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As evidenced by the storyline of Confessions of a Shopaholic, a scarf can be a defining accessory. Just as the young heroine in the story imagined, her dreams came true as a result of one striking green scarf, though not quite as she had pictured it. What dreams might come true for every woman if she allowed herself the purchase of one beautiful, defining scarf?

Scarves have been a hot fashion trend for several years now, and there are no signs of scarves becoming passé. The scarf has always been a classic, elegant accessory, but it can also promote a casual, quirky look, depending on the style, material, and pattern of the scarf. Scarves are an especially hot trend among teens and young women.

The popularity of the scarf is perhaps due to the fact that it is no longer a cooler-weather-only accessory. Sheer, airy scarves are light enough for the warm months, especially on a mild summer night. While short neck scarves were trendy in the 50s and 60s (picture Jackie Kennedy/Onassis), today’s summer trends include the longer scarves as well.

The scarf’s ability to punch up any simple ensemble is only one of its beauties. You can wear a scarf with a solid shift, a t-shirt and jeans, or a tank top and flirty skirt. Choose a scarf to soften or brighten a dress or outfit that would otherwise not look right on you. Fashion experts recommend you try one around your waist, and some have experimented with tying one (or two) small scarves around their wrist, like a pseudo-bangle.

Why risk feeling overheated by adding a summer scarf? Because it is transferable. Choose the right material and you’ll go from cool air conditioning to summer heat without breaking a sweat. Wear it like a bandana in a convertible to keep your hair from whipping in your face, or drape it around your shoulders in the chilly blast of a/c overload. Wear it loosely draped around your neck with the ends hanging down in warmer temps, or wrap it around your waist when the temps start to sizzle.

The best thing about scarves? They make everyone – of every shape and size – look fabulous. A scarf attracts the eye to the neck and enhances the face. A long, thin scarf worn loosely draped and hanging down adds length to your body. When it trails behind you in the breeze it simulates long hair, a decidedly feminine touch. But the scarf isn’t just feminine (men are wearing them, too); a scarf can be funky or Goth.

Try these options for wearing a scarf:

  • Tie the scarf at the neck and let the ends hang down in front, on the side, or draping down your back. This is a great look for formal outfits and the LBD (little black dress).
  • Wear it open with the ends hanging down your front. Wear this look with casual, flowy clothing or to dress up a blazer.
  • Tie a gauzy, long & thin scarf once just above or below your chest. It’s perfect for tank tops paired with jewelry.
  • Fold a square scarf in half to form a triangle, then tie the very end points behind your neck. Let the shorter point drape in front, or slightly off-center.
  • Fold any long scarf in half length-wise, then put it around your neck with a loop on one side and the ends on the other. Pull the ends through the loop, then pull it until the slip-knot you’ve made is resting near your throat, or wear it more loosely.
  • Wrap a long, thin scarf twice around your neck, then tie it in a knot about three inches below your throat.

Cashmere, lace, silk, organic cotton – drape yourself in a touch of luxury with one or two definable scarves. It’s the easiest and the least expensive way to add style and interest to your wardrobe.

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