Chapter 9: What About a Scarf?

Chapter 9: What About a Scarf?

How about a scarf to add something unexpected to your look?

Scrolling through the new collections during men's fashion week in Italy – as this former fashion magazine editor does – I saw some ideas that were familiar but inspiring nonetheless. Scarves have been styled a million ways both practical and expressive throughout history and many of them are still relevant in modern fashion. Maybe you’re picturing a bulky wool scarf and you think I’m crazy for bringing it up during a heat wave, but an ascot of silk or cotton can be decorative without the weight. Let’s discuss ways to incorporate these seasonless accessories into your summer wardrobe.

Take a gander at Alessandro Michele's first Valentino collection (Resort 2025). Out of the many (MANY) looks in this show, you will find lots of examples of the fun and versatility of a scarf as a cravat, jabot, or ascot (oh my!). 

Whether the fabric of the scarf is silk or cotton, I prefer the foulard and classic tie prints - sophisticated and chic. You can't go wrong with a polka dot or a paisley for an erudite or gentlemanly vibe. No matter what print you go with, here are three ways to wear your scarf!



  • Fun fact according to the Cravat Club, ascot is the American term for the British term cravat. See the diagram below to tie your own! According to the Gentlemen's Gazette, cravat is the corrupted version of the name Croatia which is where the term was traced to in order to keep mercenary soldiers warm.


  • According to the Fairchild Fashion Dictionary, the jabot is distinguished from other scarves as “ a cascade white lace”. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had a few in her closet along with her signature collars.

Head scarf

  • A head scarf originally had the purpose of keeping hair back or covered, but it’s another great option to add some print into your look of the day.

Scarves are right at home with men's shirts, which is where my upcycled line of dressed down dress shirts comes in! To zhuzh up your own shirt, get crafty at home! Unfinished scraps of a favorite Liberty of London cotton or surplus upholstery textiles work well as a homemade cravat. To get a fresh new look out of an old silk tie you may need an iron but no need to sew the edges. The loose threads make the look! 

Imagine the conversation starter! “Oh, this old thing, it's the fabric from my grandmother's curtains!”




Another rabbit hole to go down:

How to wear ascots and cravats 

Cravat Club

Jabot history

How to style a bandana or headscarf
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