Monday Miscellany: Scarf Ties & More

Style blogger Susan B. demonstrates an easy tie for long scarves. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Wow, hard to believe it’s October already! We’ve had some really nice mild weather the past few weeks; dare I even say with the cool mornings and evenings it’s actually felt a little like Fall? (I know that’s probably tempting fate and the surest way to summon a heat wave…)

How To Tie Scarves

I’m often asked about how to tie scarves, and I’ve done few scarf tutorials in the past. But as I was looking back through my archives, I realized that most of the ones I posted were YEARS ago, so I’ll be working on some updated versions soon, both for rectangular and square scarves. I may even attempt a video, if I’m feeling adventurous. 😆

In the meantime, here’s my most recent scarf tutorial for a rectangular scarf. I really like to use this tie when I don’t want long ends hanging down in front. It works best with a light- to medium-weight scarf in fabric that has some “grab.”

More Fall Scarves. And you can see all of my scarf-related posts HERE.

Pilates Progress

I’m still doing the private Pilates sessions, and am finally starting to notice some subtle changes. For the first few weeks, everything felt incredibly awkward and my movements were very jerky and uneven. Sometimes I just couldn’t get my muscles to do the motions my brain was telling them to. This week, I noticed that some of the exercises felt smoother and less strained. And it was easier to sense which muscles were engaging.

My instructor has focused a lot on exercises for my feet. Despite having high arches, my feet tend to collapse inward, and I’ve been knock-kneed since I was a child. She thinks that we can eventually correct that. We’ve done a lot of work with my core and upper body too. All of this has made me much more aware of my posture, especially when I’m standing or walking.

I started with two sessions per week, and have just switched to one per week with “homework” in between. I can’t say that I love the exercises themselves, but the hour goes by quickly and I leave each session feeling like I’ve had a serious workout. And because the routines require a lot of concentration, I’m much more relaxed at the end of each session.

New Shoe Crush

Detail: style blogger Susan B. wears Bosque beige leather buckle loafers. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

A few days ago when we were in San Francisco, we met up with my blogger friend Lisa for lunch and a visit to the new TransBay Terminal. (I’ll have more on our short visit to SF and Napa later this week.) We decided to walk back in the direction of our hotel, and on the way I glimpsed a pair of shoes in a store window made me stop and go inside. The store was The Reset, and the shoes were by a new-to-me brand, Bosque.

Bosque buckle loafers in beige. These are SO comfortable!! Details at une femme d'un certain age.

It was that buckle that grabbed my attention, but the comfort that won me over. The leather on these is “like buttah.” They only make whole sizes, and I went up to an 8 from my usual 7½. Did I mention comfortable?? The back also folds down so you can wear as a mule if you prefer. From what I can tell, they just make the one style, but offer it in several colors and finishes. I don’t think these would be sturdy enough for travel, but for every day (work, going out, or running errands), they’re perfect.

Have you started or switched an exercise program recently?

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26 Comments

  1. Adele
    October 1, 2018 / 4:49 am

    Good for you on continuing to work on core strength and posture! I love Pilates, and though the studio near me no longer has classes at times that work for full time working folks, I carry what I’ve learned into other exercises. For now, I am loving my power yoga flow practice, Zumba workouts and some strength training workout classes.

    What I love most about Pilates is that you can do the same series of exercises for months and years, and as you get stronger, you can get deeper into muscles……it wasn’t for a very long time that I finally felt exactly where my “low abs” were.

  2. Jan P
    October 1, 2018 / 5:06 am

    That multi-coloured scarf is my favourite! It looks like an Impressionist painting 🙂

  3. Meg
    October 1, 2018 / 5:50 am

    Love those shoes! Are they well cushioned in the forefoot? They look very sleek. Do you wear them with a bare foot, or a little sneaky sock?
    Pilates has helped me enormously, with posture, back aches and pains, and strength. I have been doing it for 4 years and am now ‘intermediate to advanced moves’. It’s amazing to see that slight differences in one’s proportions can make a huge difference with the ease or difficulty of some of the moves. The classic ‘roll up’? I can’t do it. My arms are too short. But if I hold small weighted balls, I can!

    • Susan B
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 6:39 am

      Hi Meg, they are thin soled, but have enough padding that I find them comfortable to wear for walking dogs, running errands, etc. I find them comfortable without a sock.

  4. Cinzia
    October 1, 2018 / 6:34 am

    A request, if you are thinking of posting on ways to tie scarves — I love to wear them but have a short neck and anything bunched up around that area tends to make me look like a turtle.

    I generally wear rectangular scarves and just knot them in front but would love any other ideas… (I don’t generally have to wear them for warmth, more as an accessory to bring some color and interest to outfits.)

    • Susan B
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 6:37 am

      Hi Cinzia, I have a short, thick neck too. I’ll keep that in mind for upcoming tutorials, and in general I find that scarf arrangements that leave a little room between my chin/jaw and the scarf itself help avoid the “turtle” look.

  5. October 1, 2018 / 6:41 am

    What could be better than leather like butter! heehee they’re a gorgeous honey tan too.
    I’m a huge fan of scarves and have way more than I actually need so I don’t mind wearing them from Autumn through to Spring. That way everyone gets a turn coming out of the closet, so to speak 😉

  6. Kate
    October 1, 2018 / 6:45 am

    Pilates has made a big difference for me; somehow my body just seems more “integrated” and it keeps me more flexible for my age (75).

