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Scarf Ace

March 10, 2009

It’s an all-too-common phenomenon in the life of Mollie Shambeau: I stand in front of my tiny closet (which is literally packed to the brim) and think, “I have absolutely nothing to wear!”

If this sounds familiar, then you probably know what happens next: I jump in the car, head to a big box discount retailer and spend way too much money on an outfit that might last me a few months, at best (which is likely accompanied by some unnecessary accoutrements I’ve thrown in the cart along the way).

Luckily, I’ve discovered a healthier version of retail therapy: searching for vintage accessories.

Last week, I happened upon Lou Rags, a quaint little vintage shop in downtown Verona that I’d only been in once before. I figured, why not stop in?

I was immediately drawn to a basket of silk scarves … there were so many to choose from! And for someone like me who loves to hunt for a great find, Lou Rags was the perfect solution. I browsed for a few minutes and selected two beautiful scarves, shown here, for a total less than $25. And, with only those two small additions to my wardrobe, it’s amazing how inspired I was to create new pairings.

scarvesFirst off, a silk scarf can be tied a few different ways … you can fold it like a triangle and then tie it on the side of your neck for a bold presence. For a little more subdued, polished look, triangle fold it and then starting with the point, fold it over and over till you have a long rectangle, which you can tie in a more secure wrap around your neck (think 1950s style), either allowing the knot to fall at your shoulder, creating an element of asymmetry, or right down the middle to mimic the look of a conventional tie.

After you’ve experimented with tying, there are endless possibilities for pairing scarves with outfits. A typical professional ensemble — button up blouse and blazer — is elevated with a patterned scarf tied down the middle. A plain dress can look completely different when topped off by a pop of color around the neck.

That’s the thing about inexpensive, quality accessories like a scarf, new baubles or colored tights. It’s a budget-friendly option that allows you to get more wear out of your current wardrobe. Just be sure that before you buy it, you have to love it. That’s my only rule.

So with the inklings of warm weather on the horizon and spring fever setting in, be strong and save a few pennies to avoid an expensive shopping mistake. Instead, treat yourself to a chic accessory, and while you’re at it — support a local boutique in our area! You’ll not only look good, but you’ll feel good about supporting our community.

Happy Tuesday!

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