Scarf Technique

During our fifteen minutes of sunshine for the week, I rushed to set up photos for this post. I wore this look for our Friday lunch date with a group of friends. The sky was overcast, and temps were in the low sixties, so I didn’t need a coat. Elevated casual is an easy and appropriate combination for most of our activities now.

There is an easy formula to keep your look from becoming too busy while tying the color story together. Repeat from head to toe using three or fewer colors. Red lips are part of the combination, as are the touches of red in the scarf and the red in the bag. Shades of blue in the scarf are repeated in the navy cardigan and the medium-wash jeans. Shades of brown are repeated in the handbag’s trim, shoes, and belt.

I often fold square silk scarves on the bias to create an infinity style. Fold opposite corners toward the center and repeat until you make a narrow band. Tie the resulting ends together in a tiny knot. Place the knot at the back of your neck, twist the loop, and place it around your neck, hiding the knot underneath.

The technique can work with any square scarf larger than thirty-five inches across. Scarves add color, pattern, and warmth, so they are often part of my cool weather looks.

Skincare routine is here – Makeup tips are here – More scarf-tying tips are here.

Since none of my items are new, I’ll share a few shopping links to similar items. ScarfScarfScarfTankCardiganCardiganCardiganJeansJeansBeltBeltBeltBagBagBagBagShoes. A summary of recent looks is here. Shopping links may allow me to earn a small commission at no cost to you.

  1. I really found the three (3) color diagram picture helpful. You have mentioned the use of using only three colors when dressing before which I found informative and try my best to follow. Is white not considered a color as you have on a white top and that is not mentioned?
    Love all the wonderful tips you share as it makes dressing so much easier and I know using your guidelines, I feel confident leaving the house.

    Clara from Iowa

  2. You always look so polished even when “casual “. Thank you so much for the step by step pics of the scarf, I will put it to use.

  3. Thanks again for a very informative post. The cardigans are just what I have been needing and you give a wonderful selection. It is nice to not have to do all the searching.
    Appreciate your advice and tips so much.

  4. I’m a big fan of scarves due to the marvelous colors and patterns, instant elegance, and the fun of tying them just right around my neck.
    I appreciate the many times you write about and photograph your beautiful scarves.

  5. Great tips. Love the explanation.
    Remember that Karen Kane black dress from several years ago. It was a midi
    Length. Do you still have it? How are you wearing it?
    Love your post and always look forward to them,
    I love and have worn the Chico’s black tee with the sparkle. It has been a great
    addition to my holiday events. Great find. Thank you for sharing.
    Thank you for all your time and effort. You always look great!D

    Thank you

  6. I love your style, bit I am sixty-four and need to go back to your fifty not frumpy posts. I am 50+ pounds overweight and want-no NEED your motivation!

  7. All thanks to Susan:

    I am right now wearing an outfit that is very similar to what Susan is wearing. Instead of a scarf, I chose my many years old two strand Zuni style necklace which is colorful and falls about four inches below my collar bones. I am also showing my wrists to look thin. Ha! I’m not going anywhere, but if I were, I would be wearing cognac loafers and bag. And just think, I walked to my closet and everything I needed was right there.

    I am short and chubby. Showing my wrists or wearing 3/4 sleeves looks SO much better on me than long sleeves. I ran across a post about the “J Crew roll”, which demonstrates one way to neatly roll up sleeves, so that’s what I’m going to do to my long sleeved shirts. Seriously, showing the wrists is a game changer for me. The sleeve thing was in Susan’s post about how to look thinner. Susan demonstrates with a magenta and a lavender jacket.

    Thanks again. Susan!

  8. An excellent post. Thanks for re-including links to previous posts about skincare and makeup, making this a true “refresher course “.

  9. Susan, how do you store your scarves to keep them un-wrinkled? Seems like every time I use one of mine I have to drag out the iron.


    Gail McKelvey

  10. Susan, your comment about sunshine made me laugh. It’s been a dreary week in middle Tennessee. As a recent follower, I’m enjoying your style tips. You’ve inspired me to pull out my scarves again. I like the extra warmth at my neck and feel that a scarf can elevate an outfit. Your tip about repeating color is also interesting, so I will be mindful of doing that.

  11. A really helpful strategy I’ve developed from your fondness for scarves is to base the colours of the items I put together to make an outfit on those in a patterned scarf. I’ve found that a scarf can contain colours I might not have thought to put together. Genius!

  12. Elevated Casual is a great term for my life these days! But since I’m a bit older than you, Susan, I’ve given up CARDIGANS in favor of jackets…denim, faux suede.leather, twill. There is something about a cardigan that just says…well, older and too blending in with the background…maybe it’s just me.

  13. Fantastic graphic ! Thank you, Susan
    I volunteer at a thrift store where of profits go to local charities. Scarves are always a big seller.

  14. Thank you for the diagram of three colors, so helpful. You look classic and polished while wearing a tee shirt and jeans, I am inspired.

  15. Susan do you have any tips on styling oblong scarves? I’ve purchased some beautiful ones over the years, but rarely wear them because I don’t know how to style them. Also, I’ve had difficulty finding large square scarves these days. Where do you find them?

    Thank you!

  16. Brilliant scarf technique! I am a scarf/cowl lover and know many ways of tying/draping scarves . . . . except this one!
    This is my new go-to!

  17. Loved these pics . I must have a box of at least 50 scarves. I forgot this wonderful way of folding them. Definitely a late 50’s early 60’s folding style.For all the preppies !!!I promise I will start wearing my Fendi scarves again. Guess I have really given my age away. Lol

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.