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How to Wear a Scarf—Plus 7 Sustainable Options to Style

Deciding how to wear a scarf involves some thoughtful styling. These looks (and sustainable accessories) will help get you started.

how to wear a scarf
Written by
Calin Van Paris
The scarf is a simple, though enduring, accessory. Whether worn as extra armor against the cold or to make an immediate throw-on statement, the strips and squares of fabric are enough to upgrade any
, particularly in the chillier months. And, like most things, the timeless staple becomes all the more iconic when sourced sustainably.
Scarves make for a worthy
—think cut-and-sew or crochet—populate
thrift stores
, and are crafted from eco-friendly materials by some of your favorite
sustainable clothing brands
. Opt for an exaggerated oversize option, a chicly knotted kerchief, or a scarf-and-beanie bundle for instantaneous comfort and style.
Should you need some
, here are seven examples of how to wear a scarf for maximum outfit impact.

How to Wear a Scarf: 7 Must-Try Looks

1. With a Coordinated Bag

Ramp up a would-be simple leather-jacket-and-jeans look with a patchwork scarf, worn overhead for extra, well, extra. A color-coordinated bag, particularly in a bold hue, makes this outfit one to remember.

Recycled Patchwork Scarf, $30

This super-soft scarf is made from a polyester-cotton-acrylic blend crafted from recycled water bottles, offering a cruelty-free alternative to cashmere.
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2. Twinned to a Manicure

A brightly colored (and blanket-sized) scarf is even more eye-catching when paired with a thoughtfully selected nail hue. In this case, a study in green makes an environmentally-minded accessory an even cooler choice.

Free People Shetland Recycled Blend Fringe Scarf, $48

Free People's boldly colored scarf is made from 50% recycled polyester for a fashionable choice with a smaller footprint.
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3. As a Classic Kerchief

Lean into your glamorous sensibilities with a kerchief bound around your head. The addition of a printed scarf is at once decorative and protective and can be easily personalized with brooches—or even a super subtle tiara.

Madewell Winona Irene Silk Flying Fish Flying Bird Square Scarf, $65

This Los Angeles-made silk scarf honors the environment with a printed motif inspired by California's flora, fauna, and landscapes.
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4. Paired With a Beanie

Name a better duo than a scarf and a beanie (we'll wait). Whether an actual set or a cleverly-coordinated duo, styling your scarf with a cozy cap translates to instant togetherness—meaning you can easily elevate your seasonal sweats.

Everlane The Cashmere Scarf, $140

Everlane works with a mill in Italy to give a second life to cashmere garments. This warm and cozy scarf is made from recycled materials and plays well with a similarly striped beanie.
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Everlane The Cashmere Beanie, $75

Pair this chicly striped beanie with an in-step scarf for easy chic. Like the scarf, it's mostly made up of recycled cashmere and recycled wool.
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5. As a Subtle Accessory

A small scarf tied around the neck is all you need to take your outfit from casual to can't-look-away. Pair with a denim jacket, a favorite blouse, or even a crewneck sweatshirt for effortless cool.

ABLE Emerson Scarf, $28

This silk patterned scarf from ABLE is neutral enough to style with virtually any outfit—and in any season.
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6. For a Pop of Color

Fans of all-black would do well to reach for a sumptuous scarf in their (other) favorite color. An earthy and muted green keeps your otherwise monochromatic look grounded in timeless style.

Monsoon Brushed Blanket Scarf, $24

This soft and sizable blanket scarf is made from 100% recycled polyester, delivering seamless color and texture sans unnecessary environmental impact.
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7. As an Afterthought

The most memorable moves are those carried off with ease. Toss a neutral-toned scarf around your neck to reimagine—and reinvigorate—your go-to sneakers and jeans.

Tentree Cotton Ribbed Scarf, $68

Tentree's organic cotton scarf features fibers cultivated without the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers—talk about the perfect low-impact holiday gift.
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