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How to do scarves in summer

  • Blog Post by: Sally McGraw
  • August 8, 2012 - 2:06 PM

Here's the part where I reveal, once again, that I'm a relative newcomer to the world of fashion. I'm pretty sure that scarves were NOT considered to be appropriate summer accessories until about 10 years ago. I mean, aside from the occasional riding-in-a-convertible headscarf. Is that wrong? Have summer scarves been fashionable for ages and I just didn't know it?

Regardless, I love keeping my scarves in rotation year-round, but find them more challenging in hot, sticky weather. So I thought I'd share a few ways that I love to style my scarves during the summer.

Long and loose

I've used this photo in other examples because it was taken on a day that was so hot and humid that the camera lens kept fogging up. See the fog? Yeah. It was oppressive. The scarf was my effort to inject a bit more interest into an otherwise plain outfit. You'll note, though, that I've simply taken a long, lightweight scarf and draped it over my neck. No knots or ties when it's lens-fogging weather, thanks.

As a wrap

This is a very dramatic outfit, but you could certainly use a large rectangular scarf or pashmina as a wrap with more casual ensembles. I love this option for sleeveless or revealing dresses and tops. The looseness of the wrap allows for some ventilation while still providing coverage. A cooler option than even the most lightweight of cardigans.

As a belt

Scarves can make fantastic belt alternatives, especially if you'd like to add more pattern or movement to an outfit. I find that long, slender scarves make the best belts for my figure, but experiment with a few widths and styles to find an option that works well for you.

If scarf-as-belt doesn't float your boat, consider using a scarf as a backdrop for an actual belt. Knot the scarf in back and tuck the ends into the body of the tied scarf, or wind them around the belt. (It won't look totally clean from the back, but believe me, you won't get a ticket from the Fashion Police for this one.)

As an accent

If merely contemplating these suggestions has you breaking into a sweat yet you'd still love to utilize your scarves in summer, consider using them as accents. Slip one through the strap of a tank top, wind one around your wrist instead of a bracelet, tie one to the crown of a brimmed hat, knot one to your handbag strap, use one to adorn a ponytail or bun. There are loads of ways to utilize scarves that don't make the wearer feel all prickly-heat.

And these are just a few! I'd love to hear more suggestions. Do you wear scarves in summer? What's your favorite way to don this accessory when it's sweltering out?

Sally McGraw is the author of Already Pretty, a daily blog about the intersection of style and body image. 

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