Queen Elizabeth is never without one (around her head or neck). Rihanna experiments plenty with hers (apparently, she’s a big fan of Hermes’ and has used them as bandeaus). Twisted, folded or tied, the square scarf transforms from one thing (headbands) to another (necktie) regardless of make, fabric and price.
Here are six ways to wear it, and six of our picks:
1. Around your neck
We are starting with the most obvious, first. Its neck-warming benefit aside, a scarf around the neck is a quick and easy finishing touch for any look. If you are a fan of tonal dressing (read our guide to master it here), here are two ways to bring it further: Pick a scarf in a bright or contrasting colour to add a focal point to your look (above), or one in a complementary colour or print to tie everything together (below).
Silk twill, $590, Hermes
2. Over your head, Queen E style
Besides her beloved corgis, Queen Elizabeth II is also rarely seen without her trusty scarf, which she frequently wears around her head in her signature style to shield her hair. The Queen has endorsed it – need we say more?
Silk twill, price unavailable, Dior
3. As a headband
How do you keep your hair out of your face? Before reaching for a hairband or hair tie next time, try rolling up a scarf and securing it around your head instead.
Image: Shanghai Tang
Silk, $320, Shanghai Tang
4. As a turban
Favoured by Alicia Keys, Erykah Badu (the ’90s godmother of R&B) and Singapore’s very own turban trendsetter, Aarika Lee, the turban takes a boatload of confidence to pull it off, but rewards you with a head-turning hairdo even on bad hair days.
Silk, $460, Longchamp
5. Around your waist
Image: The Zoe Report
Two ways to do it: Fold or roll it up, thread it through your belt loops and wear it as a belt, or thread it through just two belt loops, fasten with a knot, and let it hang from your waist as an accessory.
Image: Bimba Y Lola
Polyester, $125, Bimba Y Lola
6. As a bandeau
Image: We Heart It
Rihanna has done the scarf-as-bandeau look with an Hermes scarf and now’s our turn. (Hermes scarf optional) Just fold two opposing ends of a scarf inwards, wrap it around your chest, and secure with a knot in front. The best part? You can choose how wide you want your makeshift bandeau to be depending on how you fold your scarf. We recommend trying the look on the beach or at a poolside like RiRi, or pairing it with an oversized jacket if you are wearing it out for Sunday brunch.
Image: @jacquiealexander on Instagram
Cashmere silk, $750, Givenchy