Spring Scarves: Wound Up. Wind Down.

Get all tied up in this season’s scarf trend.

Never has there been a season better suited to the pleasures of a scarf. Blame the exponentially-expanding trend for floral, feline and fringed neck-frippery on That 70’s Show that is undeniably taking center stage in spring and fall fashions.

The scarf has always been appreciated for its ability to add a silky dash of color and luxury to a monotone basic, bridge the gap between winter and spring temperatures, or distract the eye from an unfavored body part. This season witnesses the scarf come into its own as a reliable interpreter of the mood of the moment, be it Bohemian, Romantic or Disco.

Accessories have long had the power to reveal an unspoken credo. Priscilla’s Parasols, a Bay Area company I recently discovered, is devoted to resurrecting the parasol to its former glory days of the 19th century.   Along with every parasol sold comes a little script revealing through various positions and postures a parasols potential to express the language of flirtation. Similarly, the way a scarf is tied can communicate so much. Think of some of the icons of  70’s dressing: Ali McGraw, Diane Keaton, Bianca Jagger – and imagine how each would have tied a scarf to suggest their unique fashion identity.

Finding a scarf long enough for a floor sweeping grand gesture might be the biggest problem in your search for the perfect one. There are certainly some fantastic eco and sustainable choices. As one of the few sizeless fashion items, scarves are the ultimate thrift store salvage especially if you want to sew two together to create an extra long one, as I plan to do.

The ways to wear them are endless. For minimal investment – especially if you go the thrift store route – you can create another dimension of looks to invigorate your existing wardrobe. Spending some time tying a few new looks is fun and creates a guaranteed wind down from a busy week (I recommend a nice glass of wine and playing Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May” while doing this). Here are some of the 70’s inspired looks I came up with.

  • Tie a Headband or Turban. Keep it low on your forehead. Dark eyes and plummy lips and you are instantly transformed into a Biba babe.
  • Fashion into a large bow at your neck for a polished look, pulling the loops until they equal the ends. The bustier you are the lower the bow should sit.
  • Fold a large scarf into a triangle and tie the ends round your neck and waist as a halter top. Worn with wide-legged pants, you’ll have a slinky, Boogie Nights style. For day, try wearing over a long-sleeved tee.
  • Tie as a sash around your waist, leaving the ends in the front. This was a signature YSL touch in the 70’s; it works especially well on midi to maxi length skirts.

If you need a visual guide, visit designer Dominique Mosley via Vogue.co.uk. It’s a great online resource for getting all wound up in this season’s versatile scarf trend.

Image: Green Sewn Wrap from Nimli

Rowena Ritchie

Rowena is EcoSalon’s West Coast Fashion Editor and currently resides in San Francisco, CA.