Some women just look like they have it all together. Their hair is perfectly coiffed, their make-up is flawless, their clothes are stylish, AND they wear a scarf with flair. (Picture a scarf draped on the shoulder with a stylish knot or pin.) As I grew up I wanted to be one of those women. I called them scarf ladies. Somehow I could never get it all together at one time.

My hair always had some stray piece sticking out at the wrong angle (probably due to several cowlicks). I never did master the art of eyeliner, so I gave up on make-up altogether (I do use a bit of blush, when I remember). I ironed my clothes, but they always looked like I slept in them. As for a scarf, ha! I tried it once and felt ridiculous (besides feeling like an impostor). I resigned myself to not being a scarf lady.

Until one river cruise I met a scarf lady. She shared some of her scarf secrets with me. A flicker of hope was ignited. Could I wear a scarf and not look ridiculous?

Cautiously I entered the world of scarves. I discovered that I liked the long ones, not the squared versions. I began to loop and drape and twist and knot. I studied mannequins in stores, I even undid the scarf to learn the secret. I had a new quest, learn all the moves to change the look of the scarf.

There was one look that I could not replicate. It looked like a basket weave, but I never had the opportunity to study it until I was trapped in a meeting room. There was the scarf I needed to study, at the table next to me! My eyes followed the flow of

Here's the result of my study. It's not anything new, but I couldn't figure it out before.

Here’s the result of my study. It’s not anything new, but I couldn’t figure it out before.

material up, down, over until I knew the way. I couldn’t wait to get home and try it out. Success!

I love to wear scarves now, but I’ll never be one of the “scarf ladies” who is perfectly put together. I’m okay with that.

22 thoughts on “Scarves

  1. lromainebrown says:

    “It looked like a basket weave, but I never had the opportunity to study it until I was trapped in a meeting room. There was the scarf I needed to study, at the table next to me!”
    Ha ha ha ha ha! So cute that you shared your mental obsession. Who knows what people are thinking of when trapped in meetings?

  2. Back in the late 80’s I was a “scarf lady” although I was in my 20’s! These scarves were square and laid on your shoulders, not around your neck. I had a ton of them! (It helped that I was in retail.) The scarves these days go around the neck and I just can’t do them, or turtlenecks, or many pieces of jewelry. I hope you learn many more ways to wear them – I will be quite envious!

  3. I too LOVE the look of scarfs but have difficulty putting it together. I did find that I could wear a long, thin scarf knotted loosely…..after copying a look on a model in the store! It’s my one and only scarf for now….but as the skin around the neck is getting older….I do see the need for more scarfs in my future!

  4. I love the topic for this slice. I love scarves also and feel like an imposter in one. I love the warmth, the comfort, like being curled up in a blanket all day. I enjoyed reading all your studying about scarves and how to tie them and could picture you at the store untying the mannequin scarf- so smart!

  5. I can occasionally wear a scarf – but I often feel like an impostor… I love the way you describe the feeling of not being put together like those scarf ladies! Great look, btw!

  6. I think we are all a bit self-conscious when we first throw on a scarf as an accessory. It draws quite a bit of attention because it is so noticeable. Yet, it’s all in how you carry yourself. Even if you created some new, crazy twist or knot, trust me, others would be enthralled and wonder the same things you did: How’d she do that? The scarf looks perfect!

  7. I am still chuckling at picturing you in the meeting room so focused on the pattern of the scarf. Do you remember what the meeting was about? 🙂 I have tried scarves a few times but have not gotten the knack of it. Some people look so natural with a scarf…know just how to wear one. Maxine would be quite proud at your persistence. Jackie

  8. Judy C. says:

    Scarves are very becoming on you and I think you have perfected the look very nicely. I, too, wanted to be a scarf lady, but somehow, they look like a scarf draped around my neck. Guess we’ll have to get together so I can take lessons!

  9. You rank right up there with all the other scarf ladies. I always amazed about the ordinary topics you select and they become extraordinary slices. I need to think smaller I think. I can so relate to your beginning paragraphs. We have some similarities.

  10. Tam says:

    Scarves are you, Elsie. I never knew anyone to be so focused as you are in creating the perfect knot. Love the idea that you could study a knot and then make it!! I would need 10 live practice sessions. I love looking at scarves–what an accessory! Will I see a summer scarf this summer?

  11. I was never a scarf girl until I moved to Shanghai, where everyone wears them and you can buy them for 3USD each at the local markets. Now I have a collection exceeding 40! I can’t resist picking a few up whenever I’m shopping. Glad you’ve entered the scarf world…:)

  12. I saw this one about 10 years ago at a trade show and asked the vendor to demonstrate how to do it. Then I did it. I had my friend who was with me do it, too. I practiced as soon as I got home. On Monday, my friend and I coached each other. Success!

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