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A Guide To Men’s Scarves

It seems that, with the passing of Halloween, the fall chill has finally set in. With that in mind, we though it’d be a good idea to present a brief guide to men’s scarves to help you navigate the most stylish ways to keep yourself warm as the weather stays cold.

If you missed it, feel free to take a look at our guide to men’s hats.

How To Think About Men’s Scarves

Man in blue topcoat with red scarfUp front: not all scarves are created equal. Most men think of scarves solely as a way to keep warm – after all, we started this post off by talking about the cold weather. While this is true of the majority of scarves we wear, it’s not the case for all the scarves that exist on the market.

The easiest way to think about scarves, and therefore your scarf collection, is to put them into two buckets: everyday scarves and dress scarves.

Everyday Scarves

Everyday scarves comprise the larger of the two buckets, and by a long shot at that. These are the scarves that serve to keep your neck warm. Better ones are made from various wools – lambswool, merino, cashmere, and the like. You’ll find cheaper ones in fleece or microfiber – warm, but certainly not luxurious or of particularly high quality.

They’re available in various lengths, which will affect how you can tie it around your neck. There are even “infinity scarves” on the market, which are literal circles you wrap around your neck. Guys who live on the Eastern Seaboard (Philadelphia, New York, Boston, etc.) would do well to have a few in their collection to coordinate with various outfits – more on that below.

Dress Scarves

black man in silk scarf
Silk scarves are more form than fucntion.

Dress scarves, unlike everyday scarves, are much rarer. More often than not, they’re made from silk, which lends a nice shine and gives an overall dressier presentation that you’d want with, say, a black-tie outfit. You often see dress scarves with frilly ends and in relatively short lengths. Our custom scarves are all made from the same fabrics that we use for custom ties, pocket squares, and other silk goods.

Counter-intuitively, you don’t wear dress scarves to keep warm – though they will of course add some warmth, they simply don’t insulate like everyday scarves do. They exist to add a finishing touch to a formal outfit more than anything else.

How Do You Wear Scarves?

“Around your neck” is the obvious answer, but we’re not so impish as to leave it at that.

Tying a Scarf

man removing plaid scarfThere are a ton of different ways to tie a scarf around your neck, and no one way is more appropriate or correct than another. Our preferred method of tying a scarf is as follows:

  1. Create a loop by grabbing each end of the scarf in one hand
  2. Place the entire scarf behind your neck
  3. In front of your neck, place the ends through the loop you created
  4. Fasten it by pulling it up close to your neck. Adjust to your preference.

Make sure you put your scarf on after your outerwear. If you put your scarf on first, it’ll push your jacket collar back and make you look sloppy.

Coordinating Scarf Colors & Patterns With Your Outfits

grey scarf with grey hat
The scarf and hat are in the same color family, and are neutral colors that pair well with almost anything.

Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to make sure the color of your scarf is somehow coordinated with your outerwear. Most overcoats and car coats are grey, navy, black, or some shade of brown, so it’s most harmonious when your scarf color speaks to that.

As for patterns, you can generally do whatever you like with a scarf – bold stripes and plaids are very popular and work well with solid-colored overcoats. On the other hand, if your taste is a little quieter or you’re wearing a boldly patterned coat, a solid scarf is the way to go.


Don’t get caught off guard in the cold – get yourself into some scarves this fall and winter and beat the cold.

Curious to learn more about how to manage your image? That’s what we’re here for. Give us a call at 215-310-0219 or email info@henrydavidsen.com to start the conversation.

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