Wearing a suit can sometimes feel like you need to give up other comforts, like your warm winter coat or a scarf.
Thankfully, if you hate to be cold, you are in luck. Not only can a scarf be a great help in keeping warm, but it’s also a fantastic way to personalize your suit and express yourself.
Choosing the Right Scarf for a Suit
While the point of a scarf is generally to keep warm, you can’t just reach for the warmest one. Fashion still matters in cold weather!
Men’s scarf styles can vary drastically. One that’s shaped like a long rectangle works best for suiting purposes.
Avoid infinity scarves or ones that are so wide that they are practically square-shaped.
The length and width of the scarf will influence how your knot looks, so it should also be roughly 60-75″ long.
It may seem wisest to reach for a thick and bulky wool scarf to keep you warm, but a fine, lighter weave can be pretty effective.
And the right fabrics, like cashmere, mohair, and silk, are also very stylish.
But thick scarves don’t always equate to a poor fashion choice.
If you’re stepping out in a casual suit, a heavier wool with a chunky weave can cement your informal style and add a fun twist.
It’s always important to consider how the color of your scarf fits with the rest of your ensemble.
Approach choosing your scarf color the same way you would pick your tie color. How does it sit on the color wheel in relation to your suit?
You can make a monochromatic match, with the scarf being a shade lighter or darker.
Other fun ways to play with color include choosing a complementary color when it sits near your suit’s color on the color wheel.
Or you can make a splash with a contrasting color, opposite on the color wheel.
Different Scarf Tying Styles
What’s even more stressful than choosing the right scarf? Getting it to look like you know how to wear it with your suit.
When you are confident in how your scarf should be arranged, you can have lots of fun with it.
The Parisian Knot (or European Loop)
This is a fundamental way to style your scarf, but it looks sophisticated and well put together. It’s also excellent for when you really want to keep your neck warm!
- Fold your scarf lengthwise at the center and hold the two ends together.
Place the scarf around the back of your neck with the loop hanging on one side and the ends evenly draped on the other.
- Slip the loose ends between the fabric on the looped end of the scarf.
- Pull the knot up to adjust against your throat.
Here is a carefree scarf style that says you’re just in it for the looks; warmth be damned! It’s so simple that you don’t need to do anything special. Ready?
- Place the scarf around the back of your neck, with the sides hanging down your front. Ensure they are equal lengths.
That’s it! See? No skill required.
The Reverse Drape
The reverse drape is a handy method for getting your scarf ends out of your way. This technique can work well for all types of scarves with any bulk.
- Drape the scarf around your neck with one side hanging two times as long as the other side.
- Completely wrap the long end around your neck once. The loose end will end up back on the side it started.
- Thread each loose end under the loop created by the wrapped fabric and your suit jacket, going in through the top.
- This will create a complete circle around your neck with your scarf.
- You’ll end up with the loose ends hanging out from the circle; tuck them into your suit jacket.
This style is super simple and quite jaunty. It indicates that you made an effort to be warm, but it has minimal effect.
- Lay the scarf across the back of your neck, with the sides hanging evenly down in front.
- Wrap the left side across and around your neck, returning it to where it started.
- Repeat for the right side.
- Adjust the wrap to make it as tight or loose as needed for warmth or comfort.
This secure method is for cool but not freezing cold days. It’s an understated way to keep a cool breeze out.
- Drape your scarf around your neck, with one side twice as long as the other.
- Cross the long end over and across the short side.
- Slip the end up between the neck and scarf in the loop you’ve created. It should be similar to tying a tie.
- Bring this end all the way through and tighten the knot against your throat.
- Adjust as needed!
The Fake Knot
This technique is terrific because you can achieve different effects when you adjust it. It looks different whether you wear it tight or loose. It seems like a complex knot, but it’s entirely deceptive!
- Drape your scarf around your neck, with one side hanging longer.
- Take the longer side and tie a loose knot just on that end.
- Slip the end of the other, shorter side into and through the loose knot you just created.
