I fell in love with scarves in the waning years of the 20th century when I lived, for a time, in Paris.
Newly married, implausibly young and with neither school nor work to occupy my days, I did a vast amount of urban wandering. I learned the streets and subways... down to the tiniest ruelle and most minor metro station... and developed an intimate acquaintance with some of the world's greatest museums and most iconic monuments.
Then there were the shops; les boutiques. Because along with its world class cultural attractions and elegant beaux arts architecture, Paris offers a vast array of retail outlets. From the grandes magasins... massive and elegant department stores where one can find almost anything ... to the myriad of idiosyncratic little shops that provide singular items and unique oddities.
Ironically, I feel like I learned almost as much about French culture from my regular rounds of leche vitrine... window shopping... as I did from my many hours in the museums. As it happened, our Paris apartment was conveniently located just a stones throw from Rue du Faubourg St. Honoré, which made for regular walks along what is arguably the most prestigious shopping street in the world... and at No.24 was Hermés, the rarefied French luxury firm whose Birkin bags and Kelly totes sell for tens of thousands of dollars. Though the bags and the bracelets were beautiful what captivated me were the scarves. Their sumptuous colors and intricate designs were featured in opulent window displays that, to my mind, were as seductive as anything I'd seen in that very seductive city. My obsession with scarves... particularly the carre de soie that Hermes is so well known for, but also other kinds.... was launched.
On the streets of the French capital I observed an impressive variety of scarf tying techniques... few of which I was able to replicate with my own, as yet, modest collection of echarpes and foulards. Nonetheless, I continued to build my collection whenever the opportunity presented itself, with a precious silk square or a more casual cache-col. By the time I returned to the US in the early 2000s, I had several dozen... and my styling skills were improving. When I took up golf, later in the decade, my scarf collection allowed my to add a personal touch to my outfits while providing strategic sun protection in summer and warmth as temperatures descended.
Recently the scarf has come into its own. They're coveted by fashionistas everywhere, and thanks to a plethora of scarf-tying tutorials and apps, even those who've never worn one can create a multitude of stylish scarf looks. If you want to add a scarves to your golf outfits and need some inspiration check out my Golf Scarf Styling Pinterest Board.
What I'm looking for these days are vintage, golf-themed scarves. I've found quite a few online. Some like the gorgeous Hermes Swing scarf are not quite within my budget but others are amazingly affordable. I've acquired several recently and will share their stories in an upcoming post. ~ PMH