If worn wrong, a scarf makes you look like an overgrown kindergartner whose mother just sent him out to play in the snow. Worn right, however, a scarf can tie together your entire outfit and add a dash of personality to an otherwise bland ensemble. The thing is, there’s more than one way to wear a scarf, and certain knots or wraps are better for certain situations. So, to help you protect your neck and look great doing it, we’ve put together this quick guide on how to tie a scarf properly in eight different ways.
How to Tie a Scarf
The Parisian Knot
This one is fairly common, and also happens to be one of the easiest to pull off. To tie it, simply fold your scarf in half lengthwise and drape it around your neck. This should leave you with two loose ends hanging to one side, and a loop hanging to the other. Take the loose ends and pull them through the loop, and play with the tautness until it feels comfortable. Boom. You’re done. This knot is usually best for long scarves and scarves that aren’t very thick, since doubling it over gives it some extra girth.
This one is really more of a wrap than a knot, but it gets the job done, and can be worn in a few different ways. Wrapping it is pretty straightforward. Start by draping the scarf around your neck with one side longer than the other, then take the long end and wrap it around your neck one time. The beauty of this style is that it makes the scarf easy to tighten or loosen as necessary. If a chilly breeze suddenly whips through the street, just tug on the loose ends and it’ll tighten up around your neck. For longer scarves, you can do an additional neck wrap and make it a Twice-Around for extra warmth.
Also known as the Overhand Knot, this is one of the more popular scarf knots in the game. To tie it, start by draping the scarf around your neck, as always. Then, take both ends of the scarf and tie them “over-and-under,” as if you were starting to do up a giant pair of shoelaces. To finish it off, adjust the front so that the uppermost length of scarf covers the knot beneath it, and play with the fabric a bit to make it a bit more smooth.
The Statement Drape
An excellent choice for those with a flair for the dramatic, this drape is as simple as it is elegant. Simply hang a medium-length scarf (of either pliable silk or soft cotton) around your neck with both ends even at your side. Grab the right end and drape across your left shoulder until the scarf falls down your back. Then pick up the left end and do the same over the right shoulder. Adjust until cozy.
Hip scarf aficionados are particularly fond of this next style, which involves taking your scarf (we prefer a long, knit option for this) and wrapping it around your neck until there’s nothing left to wrap. This creates a thick circular muff that not only protects your skin from the cold but looks downright fashion-forward. For extra security, tuck the ends of your scarf into the hole.
If you’re looking for optimized comfort in the face of freezing cold temperatures, we recommend this knot. Start by folding a long scarf in half and draping it across your neck. You should have a closed loop on one side and two free ends on the other. Take one of these loose ends and pull it through the hole. Once it’s gone through, give the hole one twist until it’s in a figure-eight. Thread the second loose end through the second hole and pull to tighten.
When it’s cold outside but the sun is shining and the sky is clear, you may not need a super tight knot. In those instances, grab your favorite blanket-like scarf (i.e. one that’s as long as it is wide) and drape it over your shoulders until the upper portion of your back is covered. After doing this, grab the end that falls to your right and pull it over your left. This style can be worn over a suit jacket or sweater and looks just as smart on its own as it does fastened with a handsome silver pin.
Perhaps the most straightforward style on this list, all you need for this look is a sleek suit jacket and a long scarf that’s got a bit of body to it. Before you put on the jacket, drape the scarf around your neck until the ends fall evenly at your side. Then, cross the scarf at its middle until you make an elongated X. Throw on your jacket and button it so that the cross stays secure and the scarf elegantly traces the neckline of your jacket.
Now that you know how to tie a scarf, maybe it’s time you actually get one, so check out all the best scarves for men here.