How to Wear Scarves to Work

how to wear scarves to workWhat are your best tips on how to wear scarves to work, readers? What are the best styles — the splurgeworthy brands — and the best fabrics and shapes for scarves? How do you like to style your scarves in 2018 for a modern look? Reader D wonders:

Would you please do a piece on scarves? What are the best brands, materials, styles for the executive suite? Silk, cashmere, blend, wool?

Great question, D! We haven’t had a discussion on how to wear silk scarves in a few years, and I can’t wait to hear what readers say. While readers here have wondered if scarves are professional enough for work, Fortune recently(ish) called scarves the new power accessory for executives. Personally, I tend to associate scarves with style over trend because they really depend on the woman and how she wears them.

For my $.02, these are my best tips on how to wear scarves to work:how to wear scarves to work

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Are Scarves Professional Enough?

Are Scarves Professional Enough? | Corporette2018 Update: We still stand by this discussion of whether scarves are professional enough for conferences — but you may also want to check out our more recent discussion of how to wear scarves to work

Are scarves professional enough for conferences? Are there some ways of wearing a scarf that are more professional than other ways?  How, in general, do you dress for a male-dominated conference?  Reader A, writing from Europe (and a very male-dominated profession), wonders:

Maybe this is a cultural issue, but I’d never, ever, wear a scarf to a conference. Ever. At the office, sure, if there’s no meetings. At a conference, however, there is no more surefire way to be treated like a hostess/secretary/admin than wearing a scarf. The women who actually have those jobs are all colour-coordinated, but that doesn’t help. All people see is scarf or no scarf.  I think it’s a real shame, as I like scarves and the femininity they bring to an outfit. Instead, I’ve settled for statement jackets, or a skirt or shoes that “pop”.

Is this because I’m in a (very) male dominated business, or is it a Europe/US thing?

We’ve talked about how to wear scarves, as well as how to pack for conferences and what to wear to conferences before, of course, but this is a new one — and a very interesting one, given that scarves would never strike me as something a) unprofessional in general, b) hostess/secretary/admin.  When I worked at a very male-dominated law firm, one of the female partners I worked closely with — who certainly commanded respect from everyone — was known for her collection of Hermes scarves that she would wear long and loose beneath her blazers, a bit like the “drape scarf with bomber jacket” look above from Wendy’s Lookbook. (If you haven’t seen it, her scarf-tying tutorial is pretty awesome; the screenshot above is from the “companion” video. Another great resource generally: Une Femme d’un Certain Âge.) [Read more…]

Walk on the Wild Side with Prints

how to wear prints to work2014 Update: We still stand by this advice on how to wear prints to work — but you may also want to check our our more recent discussion on fun but professional patterns and colors

How do you start wearing prints — especially if you’ve no idea how to wear prints to work? Reader T wonders…

I’m wondering if you can do a post on incorporating prints into one’s wardrobe. I looked at my closet the other day and realized that about 90% of the clothes I wear are solid colors. I seem to always gravitate toward very saturated bold colors, but never to prints. I guess I sometimes feel that wearing prints looks loud” or will make me stand out too much at work. I know how to use prints with accessories (shoes, scarves) but I’d like to specifically see a post on buying clothes with prints.

We’ve shared our best tips for mixing textures and patterns, but we haven’t really talked about how to start buying prints.  I think T has a fear that is shared by a lot of women — looking too loud, too out of place.  So here are my suggestions for how to dip your toe into the waters of dressing with prints…

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Coffee Break – Waves Cashmere and Silk-Blend Scarf

We Are Owls Waves cashmere and silk-blend scarfHmmn: I have never heard of the brand “We Are Owls” before today, but suddenly I am loving all of the scarves they have on the market right now. Case in point: this beautiful blue, teal, yellow, and white cashmere and silk blend scarf. I’d wear it with a blazer, long and loose, or looped loosely once around my neck in place of a statement necklace. It’s $180 at Net-a-Porter. We Are Owls Waves cashmere and silk-blend scarf


Coffee Break Jonathan Saunders Cashmere and silk-blend printed scarfI must say — I am unfamiliar with Jonathan Saunders in general, but I am loving what I’m seeing of him at The Outnet — the colors! the patterns! the rich fabrics! Loving this multi-colored cashmere and silk scarf in particular — and I love that it has a non-printed side, as well. Gorgeous! Was $490, now $245 at Jonathan Saunders Cashmere and silk-blend printed scarf


Coffee Break: Floating Feathers Scarf

Madewell floating feathers scarfI’m loving this wispy, artsy wool scarf from Madewell — love the colors and the abstract pattern. I’d use it for a pop of color and whimsy with a blazer of almost any color. Was $49, now $24.99 at Madewell. Floating Feathers Scarf


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