Types of Scarves
There are many styles of scarves in a wide variety of shapes, patterns and colors, made from many different types of materials.
There are five primary categories that scarves fit into when we discuss men’s attire. They are the following:
Casual / Winter Scarf
Often worn for protection from the elements, these scarves are made primarily of wool, cashmere, alpaca or polyester and are intended to be worn during the cold winter months. They can be printed or in various patterns and are often knitted and thick to the touch.
Often made of a thinner, yet cold resistant material, many companies such as UnderArmor, Reebok, and Nike make these winter scarves for winter athletes. These scarves are often made of a blend of materials and provide fairly high resistance to wind, snow, and temperature. Many of these scarves are circular and don’t need to be wrapped. This prevents the scarf from untangling and causing potential injury or death to athletes such as skaters, skiers and snowboarders. They are usually quite snug and can be pulled up to cover the mouth and nose and sometimes even the ears. In addition to being worn by professional and amateur athletes, these scarves are very popular with parents and children due to their ease of use and limited tangling capabilities making them a safer alternative for active play.
Business Casual Scarf
These scarves are usually quite thin similar to the sports scarves but made in the same fashion as the casual scarf, in other words – long and rectangular.
Often featuring checks, paisley or other geometric prints, these scarves are more traditional and are intended to be paired with business or semi-casual attire. These scarves are made from a variety of materials and can be worn in the winter or summer months. For warmer climates, these scarves are often made of cotton, jersey, cashmere, satin, silk, linen or pashmina which is a cashmere wool from the Pashmina goat. For cooler climates, wool, cashmere, alpaca and poly-blend materials are particularly popular. Often materials will be woven together to create a blended scarf which can provide more a more delicate touch with greater resistance to the inclement weather. For example, in Canada, cashmere and wool blended scarves are particularly popular for men as they are soft and thin from the cashmere wool, yet contain the protection of the coarser wool.
The Dress Scarf
Not quite the formal scarf, or the daywear, the evening scarf is an elegant addition to any gentleman’s topcoat or overcoat. Made of cashmere, alpaca, or even merino wool, the evening scarf is the middle sibling in the elegant scarf trifecta. Reversible or not, it is a conservative, sometimes with checks, plaids or paisley prints.
Formal Evening Scarf
Often worn with a tuxedo ortailcoat, the formal scarf is a fringed rectangular scarf usually made of silk satin and in most cases, made in black, white or a combination thereof. They often feature hand-knotted fringes and unlike other scarves, are not wrapped, but draped over the back of the neck and sometimes thrown over the shoulder.
Fashion / Summer Scarf
Designed specifically for use as a fashionable accessory, these scarves are often made of linen, cotton, silk, seersucker or pashmina and are worn strictly as a fashion statement and not generally as a protective layer to resist wind, snow or cold. Often worn with both casual and business attire, they feature a wide range of prints or textures.
Elegant Reversible Scarf
The reversible scarf, also known by the British as a tubular scarf, is bar none, one of the most elegant forms of neckwear for warmth. With two distinct patterns, woven together in harmony, reversible scarves are an gracefully elegant way of accessorizing your topcoat. Fort Belvedere has a resplendent selection offered in silk and wool combinations that will truly make a fashion statement.