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Lily Tracy’s 8 ways to tie a winter scarf. Find out 8 key tricks for making the most of scarf fashions and staying cozy.

Scarves have always been a favorite accessory of mine. They are so quick to uplift an outfit, introduce a pop of color and compliment any style. 2020 has seen a resurgence of scarf trends. I’m 100% sure this is down to the fact that we’re all living our lives on Zoom calls or at home with our children. I know I’ve found little styling features, like fun earrings, hair accessories and scarves are playing a key role in making me feel more put together during the pandemic. You might remember my recent blog post on working from home outfits where I offer some fun styling ideas that are not pajamas : )

And now *drum roll please* for a quick ‘did you know’ facts about scarves; they originally came from Ancient Egypt, around 1300 BC, where one was worn by a Queen underneath an extravagant jewelled headpiece. In Ancient Rome, men wore them as ‘sweat cloths’ (TMI???) to keep themselves cool. Napoleon Bonaparte's wife (Not tonight Josephine – remember her?) is said to have been a scarf collector and had over 400 valued at about $80,000 back then, so just imagine what they’d be worth now? Scarves became the big fashion accessory in the UK when Queen Victoria started wearing them and they were quickly adopted by the upper classes. Which is around the time that Hermes started producing their iconic silk scarves. And, in this pandemic year, 2020 has seen scarves playing a role as an optional face covering along with face masks.

Earlier in the year I wrote a blog about styling my silk scarves, and how to wear them, take a look here for some ideas. But these days, as it's starting to get chilly, my scarves are getting woolier and warmer. And I’ve been playing with different types of knots. It’s surprising how the way you tie a scarf changes the way it drapes and hangs around your neck and face. So, I’ve put together a few, well 8 (!) ways to tie a scarf. Have a play around and see which style suits you. You might be surprised with how they uplift a fall or winter outfit. 


1. The Twist

A really simple and straightforward style, that’s cozy and looks good.

  1. Keep one side of the scarf slightly longer than the other.
  2. Wrap it once around your neck.
  3. Twist each side inward 2/3 times depending on your scarf length.

Fun fact:  Early 20th century crusaders for women’s rights used scarves to promote their cause. Wearing the movements colors, white, green and purple with Votes for Women embroidered onto them.

2. The French Knot

 My all-time favorite look, this is easy to get right, and can be done with any scarf. I definitely feel like I’m borrowing some of that French chic style with this look.

  1. Fold the scarf in half to equal lengths
  2. Wrap it around your neck and thread one end through the loop-hole.
  3. Feed the second end of the scarf over the first knot
  4. Straighten it up and ooooh la la (sorry couldn’t resist!)

Fun Fact:  It takes one moth producing 300 eggs and two mulberry trees producing 300 cocoons to create silk thread for scarfs. Which might explain why a Hermes scarf costs so much!


 3. West Village

This knot is also known as the double ascot and is a popular choice with men too.

  1. Drape the scarf around your neck making sure both ends are equal.
  2. Loop the left end around and behind the right end
  3. Take the left end and loop it around and behind the right end again.
  4. Then pull down both ends to make a firm knot.

Fun Fact: From the 1950’s to the 1970’s a famous Manhattan bar and restaurant 21 produced a series of scarves every year and sent them to their favorite customers. They commissioned well-known designers and the design always featured some aspect of the restaurant. Lauren Bacall, who must have been a regular, donated all of her 21 scarves to the Museum at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology.    

 4. Classic Drape

Really casual, but also really showcases the scarfs pattern and design.

  1. Drape the scarf evenly around your neck and let it hang. 

Styling Tip: This look is great with a blazer, if you pop the collar and drape a long scarf around the back of your neck so the ends hang evenly in front. It also doesn’t have to be a blazer, you can wear a lightweight scarf under the collar of a shirt. Hop on over to my blog and take a look at the piece I wrote about how to style blazers.

Fun Fact: Audrey Hepburn once said, ‘when I wear a silk scarf I never feel so definitely like a woman, a beautiful woman.’

5. The Fake Knot

 A super cute way to wear a scarf.

  1. Position the scarf at even lengths
  2. Loop it around your neck, even it out
  3. Thread the left side through the loophole on the left side
  4. Do the same with the right
  5. Straighten it up.

Fun Fact: My history of scarves digging on the internet has found this crazy fact. Back in the 3rd Century BC Chinese soldiers wore tied neck scarves denoting rank. This was confirmed when thousands of perfectly detailed life-sized soldiers known as the Terracotta soldiers were found buried with the first emperor of China.

6. Once Around

Just loop once around your neck and remember to keep the ends of the scarf uneven for a more casual look.

Fun Fact: During World War 2 in the 1940’s, women working in factories were encouraged to wear scarves to cover their hair to prevent it from being caught in machinery. Scarves had become a lot more affordable by then as the material rayon was being mass manufactured and was a great alternative to expensive silk scarves, so they were viewed as a practical fashionable necessity.


7. The Atlantis

A great option to really showcase the scarf design.

  1. Position scarf around your neck with one side longer than the other
  2. Loop around
  3. With the longer side, flare out the end of the scarf and hook the corner into the loop.
  4. Make sure it feels secure and reposition.

Fun Fact: Scarves became more fashion rather than function in the 17th century when the cravat appeared from Paris (of course). It was worn during the French Revolution, by men, embellished with embroidery or lace, sometimes even covering the bottom of the face. It was also dyed in different colors to represent which side of the revolution the wearer was on.


8. Parisian Knot 

This is also known as the Chelsea knot or the French loop. And it’s a popular knot worn by both fashionable men and women alike. 

  1. The scarf is doubled
  2. Ends are pulled through the loop around your neck
  3. And positioned

Fun Fact: In the 70’s scarves were tied around the head or the neck like a kerchief which was a style carried over from the 60’s. Thick winter scarves were fashionably draped over shoulders and a lighter spring scarf could be tied at one shoulder and pinned at the waist, for a high fashion look. Silk scarves were also worn as bandanas with heavy eye make-up and giant earrings. Such a bold fashion statement!

Which winter scarf style is your favorite? Will you be wearing any of them this fall and winter?

Click here to shop all of the outfits in this post – and don’t forget to check out my other looks and styling ideas here.

Thanks for reading!

Love, Lily xx