There’s nothing in menswear that quite compares to the power and prestige of a suit. However, as temperatures drop, the wide lapels mean one of your most sensitive areas, your neck, is suddenly left in the cold.
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Wearing a scarf with your suit is a perfect solution, but only if you do it right. We’ll show you the different ways to wear a scarf and pair it with your suit.
What Kind of Scarf Should You Wear with a Suit?
Wearing a scarf with your suit or blazer can add warmth and personality. However, you probably spent a lot of time and effort to find a suit that’s well-tailored and that sends the right message.
You don’t want to just toss on a lumpy scarf that ruins that. Ideally, pick a scarf around 60″ to 75″ — while infinity/loop scarves are popular, you’ll find they give you fewer options, more bulk and little ability to adjust your look.
When you’re picking a scarf to wear with a suit, there are a number of factors to keep in mind. For instance:
• Formality — is it a conservative business suit, a colorful casual suit, or a casual sports jacket? Chunky knits look more relaxed whereas fine knits or woven scarves tend to look more formal.
• Fabric weight — while you don’t have to match materials, you should match weights. If it’s a wool winter suit, match with a warm woven woolen scarf. A lightweight suit pairs well with a silk or linen scarf.
• Color and pattern — this goes without saying, however, think complementary rather than matching. Often men think they need a black or gray scarf to match the color of their suit. Scarves give you a chance to add color, contrast, and personality.
5 Different Ways to Wear a Scarf with a Suit
1. Over the Neck Drape
Let’s start with the basics. If you don’t want to bother with learning to tie or fold your scarf, this is a good place to start (and can look very elegant). You can tuck your scarf under the collar of your suit or lay it on top and just let it hang.
It’ll only keep the back of your neck warm and is mostly decorative but sometimes that’s all you need. Just make sure the ends of the scarf are about the same length or slightly shorter than your coat.
You can either cross the ends into an X shape and tuck the scarf into your suit jacket or just let it hang outside the jacket.
If you do not tuck the scarf in, it will be highly visible, so make sure you wear a high-quality scarf that compliments the rest of your outfit, including necktie if you’re wearing one.
2. Loop Around the Neck
Loop around the neck is likely the second easiest and what many people default to when tossing on a scarf.
Hang the scarf on your neck, then loop one end around your neck so the front of your neck is covered.
You can tuck the ends into your suit for a more polished look (or if it’s windy) or leave one end over your shoulder for a more jaunty and casual look.
3. The Classic Fold
- Fold the length of the scarf in half so the ends are lined up.
- Put the middle of the folded scarf on the back of your neck, hang the ends and the loop over your shoulders.
- Thread the ends of the scarf through the loop and tighten as desired.
The ascot folding technique is one of the different ways to wear a scarf with a suit. This is a traditional folding method that reeks of elegance and sophistication. While the origins might feel aristocratic, it’s an easy look to pull off, once you learn how.
The trick is to have a scarf that is either thick or puffy enough to hold the look well.
- Drape the scarf over the back of your neck and cross the ends in front in an X with the right side in front.
- Loop the right (front) end of the scarf around and under the left and pull it through the top as if you were starting a knot.
- Adjust so the two ends of the scarf are layered on top of each other, not next to each other. Ideally, the scarf on top should puff a bit and hide the second layer of the scarf behind it.