ll get it!
- Again, drape the scarf across your shoulders, leaving one side much longer than the other.
- Take your long end and drape it over the short end and bring it up and behind.
- Make a “figure four” with the long end, and bring the long dangling side through the opening, pulling it tight as you go.
- Continue this process, using the shorter end as the center point, until you have reached the radius you want.
- Finally, pull what ever is left of your long side from the front to the back, making sure your scarf knot is nice and snug.
Now you’ve got a variety of scarf knots to try! We know you want to get started, so have at it! If you want to explore more accessories, why not take a look at some unique ways to make your own jewelry? Paring that with a tabletop photography course will set you on your way to making and selling your own wares for others to enjoy!