Where Bloggers Live: How to Wear Scarves Without Tying Them + Reasons to Wear Scarves
Welcome back to the monthly edition of Where Bloggers Live! I am lucky to have joined a terrific group of bloggers who give a peek into the places and spaces where they spend their time.
Today's topic is Favorite Bloggers...and I am going to take this opportunity to introduce you to one of my favorite professional stylist bloggers that you have probably never read.
I'm not sure how I stumbled upon Strategic Style, the blog by Nancy Nix-Rice, but it is an absolute treasure trove of wardrobe planning (for sewists and shoppers), clothing selection, accessorizing, personal color, and outfit creation content. She doesn't update the blog often these days, but there is so much evergreen content in the archives that you could keep yourself busy for a good long while!
Like me, Nancy is a scarf enthusiast, and I really like her scarf tutorials on YouTube. Today I'm going to discuss her YouTube video "How to NOT Tie a Scarf with Nancy Nix-Rice" and show some OOTD that demonstrate how some of these non-ties look in various outfits.
Nancy offers these three reasons that scarves are popular with her clients:
(1) Every outfit looks more polished/finished with an accessory, and a scarf is a quick easy way to do that. Here, my sweatshirt and pants goes from loungewear to an Outfit with the addition of a scarf (decorated with a pendant) and tasseled loafers.
(2) Scarves direct attention up to your face. This outfit has a lot of dark, neutral colors, but the addition of a mint infinity scarf adds a pop of color right next to my face.
(3) Scarves allow you to put unexpected color combinations together and link them into "fashion-right" combinations. The paisley scarf ties together the mint, rust, and brown colors in this outfit and makes the entire look feel more intentional. (If you've spent any time on my blog, you know that Nancy is preaching to the choir on this one where I'm concerned - I love a good bridge piece to tie outfit colors together, and a print scarf is my favorite bridge piece of all! See #5 and #6 in this post about selecting a scarf for a sweater + pants outfit for more.)
As we work through the no-tie methods of wearing an oblong scarf, I will share some of my own additional reasons to enjoy scarves. (I'm going to keep track of our reasons with numbers continuing from the 3 above; it'll be interesting to see how many emerge from this post!)
Method #1: Tuck a Scarf into the Neck of a Jacket and Let it Hang
As Nancy points out, this styling method (4) gives you a flattering long vertical design line down the center of your body.
In this OOTD, the scarf also (5) frames the rabbit's face, bringing attention to the cutest part of this whole look, (6) repeats the polka dot motif from the blazer, and (7) helps fill the gap created by the open blazer. As a bonus, this particular folding method makes it impossible to tell that the scarf has a terrifying giant cicada print.
I just realized this OOTD is a bit of a cheat because I put a small square knot at the ends of the scarf, but we can abstract ourselves away from that detail, right? Here the scarf (3) ties the black, white, and purple colors together but also (8) adds more colors to a mostly neutral look, which works well for my color dominant coloring.
Method #2: Tuck a Scarf Under the Collar of a Jacket and Let it Hang
Nancy mentions that this approach can (9) tone down a strongly contrasting top and jacket that may otherwise overpower you so that it works better for your coloring and (3) bring the color from the top onto the jacket, making the combination easier on the eye.
I definitely used this paisley scarf to (3) tie together the dark teal, rust, and olive colors in the outfit, but by wearing it out over the vest, I was able to add a cute DIY rust and teal fox paper pendant [tutorial] in the empty space in the middle of my t-shirt.
In this outfit, I tied knots into the end of each dangling part of the scarf to shorten it a bit; I also do this sometimes just to add interest to the styling. The scarf makes the resulting outfit (1) look more polished/finished to my eye while (10) repeating the burgundy color from the top and shoes and (11) creating a fun print mix.
Wearing the scarf over the zipped up sweater vest (4) adds a flattering vertical design line down the center of my body and (10) repeats the colors from the shirt. I think it also (12) shifts the overall value of the outfit (i.e., its light or darkness) to a lighter value that suits me better.
Method #3: Loop the Scarf Around the Neck and Let it Hang (Variant not in video)
You really don't need to be wearing a blazer, hoodie, or other collared/lapeled topper layer to use this easy loop-and-hang scarf technique. It works very well over cardigans, collar-less jackets, vests, tops, pullover sweaters, etc.
The bold check faux cashmere scarf (3) pulls together the dark aqua, grey, and dark blue denim colors of the garments and (1) serves as the accessory that creates a finished outfit, but quite importantly, it also (13) adds warmth! (I can't believe we got to reason 13 before hitting on what may be a scarf's most obvious value-add.) Wearing it this long and loose way is not the warmest method, but that's why I wear scarves instead of turtlenecks when it's cold - you can adjust the warmth level of the scarf based on how you wear/tie it. I also like that the scarf (14) adds a print to an otherwise solid outfit.