- Pull the fake knot up as if adjusting a tie.
This method of tying your scarf is a decent way to stay warm without sacrificing elegance.
- Begin with your scarf draped around your neck, each side hanging in equal lengths.
- Wrap one side across the top of the other, forming an X.
- Slip this end under and through the loop, spreading the fabric to make it as flat as possible.
- Pull the end all the way through, with the top layer smoothed as flat as possible. The front ends should be equal in length.
- Adjust the know so that it sits right at your neck.
NOTE: The last two parts may take some practice.
Ok, this process is stolen from tie techniques, but it’s perfect for a scarf, too!
- Begin just as you would with the Parisian knot, with the scarf in half around the back of your neck. A loop should hang down one side and two loose ends on the other.
- Pull only one of the loose ends through the loop.
- Twist the loop under the inserted end, creating a second loop.
- Pull the remaining loose end through the new loop.
- Pull to adjust!
Different Scarf with Suit Outfits
The looks you can create with your scarf are endless.
You can wear a scarf every cold winter day and find an appropriate style for all your needs. No matter your suit style, there’s a suitable scarf to fit it.
Business-Ready with a Navy Pinstripe Suit and a Brown Wool Scarf
Pairing brown with your navy suit is such a soothing departure from the standard black accessories.
The key to this look is to match your thin, luxury scarf to your shoes for an understated and classy business style.
A dark or medium brown is the perfect companion to a professional navy suit.
Complete this business formal look with a white button-up dress shirt for maximum formality.
A dark tie that complements your suit is the ideal finishing touch.
Autumn Vibes with a Brown Corduroy Suit and Plaid Scarf
As the weather turns cooler, it is time to add a bit more to the standard approach to dressing.
Embrace the change of season with fall colors; brown is a gorgeous neutral shade that doesn’t feel flashy.
Fall is also the ideal time to play with texture to add some exciting coziness to your outfit.
A print for your scarf keeps your fashion unpredictable. Make sure your scarf is a darker shade than your suit so that it stands out.
Match your tie and shoes to the dark scarf to pull the entire aesthetic together.
Winter Warmth with a Charcoal Tweed Suit and a Beige Scarf
Cold, grey winter days call for a dash of lightness. Charcoal suits are a beautiful approach to creating a professional suit, but they can sometimes feel overly formal.
It’s surprising how effective a beige scarf can be in softening a charcoal outfit.
Texture is another way to soften the harsh charcoal effect. Tweed is a lovely way to make your suit feel less stuffy and also to battle cold temperatures.
Medium brown shoes pair nicely with this outfit. A soft blue dress shirt is just the perfect touch for relaxing this style.
Cocktail Contrast with Navy Suit and a Burgundy Scarf
When heading out for a social evening, it’s entirely appropriate to expand your color palette in unexpected ways.
A formal navy business suit becomes downright festive when you pair it with a luxurious burgundy scarf.
The scarf should be made of a delicate fabric, such as cashmere, to keep the sophistication required for a cocktail event.
Overcoat Over Suit and Scarf
When temperatures drop drastically, a suit jacket simply won’t cut it.
When adding another layer, black is an excellent neutral color because it will go well with all your winter suits.
Use this black coat as your blank canvas; your scarf can be a colorful way to cheer any outfit on a cold day.
Navy Suit and a Brown Patterned Scarf for Texture
Going simple with your plain suit is the perfect opportunity to make your scarf the central focus of your outfit.
You can make it the focal point by incorporating large prints, even if the color remains neutral.
Grey Suit with a Dark Red Scarf for Christmas Party
You don’t need to wear all red or green to look festive for a holiday outing.
You can keep your elegant suit (and your dignity) and accessorize with a gorgeous, deep red for an infusion of Christmas cheer – bonus points for a silk scarf to add to the festive feel.
Hi, I’m Alex, and I’ve studied and specialized in styling in Rome. Through my writing, I want to help men dress well and learn the purpose and significance of suits and other formal attire. My final goal is to make men more confident in their wardrobe choice and life in general.