Why I Wear A Scarf

Foundation and blush in the wrong colors draw attention to my wrinkles. I have almost stopped wearing both, but I always wear a moisturizer with sunscreen daily.

There is nothing special about the looks I am showing you today, but taking the time to drape a scarf around my neck makes me appear much more polished. I am wearing a rose-colored blush high on my cheeks and no brownish contour or blush in the hollows. I have significantly reduced the steps and amount of makeup I wear these days.

I often throw on a pair of jeans and one of those super comfortable Covered Perfectly tops with a flattering neckline. I add a trench coat or blazer and a scarf to brighten my face, and I am out the door in just a few minutes.

While in my early twenties, I learned many useful styling tricks from watching elegant women on the city streets in Europe. They wore perfectly fitted, simple clothing in solid colors that flattered their skin tone. Accessories, including silk scarves, made these women look so much more sophisticated than I. My frivolous youthful American style held no sway compared to their regal demeanor. I was captivated by the elegance and effortless style that these women possessed.

Above, I am wearing almost no makeup and comfortable working from home clothes. Mr. Mickey stopped by, so I asked him to snap a photo of me holding the bag for size perspective. I am showing you this photo to prove that accessories can help you look well put together with minimal effort.

The one word I would never want to hear anyone use to describe my style is contrived. It means deliberately created rather than arising naturally or spontaneously, organized, or arranged in a way that seems artificial and unrealistic.

Nonchalant is an adjective used to mean you appear casually calm and relaxed. Whenever I wear a scarf, I am very comfortable with it. I don’t worry that the scarf I am wearing will move around; it will. I tie or drape it in a way that fits well with the neckline of the top or jacket I am wearing and accept the fact that the scarf will move with me.

Being comfortable in our skin means we have learned what works for us. My hair was always the wrong shade when I dyed it, so I stopped the coloring. Dresses make me feel very uncomfortable, so I rarely wear them.

Sometimes I wear a scarf to stay warm. On another day, the scarf might add a pop of color near my face when I am wearing my comfortable old jeans and a simple jacket. I was looking back over my old blog to see some of the different ways I have worn scarves. The photo below is from 2012.

Last month, I was wearing the look in the photo below while picking up lunch for my staff. Two women passed by me, and as they did, the younger woman leaned in toward me and said, “My mother and I think you look so elegant.” It thrilled me to think I might be following in the footsteps of those well-dressed women I admired so long ago on the streets of European cities.

I have created a video to go along with this post. You can view it here.

  1. If my face looked like your face, I wouldnt wear much makeup either!Thank you for your interesting posts. I look forward to them every day. Yesterday as i was getting ready for work,I was struggling with my blush…first it was too much, then not enough, then in the wrong place…so i found todays post especially apt. Thanks for being a voice for classiness.

  2. Great tips! I’m also a Susan, 3 months younger than you, the same height and trying to stay near the same weight! I’ve lived in Spain 32 years where scarfs are worn almost year round (too hot in the summer for me). I love your posts and ideas!

  3. I think you are one of the, if not the very classiest, women I’ve seen. The conference sounds lovely. Will you post pictures of the ladies after the event?

  4. Thank you for talking about eliminating make-up from your routine. Long ago I stopped wearing foundation because even with a moisturizer underneath, it began to look cakey on my skin. My skin texture has changed and the foundation seemed to emphasize the flaws rather than cover them up. Hearing you say you’ve stopped also sort of validates my decision. I don’t wear scarves except for warmth but you definitely show that they can polish up an outfit and provide color near your face.

  5. Thank you, Susan, for sharing so many things on your blog and FB page! I read every one but have never commented before! I, too, am a scarf gal and seem to wear one almost every day! Thank you for making me feel “good” about that!! I am in my late 50’s and am noticing things are changing with the way I use cosmetics also. I am working on a weight loss program that, hopefully, will allow me to wear those cute skinny jeans/pants you share! I do have to say that I absolutely LOVE your hair from the 2012 photo!!! If Minnesota wasn’t so far from Tennessee, I would love to attend your conference! I hope you will share alittle of it with those of us that couldn’t be there!

    Again, thank you so much for sharing!

  6. I have quit wearing foundation also and was glad to read this in your post today. I love the scarf idea and it does give a polish to the look.

  7. I love scarves on other women and have bought many but I am just not sure how to wear them. They never seem to be tied right or hang right, I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.

  8. I would love to have you speak at our club in Naples, Florida! Do you ever get down this way? Love all your looks, I am still following Dr Furhman’s plan, though cheat at times, but the weight has come off and I feel great. Thank you.
    Shirley Gallo

  9. First of all – what wrinkles?? You look beautiful as always. I am quite a bit older than you but am blessed to have pretty good skin. I always use moisturizer and a light application of the Absolute Liquid foundation that you had once mentioned. It makes my skin look more dewy and vibrant. I use a rose blush and full eye makeup but in a natural way. I read a report somewhere that an even skin tone as we age is more youthful looking than even if we have wrinkles. Some good fats in the diet keep our skin from becoming too gaunt. Many anti-aging procedures just add fat back into the skin to plump it out.

