Become familiar with the different types of scarves that you can wear to complete your style. Contrary to popular belief, scarves don’t just provide warmth; they can also protect your skin from the sun and your hair from damages caused by wind, dust, and other elements. Let’s learn more about this versatile and functional accessory.
Types of Scarves - The Most Common Ones
With various options available, selecting the best scarves for your style, needs, and lifestyle is time-consuming and daunting. As such, we categorized the different types of scarves according to when you can best wear them and their style.
Types of Scarves Based on When to Wear Them
The material used in the construction of the scarf will determine the perfect season on when you can wear it. We divide them into three sub-categories, namely:
We usually wear scarves to keep you warm, and the top fabrics used to make scarves for the winter, rainy, or coldest season are as follows:
- Wool - A material most commonly used in manufacturing winter types of scarves, wool is lightweight, breathable, and soft to touch, making it the most comfortable and cozy scarf to wear. That said, keep in mind that low-quality wool scarves might be uncomfortable and itchy.
- Acrylic - Acrylic scarves are the best synthetic alternatives to wool scarves, but they’re not as elegant looking as wool scarves. They’re perfect for a morning jog, early morning breakfast, and other casual occasions when you need to stay warm.
- Alpaca - Another great alternative to wool is alpaca types of scarves. They’re thinner and more hypoallergenic than wool but a little less luxurious looking. Nonetheless, you can still wear them for formal occasions if you can’t afford wool scarves.
- Satin - With a glossy appearance and availability in several bright colors and patterns, scarves made of satin are perfect for clubbing or partying. They also help enhance the appearance of a seemingly dull outfit.
- Velvet - Scarves made of velvet are elegant and thick, making them perfect for your gowns or long formal dresses. With their thickness, though, they might be uncomfortable to wear or irritate your sensitive skin when worn for extended periods. Thus, experts suggest that you pick a velvet scarf with a short width.
The summer season shouldn't stop you from wearing scarves, especially since they’re also designed for protection. During the hot and humid days, the perfect types of scarves based on the material used in constructing them are:
- Chiffon and Crinkle - Chiffon is an elegant, lightweight, see-through fabric, so it’s perfect for the summer season. It’s also great for casual and formal wear, both in the day and night. It’s also the ideal scarf to bring to the beach or pool! On the other hand, crinkle isn’t as skin-friendly, glossy, and silky as chiffon. Nonetheless, it’s a great alternative, especially if you don’t have sensitive skin.
- Cotton - The types of scarves made of cotton are the most versatile since they’re also the best headscarves. Cotton is both highly hypoallergenic and breathable, preventing skin irritation and suffocation even when it’s hot. They’re also easy to pair with any outfit.
- Silk - As one of the priciest and most expensive fabrics, silk scarves are a great investment since they can keep your skin glowing. Silk can retain moisture and is hypoallergenic, so these scarves are also great for covering your hair without the fear of damaging it.
- Polyester - Polyester scarves are affordable alternatives to silk scarves, but they’re not as comfortable and skin-friendly. Still, they’re perfect for both your casual and formal attires.
- Viscose - Types of scarves made of viscose combine the breathability of cotton and the softness of silk, all at an affordable price. Thus, they can add elegance to your outfit, whether morning or evening. However, they’re hard to maintain since they require special care when washing and can even get damaged when spot treated.
Although you can wear some winter and summer scarves during fall or spring, the perfect all-year scarves are made from the following materials:
- Cashmere - Lightweight, comfortable, and skin-friendly, cashmere scarves can adjust to temperatures, keeping you warm when it’s cold while ensuring you stay fresh when it’s hot. Just keep in mind that it requires extensive care and maintenance.
- Pashmina - Pashmina scarves are actually a sub-type of cashmere, but they deserve their own spot on this list. That’s because these types of scarves are gentle on the skin and don’t bulge even when you tie them around your neck.
- Linen - Not only are linen scarves perfect for any season, but they also go well with both formal and casual attire. In fact, you can easily transform your office wear into a casual one by simply adding a linen scarf. That said, they’re quite expensive.
Types of Scarves Based on Style
The style of a scarf will depend on several differences, including shape, length, width, or a combination of two or more. The most common ones that you can choose from to match your outfit and own fashion style are as follows:
1. Antique or Traditional
Probably the scarf most of you are familiar with, the traditional type has a rectangular shape, with a length ranging from 60 to 70 inches. It’s usually made of cashmere, wool, and mohair. You can also find traditional types of scarves with pockets where you can keep your small valuables, especially while traveling.
The bandana or neckerchief is a triangular piece of cloth that you can wear around your neck and give it full coverage. You can also use it as a ponytail or head wrap. You'll also find bandanas with a square shape that you can fold into a triangle. It has a short length, usually up to 20 inches. Learn how to make your own bandana.
Aptly named, the blanket scarf has the largest size. You can use it as a blanket to stay cozy and comfortable. You’ll usually see Islams and people from some Middle Eastern countries wear these types of scarves.
The muffler is a scarf that you can wear both in summer and winter, as it’s usually made of acrylic, cotton, satin, velvet, or wool. One of its most outstanding characteristics is you can’t just wear it around your neck, on your shoulders, and on your head, but also around your waist.
5. Boa or Stole
A little longer and thicker than the muffler, these types of scarves are crafted with acrylic, fur, pashmina, silk, viscose, or wool. As such, it’s a winter type of scarf. It has a shape that mimics a strip and is perfect for formal events because of how luxurious it feels and looks.
As one of the best winter neck scarves, the cowl has a circular shape with a hole in the center. It drapes deeply and is usually made of pashmina or wool. The best thing about this scarf is that it’s easy to wear.
The infinity scarf is somewhat similar to the cowl types of scarves, but it has a bigger hole and has two circles covering the neck, giving it an infinity shape. Although it’s more of a winter scarf, you’ll find ones meant for summer. Learn how to make an infinity scarf.
Sarong is another type of long scarf, like a blanket. It’s usually worn around the armpits, hips, and waist and then tied into a knot or tucked in to hold its place. You usually see people wear a sarong on the beach as a cover-up.
Also known as ghutrah, keffiyeh, and schmog, this scarf was originally worn by men in the Middle East to protect their heads and eyes from environmental elements. Today, it’s a fashionable and functional item for both men and women. These square-shaped types of scarves are usually made of cotton fabric and have white checkered weave patterns against a dark background.
The snood types of scarves are like a cowl but with a “hood”, hence the name. That said, keep in mind that the hood isn’t the typical hood you’ll find in most hooded tops. Its width is larger than the cowl, allowing you to cover your neck and head.
The first thing that probably comes to mind for most of you when you hear “triangle scarf” is the bandana. It’s larger than the bandana, though, as the third angle drapes to cover your chest while the corners fall freely on your shoulders. This scarf is crafted using several materials, so you can choose which works best for the season.
Types of Scarves - In Conclusion
An accessory you should definitely include in your closet, the scarf is an all-season, protective, and fashionable item. Just make sure you choose the right fabric material to stay comfortable. The scarf’s length and width are two critical factors to consider, as well, since they will help determine how you can wear it or what areas of the body it can cover.
You also need to decide whether or not you want a scarf with a design. With all that said, it’s best to have several types of scarves to have one ready each time you want to up your style, whether it’s summer, winter, fall, or spring.