5 Ways to Style a Scarf and Add a Little Something Extra to Your Look

Refresh your wardrobe with this simple, yet versatile, accessory.

Smiling person wearing a scarf in their hair
Photo: Daniel G Castrillon

When it comes to fashion, it's all about the details. Sure, you may win a few compliments with your matching sweater set. You might even invoke a bit of style envy by nailing the Barbiecore trend to a T. But if you really want to turn heads, learn how to incorporate accessories into your OOTD.

From throwback claw clips to Emily in Paris-inspired headgear, there are plenty of options to choose from. However, if you're shopping for an outfit addition that is versatile, no-fuss, and universally flattering, there's a clear winner: the scarf.

Ahead, we've compiled five different ways to wear a scarf (or a bandana). Much like adding jewelry to your outfit, you just might find that adding this little extra something something will help to instantly enhance your look.

1. Tie It Around Your Ponytail

Person with middle-parted sleek hair with scarf
Daniel G Castrillon

Using a scarf as a hair accessory is very '60s, and an easy way to give a simple outfit a more playful vibe. Try looping it around your ponytail — or even a messy bun — to create a fun flair.

2. Wrap It Around Your Wrist

Person with a scarf wrapped around their wrist
Daniel G Castrillon

If your jewelry collection is lacking bracelets, or you're not feeling the ones you own, try a scarf instead. It's the same idea but slightly unexpected. Consider it a contemporary — and more original — take on the scrunchie as wrist accessory trend, as well. Bonus: it pairs well with your go-to T-shirt and jeans combo.

3. Knot It on the Side of Your Neck

Person with a sleek topknot and knotted scarf around their neck
Daniel G Castrillon

While knotting your scarf in front may feel a little flight attendant, pulling it to one side will instantly turn it fresh, modern, and elegant. This styling choice will really pop against a solid-colored shirt or sweater, and if you're looking to make even more of a statement, we suggest adding a pair of drop earrings.

4. Wear It as a Headband

Person wearing a scarf as a headband
Daniel G Castrillon

The ultimate warm-weather look, a scarf-turned headband is not only practical (read: humidity-proof) but stylish too. This trick will help you to stay cool, keep your hair out of your face, and also turn your bathing suit into a full outfit. Plus, if you own a pair of flares or some tie-dye, this is the perfect '70s-inspired addition.

5. Turn It Into a Kerchief

Person wearing a scarf as a hair kerchief
Daniel G Castrillon

The throwback kerchief trend has definitely returned, and while we've already seen street-style stars hop on board, now is the perfect time to give it a try for yourself. Throw it on with a puff-sleeved dress or a striped shirt and a pair of khakis. In the mood for something fancy? Match it to your coat as an homage to the late Queen Elizabeth's style.

Photographs by Daniel G Castrillon, assisted by Leo Valderama. Hair by Jacob Geraghty for Utopia NYC. Makeup by Fredy Anaya for Utopia NYC. Nails by Lisa Matsumura, assisted by Mina Ueda.

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