  10. Although I originally started following your blog for the fashion, it’s the advice on makeup that has actually been the most useful. I decided to cut back on some of the things that were part of my routine and I have not only been able to save myself a few minutes in the morning,but I think I actually look better (win-win). Quick question-I’ll be traveling to Europe this summer when it will be very warm. I think layers always look classy, but the heat will prevent me from dressing in that manner. I’m also worried that it might be too warm for a scarf. Any advice on how someone in their early 50’s could look chic in Europe in the summer? I’ve seen lots of photos, but they are geared toward much younger women. I don’t want to scream “tourist”. Thanks-love what you are doing.

    1. Take simple, lightweight dresses and flat sandals with straps to hold them firmly on your feet. White pants and plain solid color tops with the same sandals will be a winner too. You could take a soft cotton cardigan to wear over your shoulders if you need it in the evening. A crossbody bag will be good for daytime. You may want to take a small clutch to carry at night.

  11. Hi Susan, Can you please tell me what brand of moisturizer with sunscreen that you use? I can’t seem to find one that is not too greasy. Thanks. I follow your blog daily and always pick up great tips from you!

  12. My fave is a tinted moisturizer with mineral sunblock. Mineral sunblock works best for me, but I look like a ghost. The tint coorects this. I tend to redness in my complexion now, so no blush is required. I must apply a mineral powder to take down the shine.

    Thank you for these looks, Susan. This is attainable. I can do this (if I remain mindful and make the effort).

  13. When wearing slacks or jeans I absolutely always wear flesh-colored knee-high hose with any shoes that show my ankles. In my book there isn’t anything appealing about bare legs! Unless you look right up close, you can’t tell!

  14. Susan, I hope you can arrange a conference in Naples Fla. during the month of March or early April. I will be in Naples then and would love to attend. There are a lot of older women there and sure some could use your advice. You are so good at giving so many helpful tips. And, we could finally meet each other and maybe have dinner together. That would be great. Let me know the schedule when you have it ready.
    Thanks for all you do.
    Barb Fields

  15. The conference sounds interesting and fun! I wish I lived closer so I could attend. I agree, a scarf really adds a lot to an outfit. There are so many types and ways to tie a scarf that would suit anyone. I have a collection of the small square silk scarves from the 50’s and 60’s. I wear them frequently with jeans and a blouse or little tee. The designs are colorful and fun. These suit me well since I’m petite. Best to you and Mr. Mickey!

  16. Your 2012 look is quite stylish, but your newer look is contemporary and fresh and makes you look years younger. Thanks for all the great ideas!

  17. Susan, with or without makeup, you look beautiful. If I may, I recommend RMS Beauty organic makeup. It looks wonderful on us galls!

  18. You look lovely with all your scarves.I absolutely cannot wear scarves- no matter what the fabric is…
    Do you have any recommendations of what I can substitute?
    I would love for you to show options of what can be worn with your beautiful outfits.
    Thank You

  19. Susan, I have followed your blog for years and have always wanted to tell you how much you inspire me. Your posts and tutorials have been so very helpful. I want you to know how much I appreciate the time and effort you give to your website. Thank you again for all you give to your readers and for all of the fashion inspiration you have given to me as I join you in this new decade of our life.

  20. This is a great blog. You are a smart and very engaging writer. And your obvious entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen inspires admiration–and, honestly, a fair amount of envy from this salaried professional worker bee. I’m a dude and I know little about fashion and less about the fashion industry and even less about fashion blogging, but I stumbled across this blog randomly and have returned occasionally because it’s really well done, and because I am an advisor/consultant in another (much less glamorous) field who wants to hang his own shingle–who has to hang his own shingle, for the sake of his sanity!–and entrepreneurs have smart things to say about entrepreneurship.

  21. I personally have noticed that one of the parts of your wardrobe that makes you always look so well put together are your beautiful shoes!

  22. Thank you for this post! I love reading your blog. It is the only blog I read on a regular basis, and it is so relevant to me. I too love to wear a scarf, and now I am motivated to get them organized. We built a new house, and they never got unpacked after the move. I love the real silk ones, but the dry cleaning bill is so expensive. Do you have any tips on how to refresh them at home? Keep up the good work! A lot uf us are rooting for you, and applauding you! You are an inspiration 🙂

  23. Thank you for your style suggestions. I am always struggling to look finished, even after all these years!

  24. You look amazing even working at home. I also love scarves and wear them almost daily since grade 8. I kinda don’t like my neck so sometimes it’s a disguise. I would love to attend your seminars. Do you have a schedule?

  25. Thanks so much for reinforcing my own dedication to scarves. I’ve been collecting them for more than 40 years and have quite a stash. The best thing is that you can pretty much take any two solid colored pieces and coordinate them with a unifying scarf. Amazing how much further your wardrobe can stretch!

    I was just introduced to you through a friend who thought we shared a resemblance… I take that as high flattery, as you are a lovely and stylish presence.

    All the best,

    1. Thank you for the very kind comment, Denise. I have loved scarves since I was in my early twenties for the reasons you mentioned and now for even more. They keep me warm and take the emphasis away from the parts I prefer not to show off.

  26. Love your look! And I love scarves too. Noticed you only wear silks (?). What is your feels about knit scarves?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

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.