In recent months, scarves have been my go-to accessory. I’ve worn them as a belt, around my neck, in my hair, on my bag, as a statement, and as a subtle but accent. I’ve not much of a handbag changer – I tend to stick to my Everyday tote from Madewell and my Fossil crossbody – so when I want to refresh an outfit I pull out the scarves.

I wanted to share the top 5 ways I style scarves and which types, styles, lengths, and fabrics I look to purchase because I get so many questions about wearing and styling this darling accessory.

The Bow Belt

While this look is less than functional, it does add a touch of interest to an outfit – especially a jeans and t-shirt look. I first wore this scarf style for this post last year and on the walk back from our photo shoot location I remember getting quite a few complimentary comments. I haven’t really seen anyone style this look before, and I don’t often pull it out, but sometimes I want to look a little fancier without sacrificing the comfort of jeans and a tee.


You could also pair this look with a skirt (just make sure it has belt loops) a dress, shorts, etc. I personally like a scarf that has a little more fabric to create a puffy, dramatic bow. If you want something a little more subtle, choose a silk or chiffon fabric.

Around the Neck

I think wearing a bandana scarf around my neck is my favorite look. I have worn this Madewell bandana in every possible scenario and with every combination of clothing. For a simple statement, pair it with a t-shirt and shorts or pants. But if you want to wear it with your favorite dress, the sky is the limit.  The trick to this style is to make sure the fold of the scarf is right before folding it around your neck.

I love my Madewell scarf because it’s made from a very thin fabric and there’s not much there. If you only have a bulk scarf on hand, try folding it very neatly longways to get enough length for tying without choking you.

On Your Bag

If you’re like me and don’t ever think to change up your bags (seriously I’ve been carrying this Madewell Transport tote for 3 1/2 years now) sometimes adding a little interest to your go-to carryall is a necessity. I love celebrating the change of seasons with a new scarf added to my bag. Tie it in a bow, a knot, or weave it around one of the handles for a more sophisticated look.

Just note if you’re going to be traveling and using your bag as a carry on don’t tie your favorite vintage Hermes scarf to the handle. Chances are it’ll get dirty, torn, or lost from the constant movement while traveling.

Elevated Ponytail

The heat of the summer is still upon us here in Greenville so ponytails and high buns are sticking around for a little longer. I get bored with the same hairstyle over and over, especially when shooting blog content, so I try to vary it up as much as I change my outfits. Also, some days my hair just does not cooperate.

To add a little interest to your same-old ponytail wrap one of your scarves around the base of the style. I used to think this was a little juvenile and would make me look a lot younger than I was, but it’s actually a very elegant style and now that it’s back in style there is plenty of style inspiration on places like Pinterest!

Half Up Braid

The sister hairstyle to the ponytail, this half up/half down look is perfect for everyday or events. I originally started out with just a regular half ponytail then with a little more time on my hands I decided to add another level to it with a braid.

What I love about this look is that you can wear it on short or long hair and looks a whole lot more complicated than it really is. All you need is one regular hair band and two small hair elastics (and your favorite scarf of course).

Create your normal half ponytail then start at the band and create a tight braid all the way down. Finish it off with a small elastic then add your second elastic about half way up the braid. Now just take a minute to tug the braid a bit to give it messy and undone look.

Add a scarf around the top band and you’re good to go!

Shop My Favorite Scarves