Monday, 9 April 2012

Scarves, Shawls & Pashminas

Supplementary Choices
Fashion can be bought. Style one must possess.
- Edna Woolman Chase

Closet Content Analysis:
Scarves, Shawls & Pashminas

NICE                   NO THANKS         NOTE-WORTHY            NEED          NEW 

A double loop tied with ends hanging on one side.
I have always felt that the person who simply throws a scarf on her shoulders or loops it around her neck has style. It has taken me a long time to wear scarves with the kind of confidence I believed other women had but I didn't. In my self-analysis, wearing scarves coincided with regular trips to Europe. In fact, this photo featuring the pink scarf was taken back in 2007 at a November wedding in Lyon.


A "vibrant scarf" is second in a list in the article, Closet All-Stars (April, 2012 InStyle edition). "Wrap it once or twice around your neck, letting both ends hang loose" (page 254) is one of the easiest ways to wear a scarf.

The second easiest way to wear a scarf, is simply to fold it in half, and pull the loose ends through the loop. For more ways to tie and wear a scarf, see the video How to Wear a Scarf in 4.5 Minutes (also on the Stylish Connections page).

Thank you CLM for the photo of your beautiful scarf.
NICE: A guest at a dinner party, twenty-something and in the shipping industry, had on a beautiful silk and wool scarf/shawl (big enough to be a shawl but of a size she could wear tied in scarf style). She bought it on a recent trip to Ireland. As the photo illustrates, it is green in a jacquard tonal print. I don't think it's a colour range in the Panetone 2012 spring choices, which proves that if you buy a quality piece, and like Coco Chanel said, in a colour "that looks good on you", you will be able to wear it forever. By the end of the evening she had worn it three different ways, the third being as a shawl - NICE.

A NOTE-WORTHY aside, she also bought one for her sister (in bronze tones) and one for her mother - Really NICE.

Another NICE: Sharing the same sentiment is another woman, who while on her way to India, took the time to share the following about her NICE choice, "my favorite is a light-weight, large, high quality pashmina from northern India - ideal to dress up an outfit and keep one warm. It is light and thin enough to easily fit in a purse and its length makes for versatility in wrapping over shoulders and around the neck in different ways". Two women from two different generations sharing the same opinions and arranging their scarves/shawls/pashminas similarly. NICE.

NOTE-WORTHY 1: The recurring question . . . Are pashminas fashionable this season? They are a functional part of the wardrobe and so if you like them and are comfortable wearing them when they may not be in style in any given season, let them become part of your own signature style. Besides, as shared by the travelers, pashminas and cashmere shawls make great "blankets" during flights.

NOTE-WORTHY 2: A square red, black and white silk scarf, that may have been one of the very first scarves I bought for myself. It's twenty years old and I remember where I purchased it. It was the first time I was in Paris and I was told about a discount department store called Tati. I don't know if any self-respecting Parisian fashionista shops there but in 1992 it met my price point. It's poor quality silk and poorly made. I found it in a bin and it was inexpensive enough to buy three, however, this one is the only one I ever wore to any extent. I still have it. I have not purchased many scarves, other than my cashmere shawls and pashminas. In fact, most "other" scarves have been gifts.

NEED: A scarf to replace one that I bought in Germany in August of 2011 and that I have misplaced (this is becoming a recurring sub-theme). It was a simple narrow rose-beige rectangular scarf with fishtail ends, probably polyester, with pearlized beads in the same tone, sewn in a cascading design at each end. I haven't got a clue where I left it but I lost track of it about November, 2011. I'm hoping a friend or relative will read this post and call me, saying something like, "Oh . . . I didn't know whose it was. You left it at my place!"

29th April 2012 Update: Received a phone call: "Your scarf is at my place. I didn't know whose it was." Thank-you!

NEEDED TO BUT DIDN'T: The one in the middle attracted my eye, but I didn't buy it. Too bad for me. 

A shop window somewhere in Paris at the end of September, 2011.

NEW: At the end of February, 2012 I was in Vancouver and I froze owing to the chill and the humidity. I was at the Holt Renfrew in downtown Vancouver looking for a pair of camel coloured trousers when I came across a Holt Renfrew brand-name winter weight cashmere shawl in beige that I knew I had to buy. It kept me warm for the balance of my trip, both indoors and outside, and will be a great travel shawl (blanket in flight). I'm not fond of logos featured on my clothing; however, I don't mind this one. In addition, I can use it as a throw on my furniture.

Buying Tip:

When buying pashminas or any other fringed scarf, pay close attention to the fringe. This is the give-away for quality. Tightly wound fringe is the mark of better quality. This is particularly useful to know when you are shopping at discount stores or markets in Europe and Asia.



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