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The Most Stylish Scarves to Add to Your Wardrobe

a redheaded woman wearing a plaid scarf
Alones/Shutterstock

Scarves have been worn as both fashion accessories and for practical purposes for thousands of years. People in both hot and cold climates have taken advantage of the protective purposes of scarves. They can keep the neck, face, or head warm in cold weather or protect the same body parts from the sun in warm climates. In desert climates, scarves have also been used to keep the sun and sand out of the wearer’s eyes. Scarves may also be worn for cleanliness, religious purposes, or as a fashion statement. There are dozens of different ways to wrap, tie, or twist a scarf around your head and neck, depending on the style you’re looking for or the function you want it to serve. Scarves can be made from numerous different textiles and are available in an almost unlimited number of colors, shades, and patterns. Therefore there are plenty of scarves that are stylish, versatile, and protective all in one.

What to Consider in a Scarf

When buying a scarf, here’s what you’ll want to consider in your new accessory:

  • Type: Even though all scarves are, at the heart of it, a strip of cloth, not all are the exact same type or shape. There are classic long, rectangular scarves, square ones, and triangular ones. There are infinity scarves, which are one continuous circle of fabric, and there are larger blanket scarves that cover your shoulders as well as your neck. You also have the choice between a solid scarf, a mesh or net, crocheted, or cable-knit scarf. Consider the look of which scarf you like best and choose accordingly.
  • Material: Scarves are made of some sort of fabric. Their heaviness and build will depend on which fabric you choose. For scarves for cold weather, materials like velvet, wool, acrylic, satin, or jersey are the best choices as they’re heavier and often more durable. If you’re looking for something more lightweight, you’ll want to choose a fabric like a chiffon, silk, cotton, or a lighter polyester. Textiles like cashmere, linen, and slightly thicker polyesters are appropriate to wear year-round.
  • Length: Most scarves will have a length of 50 to 90 inches and a width of 6 to 14 inches. Anything from 70 inches onward is considered on the longer end, and anything wider than about 8 inches is considered on the wider end of the spectrum. You can certainly find scarves that are thicker or skinnier or longer or shorter if you prefer. There is no right or wrong answer; it all depends on how much coverage and protection you want from your scarf.
  • Color and Pattern: You can find scarves in just about any color or pattern under the sun. There are solid-colored ones, multicolored ones, classic plaids and checks, floral patterns, polka dots, stripes, sports logos, animal patterns, and that’s barely scratching the surface. Some scarves may be reversible, too, so you can essentially get two looks for the price of one.

Most Design Options: DORA BRIDAL Blanket Scarf

When you think of a blanket, words like “cozy” and “warm” come to mind, and they’re such accurate descriptors of this scarf, as it encapsulates both of those features and more. It’s made from acrylic pashmina that’s soft and comfortable and made to feel like cashmere; you’ll find it hard to believe that it isn’t made of actual, pure cashmere. The classic checkered pattern is stylish and easy to match with many outfits and comes in 38 different multicolored options, so it’s great whether you’re buying this scarf for yourself or as a gift for a loved one. It’s also reversible, so you’re essentially getting two scarves for the price of one. The tassels add a small yet extra stylish flair that will look great year round, over a t-shirt, sweater, coat, or suit. You can arrange and drape this scarf so that it falls like a shawl or poncho as well as a scarf. With its multiple uses, timeless pattern, and easiness to match, you may never want to take this scarf off again.

Most Design Options

Warm Women Blanket Scarf Oversized Tassel Tartan Wrap Shawl Plaid Cozy Checked Pashmina

A classic checkered scarf that has 38 different multicolored options from which to choose.

Best Triangle Scarf: Wander Agio Cashmere Triangle Scarf

Here’s a perfect scarf for anyone who likes the modern, wide, intricate look of a triangle scarf and wants to add that style to their wardrobe. This triangle scarf’s 80-inch length is long enough to tie into a loose knot, a shawl, or a kerchief, among other styles. Made of top-notch woolen yarn, this scarf is soft and warm against your skin and won’t fade, pull, or shed all over your clothes. The fashionable pattern comes in 28 different multi-colored options to better match any coat or clothing you own, with a double-sided print. Whether you like bright and bold colors, classic neutrals, subtle pastels, or some combination thereof, you’ll have options.

Best Triangle Scarf

Wander Agio Womens Warm Scarf Triangle Winter Shawls Large Scarves Stripe Plaid Fichu Big Plaid Grey Pink 11

A long and stylish triangle scarf that combines a modern style with a classic, timeless, multicolored print.

Best Plaid Design: Wander Agio Lattice Scarf

Plaid is a popular clothing pattern that has withstood the test of time and ever-changing fashions, a pattern that is associated with being snug and cozy. If you want that warmth in both feel and appearance, this latticed plaid scarf is a great option. You can find many pretty shades among the 16 available patterns. At 79 inches long (including the tassel) and 23 inches wide, this scarf is extra long and extra wide, giving you more freedom to wear and drape it as you please. It works great as a shawl as well as a scarf. The high-quality yarn and cotton fabric is soft and warm, suitable to wear all year, and will not pull and make you feel uncomfortable as you wear, nor will the colors fade over time.

Best Plaid Design

Wander Agio Women's Fashion Long Shawl Winter Warm Lattice Large Scarf Small Plaid Red Black

A latticed plaid scarf that will never fade, pull, or go out of style.

Best Infinity Scarf: Funky Junque’s Cable Knit Infinity Scarf

Infinity scarves are a relatively modern type of scarf—a style that quickly became popular. They offer the advantages of a built-in wrapped scarf that will never slide off or come undone and that will always hold its shape. You can wear them as is or double, or (if they’re long enough) triple them up. Though this does take away from the versatility of styles offered by more traditional scarves, the guaranteed fit, security, and bundled-up look they offer appeals to many. If you’re in the market for an infinity scarf, this 61-inch by 12-inch option is a great choice, easily long enough to wrap twice around your neck. One size will fit most. Simply place over your head, loop around a second time if desired, and go. You have dozens of options to choose from, whether solid-colored, multicolored, checkered, leopard-printed, or confetti-patterned. There are also ribbed or lined options if you want an enhanced look. Several colors and patterns can be bought as a pack of two instead of one scarf. Each scarf is made of 100% acrylic that is soft, warm, and machine washable for your convenience.

Best Infinity Scarf

Infinity Scarf - Black (Solid)

For a looped, bundled-up look that will always stay in place and hold its shape, consider this infinity scarf and its dozens of color options.

Meghan Herlihy Meghan Herlihy
Meghan Herlihy is a full-time writer for LifeSavvy and has written across a wide variety of topics, genres, and formats, including radio talk shows, local sports journalism, and creative original fiction. She received her bachelor's degree in communications from Ithaca College and a master's in writing from Johns Hopkins University. When she's not writing, you're most likely to find her reading a book, petting every dog within eyesight, and indulging in her love of travel. Read Full Bio »
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