How to tie a winter scarf

Look cool-and keep warm-with these trendy scarf-tying options.

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Allow us to set the scene: You’re on the bus and you see a woman with a really interesting scarf tied in a unique way. Admiring her style, you try to re-create the look at home the next morning, only to end up with a clumsy knot. Frustrated, you do your typical boring, circa-2001 wrap-around routine and head for the bus stop. Thankfully, your day will never have to start that way again. We’ve enlisted the help of Amy Salinger (amysalinger.net), a Chicago- and New York–based personal shopper who’s also a wardrobe stylist for the TLC makeover show What Not to Wear. Salinger shows us four simple styles with four different kinds of scarves. (Bonus: Thanks to winter markdowns, many scarves are on sale now.) “You want to keep it simple, because when you’re running out of the house and it’s freezing, the last thing you want to try to do is put together a puzzle with your scarf,” she says.

1. Short

Drape the scarf around your neck, keeping the left side slightly shorter. Cross the right side over and begin to tie a knot, without pulling the right side all the way through. It then becomes an unfinished knot, with the two ends uneven. Drape the pulled-out portion over the knot, making it look like a half bow. To dress up the look, Salinger suggests adding a large broach to the top of the draped portion. V. Fraas scarf, $45, at Macy’s (111 N State St at Washington St, 312-781-4884).

2. Pashmina

Fold the pashmina in half. Position the center at the front of your neck, with the ends draped over your back. Crisscross the ends and bring them over to the front of your neck. Tie a loose knot at the front and tuck it underneath the wrapped portion of the pashmina, keeping that upper layer (which covers the knot) loose. Flatten out the ends over the chest as much as you can, making them less puffy. Gently pull down the top layer to cover the knot. The result looks like a loose turtleneck combined with a scarf. Casmink pashmina, $60, at Macy’s.

3. Artistic

Drape the scarf around your neck so both sides are even in length. Using only the right side, tie a loose knot in the middle of that side. Take the other side and simply thread it through the knot. Tighten the knot. To wear with a coat, tie the knot closer to your neck, or lower it on the scarf to wear as an accessory to your outfit. One-of-a-kind scarf by local artist Gina Pannorfi, $175, at ginapannorfi.com.

4. Long

The most simple, and popular, style is the European way. Fold the scarf in half creating a fold at one end and two loose ends at the other side. Drape the middle of the scarf around your neck, with the two ends on the left side and a loop on the right side—each facing forward. Slip the two loose ends through the loop and tighten. Chunky wool scarf, $50, at Banana Republic (locations throughout the city, bananarepublic.com).


To see these styles in action, check out this video with stylist Amy Salinger who demonstrates the quick-and-easy way to tie yourself up this winter.

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