Scarf you'll wear every day Our stylists’ favourites for you, plus some tips on how to wear them well

Why you need a versatile scarf
Starting with the practical: you can lose 55% of your body’s heat through your neck and head, and scarves help prevent that. Plus a nice scarf made from something like wool or cashmere adds some stature to an outfit. For versatility’s sake, the ones here are the right colours and textures to go with both work and weekend clothes.

Stylist, Freddie Kemp

The trick to not losing it

Slide it through the arm of your coat (from the inside) when you go indoors.

The storage solution

Hang a scarf instead of folding or rolling it to help it drape nicely when you wear it and allow it to air out between wears (which prevents any mustiness). Takes up less room, too.

The fold and loop

A folded and looped scarf works particularly well with suits. Tuck the loose ends into your blazer.

The wrap

Wrapping a scarf around your neck is obviously the warmest way to wear it; it's also the most casual.

The drape

Throwing on a scarf without wrapping it around your neck adds an easy elegance to anything from a suit to jeans.

The cost per wear

"The average guy wears his scarf five times a week from November 1 to March 1, or 80 times a winter," says our own expert rationaliser/stylist Freddie Kemp. "So even if I buy a scarf made from a quality (i.e. less likely to get holey) fabric like wool or cashmere—and even if I wear it only this winter—it’ll cost me less than a pound per wear."

The cravat

The most formal way to wear a scarf, this only really works with smart overcoats and suits. Here's how to do it: Cross the right side over the left, then pull the right side under and over the left side. Leave the right side neatly on top.

The smartness scale
  • Smartest scarves: Shorter scarves made from a soft, fine-knit fabric like cashmere or merino wool.
  • Most casual scarves: Longer and made from cotton or wool in a thick knit.
The matching advice
  • In an unusual twist, not matching is better than matching: a perfectly matched hat, gloves and scarf can look like a cheap packaged set.
  • If you're looking for versatility, buy a grey scarf. It goes with any other colour hat and gloves, and it looks good with both navy and black coats.