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The Guide: Scarves made simple

Vox's Guide to the perfect knot

December 13, 2012 | 12:00 a.m. CST

Avoid becoming a human icicle this winter by adding cozy neck adornments to the wardrobe. Stay warm, and look cooler than ever with these four scarf knots.

1. The Double Loop
A more modern twist on a simple scarf drape, this look doubles the knots and the style. The two loops and two loose ends provide a dressier aesthetic, says Elly Bethune, owner of Elly’s Couture. She suggests women wear the knot with a dress in lieu of a necklace for chilly formal events. For men, this knot lies on the casual end of the scarf spectrum, says Sandy Brubaker of Binghams. A silk scarf achieves a more formal menswear look. For a fancier style, Brubaker suggests trying a black or white silk scarf paired with a suit.

2. The Ascot
Traditionally a menswear knot, the single-wrap and Y-shape of the ascot are gaining in popularity for women’s scarves, too. This exudes a thrown-on look while pulling together any cold-weather outfit for a more polished effect. For menswear, the ascot can be worn with a long or short scarf, and Brubaker says it’s one of the most casual scarf styles. A casual look for women, too, it would be easiest to tie with a thin scarf, Bethune says. Try pairing it with your favorite coat and pair of jeans, or liven up an old sweater by draping the ascot on top.

3. Four-In-Hand
The aptly named four-in-hand wrap is not for scarf-tying newbies. Its four intersecting twists make it one of the more intricate knots. Because of its multiple layers, this knot maximizes warmth and utility without sacrificing style. Bethune says the cozy layering provides the most coverage. Try using a silk scarf or another thin material for a sleek look and to avoid knotting frustration. If you’re a scarf savant, give it a whirl –– and a twist and tuck while you’re at it –– and you’ll quite literally have the hottest neck in town.

4. Parisian Knot
The single-side loop of the Parisian knot is the epitome of simple elegance. Offering optimal warmth and an a classic look, this knot blends fashion and function. Bethune and Brubaker agree this timeless look is the most fashionable for both men and women. It’s a popular knot that works with any type of scarf and translates to coats or dresses, Bethune says. According to Brubaker, it’s the go-to knot in men’s fashion. She suggests men use a cashmere or chenille scarf for the most sartorially savvy (and warmest) look. Cashmere, she says, is the ultimate scarf material, and chenille is so warm it’s practically a throw blanket for your neck.

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