How to make the most of your winter accessories, part 1
Scarves, hats, gloves and brooches that are part of the outfit
Getting dressed is not a spectator sport in the winter. There are just too many limitations and guardrails that consume it, with the first priority being your warmth and then maybe second or third how you’re serving your look.
But I’m having a bit of revelation this season as far as how much more enjoyable it is to spend time outside when you’ve got the right gear to compliment the weather — when your head and your neck and your feet and your hands are covered, you can basically do anything.
Which doesn’t mean throw your taste out the window (nothing means that, ever) but it does make the case to pay more attention (and perhaps budget-share) to the warm weather accessories you wear with your clothes. Below, tips on how to make the most of your scarves.
I decided to split this post into two parts and publish the rest later this week, where you’ll get the case for inconvenient (but still warm) hats, how to wear gloves like you’re cheeky and…the brooch of it all. You’ll have to let me know what you think of the format. Onwards now to the:
Tip 1: Make it part of your outfit
If your scarf ends are long enough, crossing a scarf over your look 1x so that one end meets the front of your outfit and the other hangs over the back is basically like wearing a necklace.
This tip works particularly well when you’re playing with different proportions and textures. Its styled here for example with a satin bubble hem tube dress (the tube of which is covered by the sweater; I recommend an open hem sweater to get this look, it leaves more room for low stakes error), and the knit plays off the silk bottom of the dress. Then the tights (also knit), are contrasted by the metallic sandals. I added the sunglasses as a sort of tie maker to the team of whimsy/skirt and shoes.
But how do you ensure the scarf stays on? When it’s styled over your clothes, it’s pretty easy. When you’re wearing a coat though, you
Tip 2: Add a belt
Looks like nothing from the front, but lo and behold:
Safely affixed upon turn-around. This one is pretty self explanatory, but if you’re wondering about the best kind of belt, my rule of thumb usually follows weight of coat. The heavier the coat, the more durable the belt — so if I were wearing a black long overcoat for example, I’d probably use this belt, which is thicker in width and heavier in leather. Because this wool coat is more like a jacket, I went for something slight and narrow.
If belts are not your thing, btw, that is ok because…
Tip 3: You can pin your scarf with a brooch
Unbelievably, it works.
My prelim brooch notes are: go for something in silver or gold because it breaks up an outfit that otherwise consists of only dull woolen knits. The reason shiny jewelry rarely looks tacky in the winter the way somehow it can with a summer look is because of the contrast against so much wool. The same goes for a pin.
Actually-good looking brooches are kind of hard to find, but I assembled this small edit, including a fish pin like the vintage Cocteau (cock-toe?) one above, which was a birthday gift from my friend Claire, who, genuinely, has the best taste on earth.
Tip 4: Wear your scarf like its a shawl and you’re at a fancy wedding
This one is for when you really want to fuck shit up a bit. Style notes are that you probably want to make sure you have on a turtleneck under (so that your neck actually stays warm), you really don’t have to wheel reinvent with your outfit either (I don’t think any of the components of my look are younger than 5 years, with the exception of the scarf) and many coat collar styles actually work with this.
Some of the most interesting scarves you can find are lingering in the sale section of mens shops, here’s an edit from across the luxury web, with options ranging from $84 to $630. And here is the Khaite one I’m wearing.