When it comes to the anatomy of your ensemble, there’s one solid rule for adding the final touches to your summer look: “A scarf is an accessory, you don’t need to create a look around it,” says Nicole Vitagliano, celebrity stylist with Starworks Artists, who splits her time between New York and Los Angeles. While a stylishly tied neck scarf is more of a fashionable accent than focal point of an outfit, it can still make or break the outcome of your look. Here are Vitagliano’s six fashion tips on finding and tying the perfect scarf this summer.

Summer scarf tip #1: Match the fabric and print with the season

Like a perfectly wrapped present sealed with a bow, “scarves make casual, sometimes boring looks more pulled together,” says Vitagliano. But there are still seasonal style guidelines in place for your summer accessories, she warns: “Ladies, please retire the skull print scarves for the summer!”

When it comes to choosing fabrics, go with lighter, breezier options to take you from the chilled, air-conditioned office to airy nights on the patio. “Silk, linen, a soft pima cotton, cashmere/silk blend are the most amazing fabrics for scarves, and in general,” says Vitagliano. “I have the best cotton scarf from Yigal Azrouel, Calypso

A runway scarf look from Marc Jacobs’s Spring/Summer 20102 show. 

St. Barth also has amazing, super-soft options.”

Summer scarf tip #2: Make it a wrap

Take your cues from Guido Palau’s ‘60s-inspired twist for Marc Jacobs’ Spring/Summer 2012 runway: the Redken hair stylist tied cloche headpieces—made of sweatshirt fabric—and knotted material headbands around the head and neatly into a bow. “I love a scarf as a headband,” says Vitagliano. “Fold the scarf into a triangle, roll it up, twist it slightly and tie around your head. It’s chic and functional for those super hot days, kind of like a sweatband!” For an extra summery twist, choose fabrics in pale pastel colours or prints.

Summer scarf tip #3: Decide when to follow runway trends (and stray from there too!)

While Dolce and Gabbana’s Spring/Summer 2012 runways showcased anywhere-but-the-neck places for tying a scarf—models debuted in colourfully dyed sashes wrapped around ankles or folded into full dresses— Vitagliano warns against recreating this look on a summer day. “Spending a great deal of time in Southern Florida, I’m scared of the scarf as dress or scarf as halter top trend. It’s not new, and let’s face it, we can’t really pull it off like the Dolce models can.” They also didn’t live in fear of a swift summer breeze while strutting down the runway.

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For more summer accessories fashion tips, read on to the next page…

Summer scarf tip #4: When all else fails, do what Audrey would do

For your summer ties, small, square scarves the size of a bandana are your best bet, according to
Vitagliano. “It’s all about how you fold it, but either twisted or folded neatly, tuck the ends in!” she advises. “I’m not a fan of the Tupac look, and ladies, please retire the skull print scarves for the summer!” More appropriate models include Audrey Hepburn’s neck tie and headscarf (complete with oversized shades, for anonymity and cool-factor purposes) in
Roman Holiday, or Grace Kelly’s face-framing Hermès silk carré, worn in a convertible.

Summer scarf tip #5: Since we’re speaking of Hermès…

do you wrap
the iconic, patterned silk square around your neck? “I’m not a huge fan of the cowboy knot, unless it’s a themed party, or the Paris style, unless it’s age appropriate—or you’re a flight attendant,” says Vitagliano. “Go the simpler route: fold the scarf into a triangle; with the triangle in the back, tie a knot on one end and slide the other end into the knot. For slightly larger styles, “I love it loosely wrapped around the neck a few times and the ends tied together.”

Summer scarf tip #6: Find your iconic summer wrap

A runway scarf look from Marc Jacobs’s Spring/Summer 20102 show.

No matter the current runway trends and countless ways to wear a scarf, there will always be the eternal, foolproof look to lend instant elegance. “Elsa Schiaparelli wore it best,” says Vitagliano. “Her headscarf-meets-turban look was the chicest!”

And aside from pressed and folded pocket squares, there are
signature looks for men when it comes to the scarf-tying dilemma. “Keith Richards and his amazing scarf collection. He’s worn the scarf every which way—as a headband, under a hat, or even tied around his hat, just to name a few. Male model, Christian Brylle also looks unbelievable with his signature scarf as headband look.” All styles we can wrap our heads around.

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