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One of the greatest accessories in menswear today is the scarf!
It’s unfortunate that most men view scarves (or scarfs, both are correct) as either feminine or too bothersome.
Neither are true. The history of scarves reveals that warriors of the Chinese Emperor Cheng wore them to signify military rank and Beethoven started wearing them with suits and shirts to win the heart of a woman.
Like pocket squares, mens scarfs have a utilitarian purpose — but they can also add a level of sophistication and swagger (like a pocket square does) when selected with unique patterns and designs.
I’m going to help you choose the best mens scarf for your wardrobe…
The Best Fabric For A Man’s Scarf
Because mens scarfs can be worn year-round, they’re made from various fabrics, including:
- Cashmere – A luxury fabric like cashmere really lends itself to more formal business dress. Formal business dinners such as fundraisers and after-6PM business affairs.
- Wool – Because of its durability and warmth, wool is a more practical fabric for mens winter scarves. A wool mens scarf can be worn for everyday wear and is generally available in many patterns, designs, and colors.
- Silk – Another luxury fabric is silk. A silk scarf is best for the fashion forward gent who enjoys printed silk combined with strong color and design — to make a bold statement.
- Chenille – This is my personal favorite due to its finish, soft and lofty hand, and the fact that it gives off a unique kind of iridescence in different lighting. A chenille mens scarf is great with a sport coat, or a pair of jeans and a shawl collar cardigan.
- Fleece – A fleece scarf is a great scarf for utilitarian purposes. It doesn’t cost a lot of money — so it’s the one that you can abuse through your daily grind during the winter. And if it only last a few seasons, you got your money’s worth!
Which Colors, Patterns & Designs Are Best?
Scarves are available in endless colors, patterns, and designs:
- Solids – If you are challenged with patterns or simply a gentleman who believes “less is more”, then solids are your wheelhouse.
- Paisley – Paisley mens scarfs are very classic and masculine in design. When paired with other patterns (such as stripes, windowpanes, and plaids), a paisley scarf can look very stately and sophisticated.
- Geometric – When I think of geometric, I think of art deco. When I think of art deco I think of swagger. Mens scarfs with geometric patterns can give you a unique edge of fashion and design — without going over the top.
- Novelty – These mens scarf patterns are for the guy who is the life of the party at the office and at the pub on Friday night. You can find everything on mens scarfs these days — from beer mugs to golf balls.
- Plaids/Stripes – I paired these together because, while I may be comfortable with blending patterns, I see these two on men every day — and they end up looking like the holiday gingerbread house. If you are a classic gentleman who wears mostly solid suits and solid shirts and you tend to carry that over into your business casual and casual wear, then these could certainly give you a little punch of style.
The Best Width And Length For Mens Scarfs
Scarves come in many different widths and lengths.
I would recommend that you start with a scarf that is 5 to 12 inches in width and 60 to 80 inches in length.
Since scarves are made in varying weights, textures, and thicknesses (such as a knitted scarf) and there are so many ways to tie a scarf, it’s best to determine the best width and length for you by trying one on in a store.
TIP: If you buy a scarf online, make sure the online store has a good return policy first.
This video shows you how to tie a men’s scarf 7 different ways:
Where To Buy Mens Scarves
As for the best places to buy scarves, these are my recommendations:
- If you’re looking for luxury mens scarves, I recommend Paul Stuart and Brooks Brothers.
- If you’re looking for high fashion mens scarves, I recommend Barneys New York and Nordstrom.
- If you’re looking for great value and quality, I recommend Aran Sweater Market from Aran Islands, Ireland.
I’ve been in the men’s clothing business since 1991. My specialty is custom-tailored suits and shirts, as well as men’s accessories.