Every year, it’s always the same; I bitch and moan about how much I hate the winter, how much I hate the cold, how much I hate not being able to get my tan on. As spring begins creeping around the corner and green fills the world once more, I feel happy again, but I’m confronted with the frightening realization that I have no clue what I’m going to wear when temperatures climb up to 80°F and the sun is shining. Oh, woe is me!
Such is life when you invest more money in your fall and winter wardrobe than your warm-weather one. For the longest time, I had far more fashion intelligence when it came to dressing during the colder months; it was always my usual furs, turtlenecks, flashy coats, skinny jeans, and boots. The same, of course, cannot be said for the warmer months — I typically dressed in some half-brained amalgamation of athleisure, jorts, and graphic tees, all the while trying way too hard to convince myself I could pull off wearing baseball caps. Needless to say, it brought me some level of displeasure that my summer looks paled in comparison to my winter ones. This was the case until I discovered the little patterned godsends known as neckscarves.
Neckscarves, neckerchiefs, bandanas, scarves, call them whatever you want. These babies go by many names, but their purpose is one and the same: they instantly make any summer wardrobe pop.
Picture this: It’s a hot, sunny day outside. You and your bestie hit each other up and make plans to daydrink and people watch at your favorite restaurant (does a better summertime activity even exist?). Digging through your closet, you toss on a plain white shirt and pair of light-wash jeans; simple enough, right? It’s not a bad outfit, but it’s nothing fancy and it certainly won’t turn any heads or make you stand out. Now, we’re going to add a very special ingredient to this blah-blah basic bitch sandwich… Grab that really nice crimson neckscarf that’s been gathering dust and tie it around your neck! With the addition of merely one little piece of fabric, you’ve taken your outfit from “alright” to “hell yeah”.
Neckscarves truly add something special to any look, and they’re perfect for warm weather because they’re made from light materials and don’t get in the way, so to speak. Additionally, these satin treasures are probably one of the most versatile accessories out there; there are so many different ways to tie them, my favorite two being ascot-style with a sideknot or the classic bandana style. Here’s a few other ways you can wear them. Sometimes, I even like to wrap them around my head to keep my hair back. I strongly suggest you take a peek around the internet or experiment on your own to figure out the way you like to style them best. So, the style is one thing, but what about colors and patterns?
Since neckscarves are, by virtue, meant to add a little flair to your outfit, you’ll often find that they come bestrewn with colorful and elaborate patterns. To buy a neckscarf that’s just one flat color would be a disservice to not only yourself but your look as well; that being said, you should go out of your way to buy ones that are generally a departure from the other contents of your wardrobe (but, of course, can still be worn without looking garish). They’re an accessory that’s meant to stand out, so take that in stride.
I’ve also noticed that there seems to be a misconception that neckscarves are expensive, which is simply not true at all. I feel this might be a belief perpetuated by their popularity in more fashionable European (sorry America) countries and the image of poshness they can sometimes convey. Additionally, neckscarves are a well-known staple product of the luxury fashion label Hermès, and those can fetch a fairly substantial price; my favorite scarf, which I bought just this past spring in Buenos Aires, came with a price tag of nearly $500. It goes without saying that you do NOT need to drop that much cash when buying a scarf. I’ve seen high-quality variety packs of nine on Amazon for $15!
Now, this not only applies to women, but men as well. I could count on my hands how many times I’ve seen a man wearing a neckscarf, which is a shame, because it’s truly a unisex accessory. The go-to style choice for men wearing these scarves is to tuck them under the collar of a button-down shirt, and while that’s all fine and dandy, don’t hesitate to wear them like an ascot or any other way a woman would typically don them. Men, if you have a neckscarf on and someone actually has the gall to emasculate you for it, you probably know more about fashion than they do, so their opinion is automatically moot.
So, if you’re anything like me and your summer wardrobe suffers from a lack of style, I think it’s about time you take a break from daydrinking and people watching and find yourself a decent neckscarf or two. You might find yourself with a collection in the making!