Wearing scarves with suits

01 May 2017

"During winter, scarves are worn with suits just as often as ties and squares. Yet, it’s unclear how to make them look best with a suiting look."

Style advice is available in great abundance these days. Especially when it comes to wearing accessories. If you want to master a new tie knot, there’s a YouTube video. If you want to try a new pocket square fold, there’s a diagram. But one accessory that doesn’t get as much coverage is the scarf. During winter, scarves are worn with suits just as often as ties and squares. Yet, it’s unclear how to make them look best with a suiting look. Fortunately, it’s a style move that can be mastered in a few easy steps.

Scarf type
There are dozens of scarf variations on the market, but with a suit, you’ll only ever need two. The dress scarf is a high-quality blend of luxe fabrics like cashmere or fine wool. It’s not as thick as its casual counterpart, but still provides adequate warmth. The business casual scarf isn’t quite as formal, but it’s still a great choice. It comes in breathable fabrications like linen, cotton, and silk—great for mixing things up on easygoing work days. Avoid thin summer scarves and bulky infinity scarves. These are casual accents that don’t work well for a smart look. They can actually be a great distraction from a well-made suit, and that’s the last thing you want!

Colour and pattern
Your scarf’s purpose is to keep you warm. Secondly, it should fit neatly into your aesthetic without question. Avoid bright pop colours or bold patterns; you’ve already built a smart suiting look around the coordination of your suit, tie, dress shirt and pocket square. Stay in neutral territory to keep the look clean.

How to tie it
There’s no shortage of ways to tie your scarf. Though only three of those options will work well with a professional look. The first is called "The Toss” and it’s quite simple. Wrap the scarf around your neck and throw one end over your shoulder. The “Once-Around” involves going one step further. With the scarf wrapped around your neck, ensure that one end is a bit longer than the other. Instead of tossing the end over your shoulder, wrap it around your neck once. Both of these tying methods look great on top of your jacket.

Lastly, “The Drape” is the most common style seen with suiting. This involves hanging the scarf around your neck and tucking it into your jacket. This way, your scarf becomes an insulation layer. Scarves lend themselves to an infinite amount of fabrics, styling options, and designs. But when it comes to suits, it’s best to keep things nice and simple.

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