It would not be an overstatement to say that scarves are by far the simplest, most inexpensive, and creative way to spark up a summer wardrobe. These bits of fabric come in a variety of colors, patterns, fabrics and sizes, making them suitable for multiple uses and styling possibilities. In my book there are really only three sizes of MUST HAVE scarves! These would be the old-fashioned cotton handkerchief size, the long-and-narrow, and the pashmina. These three are so versatile and easy to work with that even the “scarf-phobic” can find a way to utilize their charm. Let’s get the summer styling ideas started!
Cotton kerchief. The humble handkerchief (usually a square of fabric measuring 22”x22”) is inexpensive and a summer staple for obvious reasons. It can wick away sweat, and as a bonus, assures us of no bad hair days! The colorful paisley pattern one we’re using here was .99 at Goodwill. These bright tones work well with a variety of other colors and look especially great for that boho/hippie look. First, you can do a “Laverne and Shirley” triangle kerchief look, which is reminiscent of the female factory workers in post war America. Next, you could fold it into a cool rocker headband, like the one shown above (instructions below). This definitely works for a summer festival, outdoor concert, or just running around town. Tied around the neck, this scarf gives the air of western wear, and yet it can be easily accessed when needed on a hot and muggy day. This is also a great look for a workout any time of year.
Long-and-narrow rectangular scarf. This kind of scarf (approximately measures 11”x52”) and works well for tying in the hair, in addition to tying in a bow or ascot with a button-up blouse or V-neck top. We show it here in two easy variations. First, we have the “turban,” which is brought around the back of the head to the front and tied to create a turban effect, and then it’s brought back and tied once again. This is a bit more glamorous take on the boho look, or the pin up look. Next, we simply wrapped our scarf around a messy bun and secured it with a few bobby pins. This is a fun-and-casual way to add a little flair to the simple bun or chignon. This long-and-narrow scarf could also be used to rein in the waistline of a tunic, dress, or top as an unexpected belt!
Pashmina. The pashmina is a great all-around summer accessory for many reasons. One like this leopard print, which I found at Goodwill for $2.99, is the perfect summer score. Because of its size, (approximately 30”x80”) this could be utilized at the beach or park as a blanket, and because of the print, it would not show any soil. Then again, it could also easily become a swim suit cover up for walking up to the ice cream stand. On another occasion, it could be worn to ward off the cooler temperatures of nighttime at an outdoor festival, or concert in the park. Just look for a print that can go the distance and work with lots of color combinations, because you still want to look good while using it!
For just a few dollars you can beat the heat in style by looking for one, or all, of these essential scarves at Goodwill. As always, you can experiment with fashion and style at our stores with prices you can afford, while (at the same time) brightening the outlook of someone in need of our job training programs. When you donate or shop Goodwill, we get to work on our mission - it’s as simple as that!