How to Tie a Scarf Around Your Neck
Unisex, utilitarian, and fashionable, the right scarf, tied with aplomb, marks the wearer as the kind of thoughtful dresser who goes the extra mile to look perfect and polished. These styles are ridiculously easy to execute; most are complete in three steps or less.
The Classic Once-Around
For both men and women, this is a classic way to tie a warm winter scarf for a commute to work or an evening out. This style is casual, and with a wool scarf, will help you hold in precious body heat during cold winter days. Drape the scarf around your neck, letting one end drop lower than the other. Take the long end, wind it loosely around your neck, and let it drape over your chest.
The Parisian Knot
This is likely the most popular knot for both genders. For men, it can be used for a silk or cashmere blend that accents a smart outfit or for a thin wool scarf. For women, it's an all-purpose knot for any scarf. Take a scarf in both hands and fold it lengthwise. Drape it around your neck, then insert both ends through the loop and pull them through.
A classic woman's look, perfect for adding an accent to a neat, traditional suit, double-breasted coat, or suit jacket. Open the scarf fully and wrap it around your shoulders like a shawl. Now, pull the right side down, so that it's longer than the left side by a third. Toss the right side over your left shoulder and allow the left side to hang down.
Best with lightweight cotton or open-weave scarves. This method makes a statement. For men, this look complements an unzipped, short leather jacket or close-cut, trendy blazer. For women, it can pair with any cardigan, jacket, or coat, or it can be worn with blouses and dresses to amp up the style. Drape the scarf around the back of your neck and allow both ends to hang down in the front, one equally as long as the other. Cross the ends over themselves, and tie them together to create one parallel knot. Repeat this three to five times, until you have a braided necktie effect.
The Big Ten: Items Every Wardrobe Needs
Forget the trends. There are certain agreed-upon classic wardrobe pieces for both men and women. Invest in the top-of-your-budget versions of these staples, and you'll never spend the hours before a big date, interview, or presentation thinking, I don't have a thing to wear.
1. Gray wool suit. Equally at home in the conference room or cocktail lounge. This uniform says, "I belong."
2. Navy wool jacket. Easy to throw on over jeans, or the matching trousers it came with when you purchased it as a "four-season suit." It's as indispensable as underwear.
3. Belted trench coat. Suitable for nearly all weather, the versatile belted trench can be worn with a suit or jeans. Invest in a good one; it'll never go out of style.
4. White button-down shirt. Dress it up or dress it down. Wear it under a sports jacket at dinner or untucked on the beach. This is the number one essential for travel.
5. French blue dress shirt. Doubles for work and play. Tuck it in and top it with a tie for the office, or untuck it with black jeans and boots for hanging out.
6. Brown leather jacket. Try a classic bomber style. Rugged but sophisticated, it transforms you from casual to polished.
7. Elegant black/brown belt. Choose a 1-inch width with a simple buckle and it'll complement any pants or trousers.
8. Neutral chinos. Buy flat-front, slim-legged, 100 percent cotton. Try on as many pairs as it takes to find your perfect fit. You'll be wearing these all the time.
9. Cashmere V-neck. Go for a dark, neutral color.
10. Leather, waxed cotton, or other sturdy duffel bag. This bag will take you anywhere and match anything you wear. Don't get caught on a business trip with your logoed nylon gym bag. This duffel marks you as a grown man.
1. A crisp white shirt. Look for high-quality cotton and a highly tailored look. Try on lots of styles, find the one that fits you best, and invest in two or three.
2. Perfect jeans. You may have to try on a hundred pairs to find the style that flatters you best, but when you find your denim soul mate, you'll be glad you did. Buy them in a dark wash, so they dress up more easily.
3. Black pencil skirt. Flatters every figure and looks neat and polished with any top, from a cashmere shell to a silk bow-front blouse to a cotton scoopneck tee.
4. Little black dress. The LBD is a foolproof way to look pulled-together, and it goes from daytime, paired with ballet flats or low pumps, to evening, paired with strappy sandals or peek-toe high heels.
5. Tailored pantsuit. Buy the best one you can afford, in a neutral color and an all-season fabric. Spend the money to have it tailored. Mix and match accessories, and you could wear this every day of your working life.
6. Slim black pants. Pull them on, and your look is instantly sleek and polished. These can be dressed down for everyday wear, but they'll never stoop to sloppy.
7. Classic-cut, colorful blazer. Choose the most basic of cuts, and you'll be able to throw this blazer over every skirt and pair of pants or jeans you own. Buy it in a bright color like red, purple, or royal blue.
8. A good leather tote bag. Doubles as a briefcase or computer bag during working hours and a shopping bag or weekender hand luggage during leisure hours.
9. A cashmere cardigan. Tuck it into your bag to protect you from winter drafts or summer air conditioning.
10. The right bra. It's really worthwhile to be fitted by a professional. The right bra perks you up, makes you look trimmer, and makes all of your clothes look great.