This look is about wearing a simple outfit and letting your scarf do the talking. It speaks to me because it’s strong and simple –  an eye catching statement despite being only a few components.

I know that scarves don’t exactly spell Summer and it might be too hot in your neck of the woods to sport this look right now. But don’t write it off just yet. The combination might be perfectly comfortable on cooler Summer days when temperatures dip to the 70’s (mid 20’s in Celsius), when you’re in mild air-conditioning, or when temperatures are cool at night. If you live in a really hot climate, this might be more of an Autumn look.

Here are two interpretations of my big messy scarf look – one casual and one smart casual.  I like to wear sleeveless tops and dresses when I wear a scarf in Summer because my bare arms balance out the added coverage of the scarf. But this is not essential at all. Any sleeve length will do.

The Big Scarf

For casual, I’ll match a sleeveless top with clamdiggers, walk shorts or a denim skirt, and add ballet flats, flat oxfords or gladiators. A cross-body bag adds a practical hands free dimension to the look. For a dressier option I’ll wear a basic sheath dress, add a low heel and smarter handbag. Feel free to substitute items that are more to your taste

The most important part of the outfit is of course the scarf. It should be soft, lightweight and collapsible. Cotton, silk or cool-wool blends are best. The scarf needn’t be as huge as the two examples above. But with an extra long neck and short hair, I can carry off a large scarf. I tie it loosely around my neck and let the ends hang down. That way the scarf has more of a decorative function than an insulating one. You can also use a smaller square scarf and tie it muffler style. Tying the scarf loosely around the neck is particularly flattering for a shorter neck.

Wearing a big messy scarf also takes away the need for a necklace. So if you’re on Team Earrings, you might like this look even more. I’m not on Team Earrings, but showcasing my new pearl bracelet instead of a necklace makes a lovely change.