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alte can grow so accustomed to certain elements of our wardrobe that we never think of them as contributing to our style.  As the weather turns colder, such is the case with the lowly scarf, that which protects our neck from the chill of approaching Winter.  The scarf used to be an afterthought in American menswear, something we draped around our necks when we were cold and let dangle over our shoulders when we entered a place of warmth.  The explosion of European influence on American style has, with steady progress, altered the popular conception of the scarf.  Now beyond its utility, we can see it as a fashion statement, a chance to add panache to our cold-weather wardrobe.


When choosing a scarf, material is a primary concern, not merely for fashion's sake but because, for all its fine appearance, a scarf must still serve its intended purpose.  Cashmere is an ideal scarf material, as it is lightweight and breathable but still extremely warm.  Take care when choosing cashmeres, however, as cheaper threads will be flimsy and inadequate in the face of the cold.  Lambswool is another excellent material, soft and comfortable against the skin, though it will generally be thicker than cashmere.  Don't shy away from spending more than $50 on a scarf, though the price should not become ridiculous.  Like all items of fine clothing, a good scarf is an investment; spend wisely on quality and it will last you for many Winters to come.


When you have purchased a fine scarf, you may wonder how to knot it around your neck- after all, a stylish piece deserves a good display.  There are several scarf knots that you could consider.  The simple knot resembles tying the shoe- pull one end over the other, loop it under again, and pull.  There is also the slip knot, where the ends are brought together and pulled through the loop formed by the rest of the scarf.  If you are wearing a sport coat, you can also drape the scarf around your neck and tuck the ends into the jacket to hold it in place; this is a stylish way to wear your scarf when it is not accompanied by an overcoat.  However you choose to wear your scarf, be sure that it keeps you warm; often, the best style choice is the one that is also practical.

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Written by Charles Shoultz
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