How to Tie Scarves

Crystal Schwanke
fashion scarves

Knowing how to tie scarves is an essential skill for any fashionable woman to have. Whether it is wrapped around your neck for warmth in the winter or used to add an extra dose of sheer color in the summer, a scarf can add a touch of style to an otherwise plain outfit.

Ideas for How to Tie Scarves

Scarves come in various sizes and fabrics. They can be made from silk, cotton or even wool. Some scarves are square while others are rectangular; some are shorter in length and others are quite long. Just as there are several different types of scarves, there are many ways to tie them. The following are a few ideas for tying methods:

Keyhole Scarf

A keyhole tied scarf is a simple style that works great with longer scarves. The material isn't important and this way of tying a scarf does not need a clip or pin to secure it. It can work for a long winter scarf or a sheer silk scarf, so it's a perfect style for any time of the year. Follow these simple steps to tie a keyhole scarf:

  1. Fold scarf in half lengthwise and wrap around your neck.
  2. Keep looped end on one side and open ends on the other.
  3. Slip the opens ends through the loop and gently tighten and adjust as desired.
  4. Allow the ends to fall where you feel comfortable.

Simple Dress Knot Scarf

This style works perfectly for a smaller, dressier scarf. Use this style for a scarf made from silk or rayon material. A simple dress knot tied scarf looks great under an open collared blouse or a sweater.

  1. Tie a knot in the middle of the scarf.
  2. Secure the scarf behind your neck with a loose knot.
  3. Adjust the front knot where you desire.

You can also simply tie the two ends of the scarf together in the front and allow the ends to fall where you please. This style resembles an ascot tie.

The Neckerchief Knot

These small scarves are reminiscent of 1940s style clothing and paired with the right outfit, provides a cute retro look.

  1. Roll the scarf. Starting with one corner, roll the scarf diagonally until you reach the other corner.
  2. Place the scarf around your neck with the ends falling in the front of your neck.
  3. Tie a traditional knot, twice. Two knots keeps the scarf tied. If you tie only one knot, the scarf will loosen and fall off.
  4. Place the ends of the scarf in front of your neck or off to the side.

The Loose Wrap

Even though this style isn't so much tying a knot as it is wrapping the scarf around your neck, it's included in this scarf tying guide because it is such a popular way to wear scarves. You need a longer scarf for this style.

  1. Wrap the scarf around your neck. Find the middle of the scarf and wrap it around your neck so the ends fall to the back of your body.
  2. Pull the ends forward. Grab the ends and pull right end to the left side of your body and the left end to the right side of your body. Essentially, you are wrapping the scarf around the back of your neck.
  3. Loosen the scarf around your neck in front. This makes the scarf a little less constricting.
  4. Let the ends hang loose in the front of your body.

Tying Different Types of Scarves

Silk Scarf

red neatly tied scarf

A silk scarf can be worn as a dressy accessory to an otherwise plain outfit. Choose a bright color scarf to liven up a plain black suit or a fun print to accent a solid colored jacket. To tie a long silk scarf you can drape it around your neck, making sure that the ends are even.

  • Tie the scarf in a loose knot in front of your neck and allow the ends to either hang in front or off to the side.
  • For a small square scarf, fold it into a triangle then fold into a two inch band.
  • Finally, drape around your neck and tie it into a knot. The knot can be worn either in front or off to the side.

Warm Winter Scarf

To keep your neck warm in the winter:

  • Take a long winter scarf and place the middle of it around the front of your neck.
  • Next, cross the scarf ends behind your neck and bring them back around to the front.
  • Finally, adjust the band of the scarf to where you feel it is most comfortable.

Tying a Wide Scarf

If you have a wide scarf and can't figure out how to tie it, here are some tips:

  1. Fold the scarf diagonally. You should end up with a triangle shape.
  2. Hold it loosely around your neck and shoulders. This allows you to adjust how far down you want the front of the scarf to hang.
  3. Double knot the ends. Once you get the right placement on your body, take the loose ends and tie two traditional knots.
  4. Place the knots on the shoulder. If you want the majority of the scarf to drape across one of your shoulders, place the knots on the opposite shoulder. For example, if you want the scarf to cover your left shoulder, place the end with the knots on your right shoulder.
  5. Place the knots in back. If you want the majority of the scarf to drape in front of your body, place the knotted ends toward the back of your neck.

Online Tutorials

cute yellow silk scarf

There are many online videos and tutorials about tying and styling scarves.

  • Visit Brooks Brothers online scarf tutorial to show you a step by step guide on how to tie various scarf knots. They feature knots such as French knots, square knots and even slip knots for your silk scarf. They even show you a way to tie a scarf into a headband for your hair.
  • Visit Scarves.net for 37 different ways to tie this great accessory. Videos show you exactly how to work with each style.

Dress Up Any Outfit with a Scarf

No matter how you decide to tie your scarf, it is must-have accessory. It can be worn for work or for fun; it's perfect for winter but can also dress up a summer outfit. There is endless creativity when it comes to scarves. Tie your scarves in different ways to dress up any outfit and add polish and personality to your look.

How to Tie Scarves