I actually really love this outfit, and the bright blue scarf that matches the jeans is most of the reason why (the floral blouse + cheetah print Oxfords being the rest of the reason). Not only does the scarf (4) add a strong vertical to the look and (10) repeat the color of the pants in the top of the outfit...doesn't it really make this into a column of color?
Here's the matching scarf + pants idea again, though the effect is more subtle because the vest/topper is longer and the contrast between the pieces is lower than in the previous OOTD.
The striped scarf is definitely (4) adding a vertical component to the expanse of sweater and (11) creating a fun print mix. This kind of two piece outfit - a top and bottom without a topper - can look not quite complete to my eye, so the scarf can (15) serve as that "third piece" that jazzes up two garments into an outfit. (While this is a cold weather example, using a scarf as a third piece can also be great in mild summer weather if you pick lightweight breathable fabrics for your scarves.)
I'm using the two-color ombré scarf here to (5) frame the elephant motif on the sweater and (8) add more color to the neutral-dominant outfit. Another styling method might be even more successful at (2) directing attention to my face, but this way the print of the underlayer blouse is not completely obscured and I could add a necklace to the look as well.
Are you getting the sense that I wear the very simple hang-around-the-neck technique often? I am going to exhibit some willpower and show one final example OOTD. This one is interesting because the rainbow striped scarf (6) repeats the pattern from the skirt in a way one might not expect. I do think this helps at least balance the attention to my top and bottom half...i.e., (2) directing at least some attention to my face...which might otherwise go straight to the magnificently colored skirt and stay there. Vertical lines can help draw the eyes back up the body to the face.
Method #4: Toss One End of the Scarf Over a Shoulder (Variant not in video)
This variation is easy but brings a lot of drama to a look, I think. (Extra points if you throw the end of the scarf over your shoulder to punctuate the end of a conversation like a Hollywood maven.)
This bright pink ombré scarf is (15) acting as a third piece in this simple sweater + pants outfit, and even with only one end hanging down the front, it (4) creates a vertical element in the look.
This technique can have very practical advantages as well, like ensuring that my sweet rabbit duo on my sweater is not obscured! It (5) frames the rabbits, bringing attention to the cutest part of this look (again). It also (10) repeats the grey color from the pants in the top part of the outfit for a more cohesive result.
Nancy finishes the video with some additional fancy bow and cascade techniques using a small ring, which I have not tried but look like fun...if a bit more complicated than the simple methods I've shown in this post.
So we've finished up with 15 reasons to wear a scarf! Let's see them all together. Wearing a scarf can...
(1) Make an outfit look more polished/finished;
(2) Direct attention up to your face;
(3) Allow you to put unexpected color combinations together and link them into "fashion-right" combinations;
(4) Give you a flattering long vertical design line down the center of the body;
(5) Frame an image/motif (e.g., rabbit) on the front of your top, bringing attention to the cutest part of your look;
(6) Repeat a print motif from another part of the outfit;
(7) Fill in a gap created by an open topper;
(8) Add more color to the outfit;
(9) Tone down a strongly contrasting top and jacket that might otherwise overpower your coloring;
(10) Repeat a color from another part of the outfit;
(11) Create a print mix;
(12) Shift the overall value of the outfit (i.e., its lightness or darkness);
(13) Add warmth;
(14) Add a print to an otherwise solid outfit;
(15) Serve as the "third piece" to jazz up a look.
Thanks for joining me in sharing one of my favorite style bloggers and discussing what is probably my favorite accessory. Nancy actually has other scarf videos that you can find on her YouTube channel (as well as tons of content on her blog). I plan to follow up this post with some additional easy ways to wear scarves + examples from my OOTD archives.
Next month's topic is Kitchen/Pantry. Well, you've heard before how cooking is not my favorite activity, but I actually do use my kitchen, so I will not be sharing photos of a pristine, untouched space!
In the meantime, visit these lovely bloggers as they share about their favorite bloggers:
Bettye at Fashion Schlub
Daenel at Living Outside the Stacks
Em at Dust and Doghair
Iris at Iris’ Original Ramblings
Jodie at Jodie’s Touch of Style
Leslie at Once Upon a Time & Happily Ever After
Are there any other scarf fans out there? Have you used any of these easy techniques for wearing a scarf? Do you have any additional reasons for wearing a scarf to bolster our list of 15? Have you seen Nancy Nix-Rice's blog or YouTube channel before? Do you have a favorite blogger to recommend?
Blogs I link up with are listed here.