I am not blessed with a cygnine neck or a prominent collarbone.
It was the death of my short-lived modeling career (seriously, Crystal Renn’s entire career just hangs on her collarbone) but I am blessed with a significant and ever-growing collection of Very Fancy Scarves.
The difficulty is, and we’ve all seen it, foulards can be a difficult look for the fat of face.
Those fancy wraps and knots that look so fab on our slim sisters with the long necks can make us look like cheap Christmas bonbons.
Does that mean we have to leave our foulards to others, or just use them as kerchiefs, gypsy belts or –my personal fave– camisoles under tuxedo jackets? Mais non! (That’s French for Hells -to-the-No.)
As we’ve discussed before, the best way to hit sartorial paydirt is to pay attention to balance.
Think of it like a basic layer cake. If it’s all frosting and no cake (or all hat and no cattle, as we say in Texas) then you’ll get a bellyache. If it’s all cake and no frosting, it’s okay but not, you know, ideal. No, just as the perfect martini has the right amount of vermouth –I don’t subscribe to this bone-dry nonsense, if you’re going to drink a glass of gin drink a glass of gin, but don’t call it a martini unless there’s at least a respectable dribbling of vermouth– the best outfits play with hard/soft and high/low.
So what does that have to do with fat girls in scarves?
Well scarves are soft. They’re billowy and silky and airy and light. They’re fluffy. We are also fluffy. So scarves on big girls can be like frosting on frosting. The key is to have a bit of angular definition in a scarf.
I’ve also found that keeping the scarf away from your face makes for a better look than one wrapped tightly around the neck (I learned this the hard way when I watched myself talking while wearing a snugly-wrapped scarf. My chins took on a life of their own.)
In Texas it’s called the buckaroo knot, but some folks –including the fabulous Mai Tai– call it the friendship knot. Whatever you call it, it takes a few minutes to figure out the first time, but after a few tries you’ll be as handy as any vaquero (buckaroo comes from vaquero the Spanish word for cowboy). Personally I wear mine with the knot to the side with the scarf ends flared out –I pin it, which is a no-no, but whatever– so it creates a broader shoulder look, which is excellent for the pear-shaped who need a little upper body balance.
I’m also very much digging the linda knot, which this adorable little man –clearly an Hermes sales assistant– demonstrates:
I wear it tied in a soft square knot -again off to the side. This one doesn’t take any practice at all, but does work best on a scarf that’s got a little firmness in its hand.
Finally there’s the butterfly knot. I only do a small variation of this, making a smaller butterfly and using a regular ring instead of a scarf ring, but it’s pretty, easy and looks WAY fancier and more complicated than it is.
So what about you? Do you wear scarves? I know a lot of American women are scared of them, but I want to know what you think!