How to style a bordered scarf

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border scarf tied front
Tie it around front as an elegant, casual wrap
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Knowing how to style a bordered scarf makes the most of its pattern and colors

Bordered scarves are the perfect lightweight layer. They protect the neck when temperatures drop and accent just about any look. Best of all, they come in an endless array of colors, patterns and fabrics so you can wear them all year.

These tips on how to tie, wrap and style a bordered scarf include simple techniques, fancy ties and everything in between. Whether you wish to highlight an intricate border or simply add a little contrast to an outfit, most methods will take a few practice tries to master. Experiment until you find a handful of ways to pull your favorite outfits together.

Scarves are popular because they’re both functional and stylish. From a practical perspective, the main objective is to secure it in a way that doesn’t impede your movement or annoy you by requiring constant readjustments. Fortunately, some of the most practical ways to wear this accessory are also the most flattering. 

Around the shoulders and gathered at the front

Wide scarves can easily double as a shawl, which makes them an ideal choice for cool summer nights. Rather than lugging around a jacket, simply gather the length around your back and shoulders and tie the ends together at your center. The border will frame your shoulders elegantly and keep you warm without completely concealing your dress underneath.

Another fun way to wear a scarf is to loop the ends through a wooden or metal band instead of tying them. Make sure the band is tight enough that it won’t slip off!

Around your head or hair

Smaller scarves work beautifully when you want to protect your ears and hair from the wind. They can also drape over the head like a hood, tie it as a headband or around a bun or pony tail to lend rich color or texture to a casual outfit. Here’s how to style a bordered scarf as a hair accessory:

First, roll or fold it so the border will show. Gather your hair in a top bun, high pony tail or around the nape of the neck. Tie the ends in a large side bow so the fabric doesn’t fall in your face.

If the gathered material is disproportionately thick, fold the material in a triangle, wrap it around the top of your head and tie it in the back so the excess lays on top of your hair for a chic 1920’s look.

Tie in back

Show off your favorite scarf by draping it around your front and tying the ends behind a shoulder. Angle the fabric so it hugs the shoulders with one corner falling front and center (usually below the waist, depending on the length). The sides will cover your arms like loose sleeve while the top should gather around your neck like a loose cowl.

Hang around the neck

Hanging a gorgeous scarf around your neck and letting the ends fall at your sides is a classic look you can wear day or night. Position the border so it cascades down the front. This works best when your outfit is fitted or tight up top.

Tie around the neck

There are countless ways to tie this accessory, depending on how much material you prefer around your neck for warmth, comfort or style. Begin by holding the length in front to find the center of the scarf and wrap it around your neck with the center at the back. Wrap it a second time and do a basic slip knot at the center or off to the side. 

You can also fold it in half and loop the ends through the center fold. For a snugger hold and more elaborate-looking effect, twist the folded center once before pulling the ends through the loop.

This is only the beginning of how to style a bordered scarf. The more you play with various twists and ties, the more looks you'll create to suit your personal taste.

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