    As for scarves…I’m a huge fan. They brighten up those neutral greys, navy and black clothes that dominate my closet!

  7. Mary
    October 1, 2018 / 6:52 am

    I use that scarf knot all the time, but never thought to use it with a relatively short scarf! It’s adorable–I love seeing the fringed edges.

    The shoes are great, too, but my eye was drawn to your jeans–and I have a question. Are those JCrew, and did you buy them with the split hem? Or did you do that yourself? Seems like a nifty idea.

    • Susan B
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 6:54 am

      Thanks! These are AG jeans from a couple of years ago. They came with the hem split, but I think it would be easy enough to DIY with a seam ripper.

  8. Suzanne
    October 1, 2018 / 7:00 am

    Love the scarf you are wearing in the first picture – looks like watercolors. Gorgeous!!

  9. October 1, 2018 / 7:21 am

    I did Pilates Reformer classes twice a week for about ten years and loved them. I switched to yoga just to change it up a bit and because the new logistics (studio location, class times) made sense. Last year, after our move to the city, I started working with a trainer. Did weekly sessions with her for a while, but now she makes up a few circuits for me, we work through them together and then I work with them in the well-equipped gym in our condo building. That works well, but lately I’ve been thinking about adding in a Pilates component. . . .perhaps your post will spur me on. . . (it will at the very least inspire me to see those shoes in person!)

  10. RoseAG
    October 1, 2018 / 7:38 am

    I have acquired several moderate injuries over the past year or so that caused me to drop my regular group exercise classes, Instead I’ve switched over to 10 minute DVDs at home and that’s working out for me. DVDs are getting to be old school, UTube seems to be the new way to deliver instruction. All you have to do is figure out how to get your electronics connected — 🙂
    A little bit of flexibility practice every day is all it takes.

  11. Lyn
    October 1, 2018 / 7:56 am

    I used to worry about tying a scarf like a French woman. But then I realized that French women are born tying scarves, and whatever style they choose is “French” because they are French. The main thing is not to fuss over it.
    However, I’ll admit that when I’m in France, I usually tie my scarf the way I was shown at a flea market in Provence. (And I’m going to try out the way you show in your tutorial.)

  12. RebeccaNYC
    October 1, 2018 / 8:27 am

    Pure Barre! Such a great combo of pilates/ballet/yoga but fast moving and sweaty! It’s hard, but oh boy it’s so good for what ails me.

    • October 1, 2018 / 5:57 pm

      Second that vote for Pure Barre! I have been doing it just over 3 years, longest I have stuck with any single routine or program.

  13. Agilborder
    October 1, 2018 / 8:37 am

    I’m with Cinzia. My neck always looks like an overstuffed hall tree when I put on a scarf. Perhaps it is because scarves have become so long, wide and voluminous necessitating endless wrapping.
    I feel that scarves these days often wear the wearer and don’t compliment an outfit; they take over like kudzu! One of my pet peeves is seeing me in a beautiful outfit, thinking I want a pop of color, only to destroy the elegance of the outfit with the dreaded big wrapped scarf. It just seems to overwhelm..
    I have returned to classic silk scarves and smaller silk and gauzy silk squares that I tie neatly and compact. I have seen you in a few of these and hope you include some clever scarf tie ideas for more sleek applications in your tutorials. Love your posts, I look forward to them every day!

    • Rondi
      October 1, 2018 / 10:34 am

      I also like the look of a smaller square scarf on myself. It’s a neat and also retro look. I look forward to Susan’s post about scarf tying that will include tips on tying smaller square scarves. It’s not a pretty sight to watch me try to tie a large scarf even if I liked the look! LOL So, hopefully I can find some new ideas for square scarves.

  14. Beth
    October 1, 2018 / 4:47 pm

    Cute shoes! Would you say they run narrow, wide etc.? My foot is borderline wide so just curious. I am very interested in Everlane shoes but they look SO narrow, for example.

    • Susan B
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 5:52 pm

      Thanks, Beth. I’d say they run neither narrow nor wide. I think they run 1/2 size short which is why I went up to an 8. I tend to be on the slightly wide side of medium in the toes.

  15. October 1, 2018 / 7:41 pm

    Are you doing Pilates Reformer or mat?

    Also knock-kneed. Never knew there was anything to do about that…

    • Susan B
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 8:18 pm

      Reformer mostly and some other equipment. A little mat and floor work.

  16. October 1, 2018 / 10:00 pm

    Love seeing those shoes again! And their wearer of course xoxo.

  17. sophia montgomery
    October 2, 2018 / 9:55 am

    Go on Eileen Fisher website for great scarf tutorlials!

  18. sophia montgomery
    October 2, 2018 / 9:56 am

    Go on Eileen Fisher website for great scarf tutorials!

  19. October 4, 2018 / 11:11 am

    Beautiful shoes. As soon as I saw the picture I could tell they were like “buttah”. You have been keen on buckle shoes since you saw Jeanne in Paris with her black buckle shoes. Or perhaps even before that.
    I find the outtake of your exercising very interesting: better posture??? I am after that for decades. Tried to achieve it so many times, but my brain hasn’t got the time to be bothered with that all day long. I can keep it up for a month or so and then it slips my mind.
    Greetje

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