We spoke about the big scarf last year, and it’s still going strong. I’m not talking about a regular sized scarf that collapses back onto the body, but a very bulky style that becomes the focal point of an outfit like the photos show below. Big scarves can be dressy or casual, and come in an assortment of fabrications, colours and patterns. 

Take a peek at these outfits that put the big scarf into stylish action:   

There is so much to love, and not to love, about this dramatic accessory. On the plus side we have the following:

  • It keeps you toasty warm
  • It makes a visually attractive statement 
  • It adds textural outfit interest
  • It creates a maximal outfit effect

And the downside of big scarves are: 

  • It can be uncomfortably bulky, overwhelming and claustrophobic
  • It gets in the way of long hair
  • It shortens the neck and creates visual bulk on the bust
  • It is too visually maximal

Some of my clients enjoy the big scarf look very much, especially when outdoors and commuting on foot. They love the drama of the look, it’s textural interest, and high cozy factor. It’s also an easy way for them to take an outfit from drab to fab. These big scarf loving clients represent all body types, from petites with larger busts, to tall, plus size ladies with smaller busts. Others feel exactly the opposite because big scarves are uncomfortable, fussy and overly bulky on the bust. 

Personally, although I love the outfits I’ve pinned, I don’t wear scarves of any size if I can help it because I like my outfits to look un-layered and minimal. I prefer to wear a wool turtleneck in either a fine gauge or chunky knit with a heavy coat to keep my neck warm. That said, I loathe feeling cold and big scarves are excellent insulators. When it’s really cold outside, I won’t think twice about wearing a big scarf for practical reasons, overriding my preference for outfit minimalism. 

Over to you. Do you like the big scarf look? Do you wear big scarves for aesthetic or practical reasons, or both?

KARL DONOGHUE Shearling Scarf

ASOS Multi-Knit SnoodPaula Bianco Chunky Knit Wrap Scarf

ASOS Oversized Plaited Snood