The A-to-Z of Accessories: Silk Scarves

Lido print silk scarf and jewellery by Lou TaylorI have a growing fondness for silk scarves and think they might be the most useful accessories in my wardrobe. I tie them in my hair and round my neck, plus the long ones make a good belt substitute if you need to bring more colour to your outfit. A silk chiffon scarf holds a knot beautifully and is great for tying around your head without slipping off, all day. A silk satin scarf adds a touch of glamour and makes the colours shine. It will glide over hair or make-up without disturbing your work of creative genius, which is useful when you use your scarf as protection from the elements when heading outside in bad weather. I’ve used mine as an emergency hood during a light shower or string winds, plus they are surprisingly cozy neckwear in the winter. Silk twill scarves are also warm, but without being too ‘dressy’ or too casual.

If you don’t know where to start when adding one to your outfit, there are lots of useful posts on various blogs detailing various ways you can tie a scarf. My favourites are Retrochick’s post on five ways to tie a headscarf (plus her fab video tutorial showing how to tie a 1940s headscarf) and the helpful how to wear a neck scarf over on That’s Not My Age. Both posts have a few photos showing different looks that offer great inspiration when you’re stuck. If you prefer video tutorials for the more complicated styles, check out the Liberty series of videos over on YouTube where they detail how to tie a number of styles including turbans, belts and even necklaces.

Silk scarf by Silken FavoursIn addition to the few vintage silk scarves in my wardrobe, I also have a beautiful London Love Letters scarf from Oasis – with illustrations hand drawn by Lizzie Prestt – along with several scarves by Textile Federation that I bought from Topshop at Oxford Circus, plus one of the store’s own brand that I bought years ago and still adore. I’m the proud owner of one of Emily Carter’s gorgeous scarves that is printed onto a luxurious silk twill fabric and is a great way to wear a bold print. Next on my wish list is one of jewellery and print designer Lou Taylor’s stunning silk scarves (see image above) as I adore her bold bright style. Silken Favours is also on my accessories lust list as I love the designer’s ethos and the way the scarves are styled (see left), as well as the gorgeous prints – I really want the Succulents Strawberry design as it would go so well with most of my wardrobe.

Of course, the place I would really love to go scarf shopping is the London department store Liberty. Not only are their Liberty print scarves iconic, but they sell so many other brands that shoppers are spoilt for choice. Back in March they ran a #LibertyScarfSelfie campaign (which inexplicably passed me by!) where you could learn different ways to style your scarves. If they ever run another one, I will be there like a shot as I’ve always wondered how they tie the beautiful big headscarf knots that look like roses. I’m not usually a fan of large scarves as I’m never quite sure how to style them, but I’d make an exception for the stunning Navy Jackson’s Hera – a bright version of the classic Liberty Hera print with paint splashes around the edges that are inspired by Jackson Pollock. More realistically, I’d probably go for the Lodden print scarf in aquamarine as it’s smaller and a touch more affordable. I can dream though!

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