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Scarves on Men – Tying Themselves in Knots

Nothing can depict masculine style more effectively than an aviator in a fighter aircraft wearing a long, silk scarf.

Aviators in both World Wars wore scarves. With that, scarves became the mark of masculine style. Sitting in open cockpits with no rear-view mirror, the pilot depended on his own sight to attack and to save himself from enemy attacks. Back then, for the aviator, the scarf served three purposes – to keep him warm, to wipe greasy goggles and to keep his neck from chafing against the collar as he constantly scanned for enemy planes.

In addition to these functional uses, of which we only seek the warmth factor today, scarves are an excellent stylish accessory to your attire. But buy them with care to match your attire and the occasion. Scarves come in wool, silk, cotton, linen, synthetic or a blend of these fabrics.

There are many ways to wear the men’s scarf, but pay attention to the occasion, the fabric and the thickness of the scarf before you choose the style.

Formal Drape

Scarves can be worn with suits and ties for formal occasions on a cold day. Drape it around your neck in neat folds and tuck the lengths of the scarf inside the jacket sides. Cross the ends beneath the buttons of your jacket. It’s fine to show a bit of the tassles.

Choosing your scarf for a formal suit needs a little more care than usual since you need to match it with your tie too. If sufficient care is not taken, it stands out like a sore thumb. Take a leaf out of the Obama book. He rightly wears a maroon tie and a matching scarf to go with his formal dark suit.


Ascot Knot

You could tie an Ascot Knot with suits. Drape the scarf around your neck in neat folds. Take the ends and just like you tie a shoe lace, take them over and under to get the look that Colin Farrell does with the grey scarf.



European Knot

The European knot offers casual style and can be worn both with suits and casual wear. If you are dressed in a suit, you can wear this style when not wearing a tie. It’s also called a Slip or a Simple style. Fold the scarf in the middle. Hold the fold in the front and pass both the loose ends around your neck. Pull the ends through the fold and adjust their length to your preference.


Simple Drape & Loose Loops

A simple drape is just fine for casual style and a busy day. Choose a scarf that’s fairly short for this style.




A loose loop isn’t all for warmth, more for its casual style. It can be used in summers too with a linen or cotton scarf. Just drape the scarf loose around your shoulders. Choose a thin scarf for this style. Generally, this style doesn’t hug the neck.








Around the Neck & Twice Around

In cold weather, you can take a thick wool scarf or shawl and wrap it snug about your neck. This style is great to keep you warm. If the scarf is thin, you can wrap it twice around your neck for thickness and warmth. You can use these styles equally well during summers and winters, changing the fabric, thickness and the drape of the scarf.

Keffiyeh Style

The Keffiyeh style was made popular by the Arabs and it caught the interest of the rest of the world beginning with the 60s and the 70s.

Fold the scarf across so that it forms a triangle. Keeping the triangle to your front, take the two edges to the back. Bring them around to the front from either side and let them hang down. Alternately, you could wrap them around again beneath the triangle so that the edges aren’t visible.


Bandana Style

The bandana style requires a small, thin, square scarf. As with a Keffiyeh, fold the scarf into a triangle. Keeping the triangle to the front, take the edges to the back over either side of your neck. Tie them into a knot. This can be worn beneath a shirt with or without a suit. This looks equally good for a casual day or an evening out.

Cowl Scarf

Cowl scarves are not open fabrics like other scarves. They come in a loop and all you do is wear it around your neck like a necklace. It is practical, easy to pull on and is in style. With reversible cowl scarves, you can interchange the two sides for some variation.

Tips to Conclude

Some tips to choose the right scarf and the right knot for the perfect look:

  • Choose among fabrics wool, silk, linen, cotton or synthetic based on the knot and the season
  • Choose the thickness of the scarf based on the season and the knot you would tie
  • Don’t match the scarf with the outfit. If in doubt, go by the rules of the tie, using the scarf’s color to balance the outfit rather than match it.
  • Bright, deep-hued scarves look good with white and other light colored shirts.
  • If your dress is of solid color, you can go for a printed scarf and vice versa.
  • For the formal look, wrap your scarf in neat folds along the lines of your suit.
  • For the casual look, you can leave it loose, tie a loose knot or go for the rounded look that comes with styles like the Keffiyeh.

Have fun and fashion at the same time with scarves, whatever the season!

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