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What are the Different Types of Scarves?

Scarves come in a myriad of styles, each with its own charm. From cozy knitted infinity scarves that offer warmth to elegant silk squares that add a touch of sophistication, there's a scarf for every occasion. Lightweight linen, versatile pashminas, and trendy bandanas also make the list. Curious about which scarf best complements your style? Let's unravel the possibilities together.
Sherry Holetzky
Sherry Holetzky

Whether you are looking for style, warmth, or maybe a little of both, you can find scarves of all kinds, from designer labels to handmade varieties. They can be worn as outerwear or as accessories to complement a particular suit or outfit. Luxurious silk scarves are especially popular as fashion accessories. Aside from silk, scarves are available in many other fabrics and textures, including cotton, wool, rayon, polyester and poly-blends, and even sheer fabrics, which are usually used for headscarves.

If you are choosing scarves for outerwear, look for styles that provide thickness and warmth. These are usually closely knit and somewhat more bulky than the dressy varieties. They are frequently available in sets with matching hats and mittens or gloves. You can select from lush materials such as angora to complement your coat and make a statement, or you can choose a more casual scarf, such as one made from flannel or fleece. There are extra long scarves that can be wrapped around the neck two or three times, while shorter styles are often tucked into the opening of the coat or jacket to keep the neck and upper chest warm.

Scarves may be worn as outerwear.
Scarves may be worn as outerwear.

Selections also include a large variety of fun, whimsical options. You might choose a striped design, trademark characters, or scarves made from shimmering, sparkly yarn. Some have fringe along the ends while others have clean lines, and some are reversible or two-sided so you can create two different looks with one scarf. Hooded varieties are very cute and also provide maximum warmth.

Cashmere scarves are lightweight and warm.
Cashmere scarves are lightweight and warm.

While silk scarves make great fashion accessories, other types do as well. You can find lovely cashmere, angora, velvet or chenille sweater sets with matching scarves. Embroidered scarves are very attractive and work well to dress up a plain sweater, blouse or suit. There are many ways to wear dressy scarves, including several unique ways to tie them. Another option is to simply drape a scarf over your neck and shoulders and leave it loose.

Both fashion and outerwear scarves make great winter accessories and they also make terrific gifts.

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Discussion Comments


@medicchristy: I make several crochet scarves at Christmas time and give them as gifts. There are some very simple patterns for beginners. There are also many websites available that offer thousands of free patterns. That is where I get all of mine.

Many of them are just single or double crochet patterns which are great for beginners.


I want to try to make a crocheted scarf. I am new at crocheting and need an easy pattern. Does anyone have any suggestions? I have looked at several and there are some very unique scarves out there.


In general, ladies'scarves have far more fashion-related options for wearing than mens' scarves; men typically only wear scarves for warmth, particularly during very cold weather, or as a costume in a ceremony or other special occasion.

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    • Scarves may be worn as outerwear.
      By: iredman
      Scarves may be worn as outerwear.
    • Cashmere scarves are lightweight and warm.
      By: tribalmark
      Cashmere scarves are lightweight and warm.
    • Scarves are often worn along with hats and gloves to keep warm.
      By: Mr Korn Flakes
      Scarves are often worn along with hats and gloves to keep warm.
    • Men typically pair a scarf with a collared jacket.
      By: nutech21
      Men typically pair a scarf with a collared jacket.