How to Tie a Scarf: a brief tutorial

Scarves. They are like art in some ways. I buy them because they are just so pretty, all splayed out in their gigantic square/rectangle glory. But somewhere between splayed glory and my shoulders, the pretty art picture gets squashed and I lose my confidence.

I started wearing scarves in middle school. The perfect outfit was a white shirt, preferably from The Limited, a long khaki skirt, and a scarf artfully tied around one's shoulders. I never timed myself, but it might have taken me at least 10 minutes to get that scarf tied. In my mind, French women do not take so long.

I recently bought a scarf, and it came with a little booklet of How-to's, so I thought I would share.

First up is the The Classic. Fold your gigantic scarf into a triangle. Arrange the pointy end in front, wrap the other sides around your neck. Bonus points if one end is longer than the other. This makes it look more effortless and like you didn't spend at least 10 minutes getting it right. You can't really tell in this photo if one end is longer than the other, but my photographer husband is up on the roof cleaning out gutters, and I didn't want to ask him to come down and take another photo of me. So, just trust me, my scarf and I are Effortless Chic.

Next up is The Boho. I've never actually met a Bohemian. The closest I've come is Modcloth; they have a section labeled "Boho," and I like the tops in that category. But I assume this is meant to have a rakish, devil-may-care flair. This is actually the closest to my middle school days, but of course, that was a more regimented, mustn't-move-my-arms look. But now I'm studying this photo and thinking that this may not work in real life. I move my arms a lot, and I can envision this scarf moving, moving, till I have a huge scarf necklace/bib look going. Hmm, we'll see...

My favorite, The Parisian. Do The Classic, but tie the ends into a half knot. This stays front and center and does not move all day.

And now we come to the One that intrigues me the most:

The Headscarf.

Yep, it's in my How-To Guide. If I had had this Guide when I first moved to my city, I might have tried it. I could have faked a "I always wear scarves wrapped 'round my head" vibe. But this look is harder to pull off when you're in the middle of knowing your group of friends. Oh sure, I could try it, but invariably someone will ask, "Why are you dressed like a pirate?" Even my husband, while snapping this pic, said, "Is this the Cancer Patient look?" Apparently it distracted him enough to not notice that my necklace had wound itself around one breast, so maybe this headscarf has more going for it than first believed and should be reconsidered. If I'm wearing a headscarf, will anyone notice that I'm also wearing, say, pajamas? Sometimes, a distraction and redirection of attention is needed. Just consider this if you're moving to a new city... I'm inspired to make some new friends myself!

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