Easy and Elegant Life

The Search for Everyday Elegance and the Art of Living Well.

Watch Your Neck

(This shot is from The Sartorialist’s archives on Men in Milan. For more great shots of be-scarfed people, please check out Sart’s blog. He does great work.)

It’s finally getting to feel like Autumn around here. After months of 90ºF days, the mercury has plummeted into the high 50s! Which, of course, gets me thinking about my wardrobe. I’d love to be able to break out the heavier suits and overcoats, but it’ll be a few months until we get to that point. Unless you believe the global warming guys, in which case, I should have had my evening clothes made up in 7 1/2 oz. wool and mohair…

So what to do with the “in-between” days — not too hot, not cold. Just crisp or cool or damp?

There is an easy and elegant solution to not having to lug around your overcoat on days when the temperature is erratic…. get yourself a good scarf and learn a couple of ways to tie it.

At an end of the season sale last year, I lucked into a gold and brown glen plaid wool that reverses into a silk with multi-colored little boxes sprinkled around the gold background. I feel particularly sharp wearing it with my grey suits and brown suede shoes.

It used to be that I had one way to drape a scarf under my coat — over, up through and let it go at that. Sort of the way that you begin to tie a tie. Then I graduated to the fold in half and pull the ends through the loop method, which I thought particularly jaunty and European (see photo, above.) These days, I’m just as likely to wrap the scarf a couple of times around my neck and tie it into a knot when it’s down to the fringes only. Or I might tie a four-in-hand with a silk scarf and use it as an ascot. Thicker and longer wool scarves get wrapped around the neck and the ends are left to dangle in front of my coat. I had an English professor at school who used this “Old Boy” look to great effect over a sack-like ancient tweed jacket. Taking that one step further, pull one end up and through to tie a simple knot at the neck (if it’s cold, this works wonders.)

One last thing, whatever material you opt for (I also have a new red cotton jersey scarf from American Apparel to be used for bicycling like the art director in the shot above)– buy a long one. Or check out the $13 faux pashminas at Target. The price is right.

But remember, go long — they’re just easier to tie and look better when you’re wearing casual clothing.

2 thoughts on “Watch Your Neck

  1. HAHAHA!!! I have a lot of real pashminas, but just got a faux one in black at target for a wrap at the office… if you’ve seen the pix on my blog, you might be correct in thinking that it’s a drafty old building with radiator heat!

  2. Ah, sounds just like home… . Except for the radiator heat – ours was removed during the most recent renovation. I miss putting the pot of water on top to keep the humidity at comfortable levels!

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