5 Creative Ways to Wear a Scarf with a Dress

How do you style a scarf with a dress?

That may sound like a no-brainer question to most ladies, but for those who are only beginning to appreciate the versatility of a scarf, it’s something that needs a proper answer. Let’s forget about the functional purpose of a scarf for a moment (i.e. it keeps you warm on cold winter days) and just focus on its ability to decorate a dress.

There are actually an infinite number of ways it can be done, but we have looked to fashion bloggers for inspiration. We dissected their scarf-styled outfits and the result came out to these 5 styling tricks that are worth taking a cue from.

Here are the 5 easy ways you can wear the scarf with a dress. Which of these do you find yourself already doing, and which would you like to try?

1. Wear it as a last layer

This is the most common. You simply wrap the scarf around your neck or you throw it over your shoulders and let it hang loose. You can use the scarf to polish or spice up a simple dress. And if you’re among the bold few, you can mix a printed scarf with a printed frock to come up with a statement look. For this, we usually recommend lightweight scarves.

Fashion photographer Lina Tesch, a.k.a., Anila, styles her white crochet dress with a skull scarfFashion photographer Lina Tesch, a.k.a., Anila, styles her white crochet dress with a skull scarf

Chiara Ferragni of The Blond Salad spices up her simple LWD with a brightly printed extraChiara Ferragni of The Blond Salad spices up her simple LWD with a brightly printed extra

Priscila B. of My Showroom Blog styles her striped dress by wrapping a poppy printed yellow scarf around her neckPriscila B. of My Showroom Blog styles her striped dress by wrapping a poppy printed yellow scarf around her neck

Tanya of Tini-Tani styles her textured dress with a red neckerchiefTanya of Tini-Tani styles her textured dress with a red neckerchief

Front Row Society Magic Dance ScarfFront Row Society Magic Dance Scarf, $45

Halogen Wayward Stripe ScarfHalogen Wayward Stripe Scarf, $38

2. Use it as a wrap

This is a great way to polish up a dress and make you look more elegant. You are essentially using the scarf as a wrap. You spread the piece and let it cover your arms. It’s diva-ish and a little old school, but it’s an age-old trick that works all the time — especially for occasions that require you to doll up (black-tie events, cocktail parties, etc). This method of styling is best done with a larger piece in solid color made of silk, satin, cashmere, or other dressy fabrics like silk chiffon.

Bernie of New York Silk Chiffon Wrap and Echo Crystal Beaded Silk Chiffon WrapBernie of New York Silk Chiffon Wrap, $68 / Echo Crystal Beaded Silk Chiffon Wrap, $78

3. Wear as a head or hair accessory

You’ll get two different looks if you use the scarf as a headwrap or hair accessory with your dress — you’ll either look bohemian and exotic, or retro and cute. But one thing is for sure, both ways will give your dress a fresh twist that is unlike any other. You’ll need a square or long scarf to work up this styling trick.

Fashion blogger Kate G. of Schwurlie uses the scarf as a head band to give her look a cute and retro twistFashion blogger Kate G. of Schwurlie uses the scarf as a head band to give her look a cute and retro twist

Fati of Fati's Fashion Beauty styles her baby-doll dress with a head wrap to get that exotic and beach-bound feelFati of Fati’s Fashion Beauty styles her baby-doll dress with a head wrap to get that exotic and beach-bound feel

Burberry Prorsum Floral Print Square ScarfBurberry Prorsum Floral Print Square Scarf, $475

4. Belt your dress with a scarf

If you want to kick it up a notch, another great way to wear the scarf is actually use it as a belt. You can complement a solid color dress with a printed scarf belt, or do the reverse. You can also do print on print if you’re more adventurous. Long narrow scarves work best for this method. However, you can also use a square scarf by folding it diagonally, then rolling it into a strip. You can knot the scarf into a ribbon or simply knot it twice and let the ends hang like a sash.

Anne Hathaway attends the Elle Women in Hollywood Event held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles, October 6, 2008Anne Hathaway attends the Elle Women in Hollywood Event held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles, October 6, 2008

5. Use the scarf as an arm candy

You can never run out of ideas on how to wear a scarf. If you wish to style it with your dress in a totally different way, you can use it as an arm candy instead. Tie a silk square around your wrist and knot it into a ribbon, or simply let it hang by the crook of your arm like a handbag.

Kristina Bazan of Kayture decorates her dress by wearing a bright scarf and handbag at the crook of her armKristina Bazan of Kayture decorates her dress by wearing a bright scarf and handbag at the crook of her arm

Credit: Nikki Nelson / WENN

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