How To Wear A Scarf: 2 Simple Knots & 5 Other Options

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woman wearing and holding scarves

Easy And Stylish Ways To Wear A Scarf

Adding a scarf is one of the easiest ways to add extra color and warmth to any outfit. There’s a scarf for every season and occasion; a silk scarf can complete a summer look, and a cashmere scarf can help keep you warm in cold weather.

But you don’t just have a choice as to which scarf to wear — you also have several options for how to wear it! Anyone can look good in a scarf, but some people avoid wearing them simply because they don’t know the best way to tie a scarf.

But there are plenty of simple ways to tie a scarf, and they all look fantastic! Allow me to explain a few:

woman showing how to tie a scarf in the european loop

How To Tie A Scarf: 2 Simple Scarf Tying Ideas

1. The European Loop

The European loop (also called the Casual Sleek knot or Parisian knot) is not only the simplest way to tie a scarf, but it can work in any climate too. A long rectangular scarf is ideal for making this loop, but if you’re using a large square scarf, you’ll need to fold it diagonally first.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Step 1: Hold both ends of your scarf with one hand, creating a loop where the scarf folds.
  • Step 2: Place the scarf around your neck, with the loop side over one shoulder and the ends over the opposite shoulder.
  • Step 3: Keeping the loop open with one hand, use your other hand to feed the ends of the scarf through the hoop.
  • Step 4: Pull the ends through the loop, creating an even knot that sits on your chest or under your chin. In cold weather, you might want to tighten the scarf to keep you warm.
woman showing how to tie a scarf in a variation of the european loop

That’s it! It’s probably the easiest way to tie a scarf, and it creates a timeless, elegant look! You can leave the loose ends outside your outer layer, or tuck them in for a little extra warmth.

2. The Jillee-Style European Loop

With a little experimenting, I’ve created a variation of the European loop that I think looks even more stylish! And it’s still a simple scarf knot you shouldn’t have any trouble with, so give it a try and see what you think!

  • Step 1: Again, hold both ends of your scarf together to create a loop at the other end.
  • Step 2: Drape the scarf around your neck, letting the loop end of the scarf drop over your chest.
  • Step 3: Keep the loop open with one hand, then pass ONE of the loose ends OVER one side of the loop and UNDER the other side. 
  • Step 4: Now take the other loose end and do the same thing, but in REVERSE. Weave the end UNDER one side of the loop and then OVER the other side.

When you cinch the scarf up, you’ll get a beautiful knot that looks sophisticated enough to wear for business or with formal party wear.

5 Easy Ways To Wear A Scarf Knot-Free

Scarf knots aren’t for everyone; like turtlenecks, they can sometimes feel a little claustrophobic tucked against your neck. Don’t worry if you prefer to keep a scarf a little looser, there are some equally stylish ways to add a scarf without tying it!

woman with a scarf draped around her neck

1. The Simple Drape

The drape, the easiest way to wear a scarf by far, just involves letting the scarf fall around your neck and down your front. It’s probably not going to add any warmth to your outfit, but it’s a fantastic way of adding an eye-catching color or pattern.

The simple drape works best with a shorter scarf. But be warned, since there’s no knot or looping, lightweight scarves can take off on a windy day! 

woman wearing a scarf  in the belted drape

2. The Belted Drape

The belted drape is a great way to add plenty of color to your look or add a little warmth to a top with a lower neckline. It’s a quick way to transform what you’re wearing!

  • Step 1: Drape the scarf evenly around your neck and shoulders and let it hang down the front of your outfit.
  • Step 2: Add a skinny belt over the top of the scarf around your waist. As well as looking fantastic, the belt draws the outfit in around your waist, creating a flattering silhouette.
woman showing how to wear a scarf in the toss

3. The Toss

The toss is the ultimate in casual sophistication! You’ll need a longer scarf for this one, but the classy carefree look that it creates works just as well with a t-shirt as it does with a ballgown!

  • Step 1: Let the scarf drape evenly around your neck.
  • Step 2: Simply toss one end of the scarf over the opposite shoulder, and you’re done! This one’s great under a jacket on a windy day.
woman showing how to wear a scarf in the reverse drape

4. The Reverse Drape

Like the toss, the reverse drape is great under a jacket on a windy day, and the ends of the scarf are hidden behind you, so it’s quite a minimal look too.

  • Step 1: Drape the scarf around your neck, with both ends hanging to the front.
  • Step 2: Toss one end of the scarf over the opposite shoulder, then toss the other end of the scarf over the other shoulder.

This one looks best under an outer layer and is a great way of staying warm if you live in a colder climate!

woman showing how to tie a scarf in the basic loop

5. The Basic Loop

The basic loop is a great blend of simplicity and style, and the uneven finish means it doesn’t look too formal if you’re keeping your outfit casual. 

  • Step 1: Drape the scarf unevenly around your shoulders. Let the short end fall around your chest, with the longer end falling beneath your waist.
  • Step 2: Take the longer end and loop it once around your neck, letting it fall naturally towards your waist. It might take a couple of tries to get the look that’s right for you, but practice makes perfect!

BONUS: The Infinity Scarf

Strictly speaking, the infinity scarf is its own distinct style, but they’re a great option for those who like them. An infinity scarf is a continuous loop of fabric, usually big enough to wrap around your neck at least twice. They’re not quite as versatile as a traditional scarf, but you don’t have to worry about them coming loose or falling off!

The Takeaway

For me, scarves are the ultimate accessory! They’re a fantastic way of adding some color, a little texture, or a pattern to what you’re wearing. Try a few of the loops and knots I’ve suggested and see what you feel comfortable with.

You might even decide that a scarf is a perfect gift for the man in your life; after all, channeling the style of David Beckham or Brad Pitt is rarely a bad thing! ;-)

Do you know of any other easy ways to wear a scarf?