How To: Summer to Autumn Scarf

Happy first day of fall, everyone!

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Margurite Smith Photography

I’m so excited for this fall! I can already see some trees starting to change colors and I can feel the temperature slightly dropping (although the humidity is staying put, unfortunately). But none the less, autumn has arrived! I know this can be a bitter-sweet moment for some of us fashion geeks, those of us who love warm weather and wearing light flowy clothing, but also adore sweaters and our favorite pair of jeans. Right now is that period of time where you could get away with wearing anything from shorts and a nice floral blouse to ripped jeans and a kick-ass bomber jacket.

Some may think of this as an awkward time frame where picking the right outfit becomes more challenging, but I see it as an opportunity to combine aspects of both my summer and fall wardrobe! One apparel item that’s harder to style in the hotter months of summer is scarves. I have SO many scarves. They are so easy to wear and they can take your outfit to the next level in one step. I’ve bought and made scarves for years and now have a pretty good collection in my closet. One thing I noticed though was that I was having trouble styling some of my lighter scarves I owned. North Carolina summers are too hot and humid to wear any unnecessary layers, and some of my scarves were just too light to be useful when the cooler weather came around.

So I made it my mission to create some outfits that would work for the later summer months where I could show off some of my favorite lightweight scarves. I came up with four unique ways to wear four unique scarves. I have one classic look, two simple looks where the scarves speak for themselves, and then one look that mixes different prints for those who are more daring with their scarf style. And here are the results!

Outfit #1

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For my first summer-autumn scarf look, I went with a classic, sophisticated outfit. The navy polka-dotted dress is from H&M and has a classic fit and flare silhouette, which I paired with a modest, vintage-style heel that worked well with the timeless dress. I chose a nautical silk scarf I bought from a thrift store in Chapel Hill to wear with this outfit because it fit the same timeless, vintage look of both the dress and shoes. The navy and white in the scarf also makes it easy to pair with the dress. Since the scarf was square cut, I just folded it over and tied two corners behind my neck to give it a deep v-neck shape. This is a very simple way to style a scarf with a basic dress; it could easily be described as substituting a necklace for a scarf. (P.S.-these kinds of scarves also work great as headbands!)

Outfit #2

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Sometimes it’s best to just go simple! For this outfit, I used my scarf as the highlight and accent piece of my look. This is a long, light brown, lace scarf with leaf-shaped trim that I bought years ago in Charleston, South Carolina. Typically, I wear this scarf wrapped around my neck once and let the ends hang loose at the sides, which would also look great with this outfit! But if you’re looking to try something new, turning your average scarf into a small infinity scarf can add a different twist to an outfit. I love how the tassels on the trim fall across the neckline, making it, again, look like a glorified necklace. And the leaf tassels are easily my favorite part of this scarf!

Outfit #3

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Same outfit, different take. I kept the same tank top and shorts and again let the scarf be the focal point of my third look. Draping a scarf over a shirt, jacket, or dress is the easiest way to spruce up an outfit, especially if you are running late or need a quick and cute outfit for the day. This scarf is probably the coolest scarf I own. I’ve never seen anything like it and I always get compliments when I wear it. And one of the many reasons I love it is that it can be dressed up or down. The light grey color and sophisticated pattern is perfect for various outfits, different times of day/night, or a range of events, making it very versatile. Here, I dressed it down, but you can just as easily dress it up by wearing it with a little black dress and some pumps. Versatile accessories are always important to look for! You want to make sure you’re getting as much use out of an item as you can.

Outfit #4

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My fourth and final look involves mixing a printed scarf with a printed dress. The print on the dress is fairly simple, so the scarf doesn’t clash or cause print overload when belted around the dress. Using scarves is a great beginner’s step to mixing prints for those of you who are aspiring fashion forward individuals. The scarf accents the main print of the outfit instead of overwhelming the outfit with too many patterns. Belting a scarf is a great way to make an outfit look more put together. And again, this is something that can be done in a causal way or a more formal way. It all depends on the look you are going for.

So now that I’ve shared some of my scarf style tips, I hope all of you can create your own individual summer to autumn looks with some of your favorite scarves as well!

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