Good News: Blanket Scarf Season Is (Almost) Here
Here's how to pull off fall's coziest staple for 2021.
Is it just me, or are the seasons no longer changing according to the calendar? We've yet to say adieu to summer, and yet my heart beats for autumn. Maybe this is because pumpkin spice lattes are already back at Dunkin', or the fact that Bath & Body Works launched its Halloween collection in July. Either way, this October baby is more than ready for sweater season and everything that comes with it, from the seasonal sips to all the autumn accessories, like beanies and booties and, of course, all the cozy blanket scarves.
Believe it or not, we have Lenny Kravitz to thank for making blanket scarves cool. In the early 2010s, the singer-songerwriter stepped out wearing a massive (and I mean massive) brown knit scarf swaddled around his neck and spilling over his shoulders. Kravitz masterfully paired the scarf with a brown jacket, baggy jeans tucked into a pair of beige boots, and completed the ensemble with his signature black lensed sunnies and a purple beanie.
Unbeknownst to the rockstar, his example would be one of the Internet's first on how to wear a blanket scarf. Flash forward to 2021, and the accessory has become a staple component of the fall wardrobe. And while most blanket scarves aren't as large as Kravitz's life-size garment, the message remains the same: Blanket scarves are as fashionable as they are functional; they are both a source of warmth and an epic statement piece.
To find out how to wear a blanket scarf by modern day standards, InStyle reached out to a few stylists to weigh in on the trend below.
Pair With a Maxi Dress for the Perfect Summer-to-Fall Transition Outfit
For Joanna Angeles, a casual maxi dress with a blanket scarf doubling as a shawl is the perfect outfit for cooler summer nights before the official start to autumn.
"This will keep you free from carrying around a bulky jacket, and it won't leave you hanging when you need to keep warm during the changing weather," the head stylist at Tobi tells us. "Complete the look with a headband, crew socks, and chunky loafers for comfy chic dressing."
Make Your Sweatsuit Even More Cozy
Whether you're staying home or not, matching sets continue to trend. If you're looking to elevate an already dressed down look, Angeles tells InStyle loosely draping a blanket scarf around your neck is the way to go. And, if you want to take the outfit back up a notch without losing the high comfort level, she adds, "wear your hair in a sleek bun and pile on the gold jewelry."
Layer It Over a Turtleneck
Fashion stylist, Mickey Freeman says that blanket scarfs made of stiffer fabrics, such as wool, can be loosely wrapped circularly around the chest to create an elegant drape.
"[These types of blanket scarves] would lie beautifully over a thin turtleneck sweater," Freeman explains, adding that tights and plush leather equestrian boots would stunningly finish off the look.
It Doesn't Have To Be Your Only Accessory
Blanket scarves are a statement all their own, but Freeman stresses in his email to InStyle that blanket scarves are an accessory that can also be accessorized by stacking bracelets or wearing chunky cuffs on the wrists. This way, you can "achieve overall balance within the look."
Focus On Proportions
When it comes to styling blanket scarves, celebrity stylist Tiffany Briseno says she tends to focus on proportions as this particular accessory creates a bold shape.
"I would keep your look more structured underneath to balance out the weight of the scarf by wrapping it once around the neck and letting it fall behind one shoulder for an elegant look," Briseno says. "For a casual feel, fold the scarf in half and loop through once around your neck to keep the fabric contained in one place. Really it comes down to just playing around to see what works for you."
Make It Preppy
Seeing as how trends of the '90s and early aughts are coming for 2021, preppy looks are bound to make a cameo. To put a little prep in your step, Angeles suggests pairing a blanket scarf with either a V-neck pullover sweater or sweater vest, leather skirt, sheer tights, and knee high boots. "If you want to make the outfit ultra-preppy," she says, "add a beret and tie the scarf in a French knot."
Take It From Day to Night
To go from work appropriate to cocktail hour, stick with a base outfit consisting of monochromatic black pieces and a colorful blazer, then make the scarf the star of the outfit by tying the ends together behind the neck, Angeles says.
"Finish off the look by adding a mini crossbody purse and black ankle booties that have either a pointed or square toe."
Take Advantage of Contrast
…both texturally and tonally. For example, Freeman recommends scarves with fringed or tasseled edges be worn "atop a precisely-tailored trench coat, leather or suede miniskirt, and lug sole combat boots." At the same time, a light neutral color blanket scarf will contrast those dark tones we tend to gravitate towards during the fall season.
"Light neutral blanket scarves in luxurious fabrics, like angora and cashmere, can dress up any outfit in dark hues, be it monochromatic, dichromatic, or printed dark tones, minus the effort," Freeman tells InStyle.
This is Ask the Experts, where our favorite fashion know-it-alls share their wisdom. Just because you can trust your style instincts doesn't mean you should have to.