Fall generally brings back loving memories of my childhood wardrobe. When the humid summer air turned brisk, and the wafting odor of rotting pumpkins on the neighbor’s doorstep lingered in the air, my bedroom closet would swell with rigid corduroys starched to perfection and a colorful bouquet of Cosby-esque sweaters for the coming school year.
We all have seen the guy whose neck and chest seem to require extra insulation year round. The sun could be emitting rays of heat down on exposed body parts boldly displayed in every direction, and this guy will have a fiery cocoon elaborately draped around his neck. Somehow, wearing a scarf in any weather has transformed into a lethargic excuse for male style.
I can already hear the angered protests firing off like a shotgun. They’re saying, hey! I put the thick scarves away and only wear keffiyehs in warm weather! And guess what? It’s still not a wise choice.
Keffiyehs are a Palestinian tradition, and many find it a boisterous lack of sensitivity to appropriate them for fashion. Not only will you seem ignorant wearing one, you’ll also look like you’re trying too hard. Cultural appropriation isn’t cool. A bare neck in 85 degree weather is.
If you find yourself yearning for the perfect scarf, you’re just in luck. The Fall runways are filled with lanky models draped in the scarves that will be flooding retailers this upcoming season. And just like the keffiyeh, there’s certain blunders you’ll want to avoid (albeit far more forgiving ones).
Several years ago, November 25, 2012 to be exact, a solitary man of mystery strolled down the streets of New York draped in his grandmother’s hallway rug, which set the blogger-verse on fire.
Which brings me to another important point. Just because it’s trendy, doesn’t mean it’s stylish. There’s nothing that looks refined about a man being swallowed up by a gargantuan knit scarf. Knit accessories, like most good things, should be done in moderation.
Poncho-styled men’s scarves are promising to be a big trend this Fall and they’re a way more aesthetically pleasing alternative to the Lenny Kravitz look. Even so, you’ll want to be vigilant about looking like an extra from a Clint Eastwood Western. Loud designs and ponchos don’t work for anybody but cowboys. It’s best to incorporate solid colors with moderate detailing for the most complementary look.
For traditional scarf wearers, the texture and look of the fabric are key points to focus on. Cotton and wool blends tend to offer the most polished appearance for men. Fringe and tassel details also manage to look the most refined on these textures. A great example of this is the classic Burberry men’s scarf. Let’s forget the irritatingly luxurious cashmere and the equally irritatingly luxurious price point for a moment and simply focus on the presentation. The way it drapes the neck. The way it complements a coat with a unique but classic look. The way the length complements the wearer.
Now take that information and apply it to a scarf from a retailer of your choice. Don’t worry, the details are totally up to you. The whole point of great men’s scarves is not to let them wear you. You should wear them.