Although the scarf has less-than-glamorous origins as a weather-proof utility, it transformed over time into one of the chicest and simplest accessories ever (and we have the French to thank for that, no doubt). Tie a skinny fringed scarf around your neck and suddenly you’re Stevie Nicks, straight out of the 70s with something to prove, while a printed bandana can transform you into a sophisticated Parisian goddess or an Old West cowgirl, depending on your preference.
Its versatility and enormous range of styling possibilities make the scarf the most useful accessory in your stash, capable of transforming your look by providing a pop of color, an unexpected pattern clash, or even just a convenient way to dress up a plain handbag. Tie it around your throat, your head, or even your wrist — no matter how you wear a scarf, it’s easy to see how effortlessly it improves your look.
Click through the gallery to discover nine ways a scarf can upgrade your outfit.
The ultimate Parisian-chic look has to be a dainty scarf tied around the throat, accompanying a beautifully tailored sheath dress and sophisticated flats, as worn by the perennially stylish Olivia Palermo.
Take a cue from the Man Repeller herself: Leandra Medine topped her skinny jeans and slouchy Oxford ensemble with a bright red bandana, thereby amping up her look with a pop of color.
Even if your top comes equipped with a bandana-like neckline, you can still rock the look. Simply tie a scarf in a similar hue around your waist and it becomes a flirty belt.
Fans of pattern mixing will love the endless possibilities that a brightly printed scarf offers, especially when it comes to purposefully contrasting it against the rest of your ensemble.
Pernille Teisbeak breaks up the proportions of the top and bottom half of a neutral outfit by wearing an eye-catching printed scarf as a belt.
Choose a bandana in the same color range as the rest of your ensemble, and suddenly your scarf is a centerpiece to your look rather than an afterthought.
Improve the style factor of a Little Black Dress by donning a chic printed scarf. Simply tie it around your throat and pull the knot to the back so that it resembles a cool choker.
Add fluidity and movement to your look by wearing a scarf around your waist, knotting it at the front, and letting the tail ends hang loose.
Chiara Ferragni demonstrates a great way to pull different trends into a single look by pairing a traditional Western bandana and glitter boots in the same ensemble.