I just throw on my scarf when I go out, but I see some guys who make a cool fashion statement with theirs. How can I look better in mine?
First, stick with a neutral color: Brown, black, gray or navy will match anything. Second, a man needs more than one scarf. A thin one of merino wool or cashmere will work for that next job interview, and a thicker one in cable knit is for casual occasions. Third, length matters: A longer scarf gives you more options and is easier to wear. Fourth, make your scarf work with your outerwear. Here are some combinations that are foolproof.
With a trench coat: Use a thinner scarf made of soft but durable material like merino wool or cashmere. If you’re on a budget, go for a blend. To wear it: Fold it in half, place it around your neck, and put the ends through the loop. Make sure the scarf is worn tight and close to your neck. For a sleeker look, keep the ends tucked into your coat.
With a leather jacket: Go with a thinner scarf again, but loop it around your neck a few times. Don’t pull it tight; you want a laid-back look. Wear it loose with the ends outside your jacket.
With bulky sweaters: A thick cable-knit scarf is the way to go. Wrap it around your neck once, making sure one end is longer than the other, then cross it over your chest. Pull the longer end over the shorter end, and wrap once or twice. Then tuck the ends underneath. A heavier scarf will stay like that.
Most important in all cases is to be open-minded. Experiment to find out what style looks best on you. The only real ironclad rules when it comes to scarves are: 1) It should keep your neck warm, and 2) if it itches, don’t buy it.
Spencer Singer is store director at the Manhattan boutique of luxury menswear designer Billy Reid, who recently received the 2010 GQ/CFDA Best New Menswear Designer in America Award.