How To Tie A Silk Scarf: 2 Neat & Easy Variations

Some of you have been asking for updated scarf tutorials, and I’ve been promising to do them for years now. The truth is, my video skills are pretty rudimentary…and I don’t have a videographer or fancy equipment. But I could keep making excuses forever, or just dive in. So consider this my dog paddle in the shallow end. 😉

How To Wear A Silk Square Scarf

A silk square can be a nice option to keep drafts off the neck when it’s still too warm for a heavier scarf, or just to add some color near the face and a focal point.

Maybe you have some silk scarves languishing in a drawer somewhere. I’ve found they can be intimidating, between the volume of fabric, and the slipperiness. And I won’t lie; they can look matronly depending on the colors, pattern, how they’re tied and what they’re worn with. Your own style and proportions will determine what scarves and arrangements work best for you.

I started with these two ties because they’re easy, don’t require constant readjustment, and help “wrangle” a lot of fabric into a neat arrangement. They’d work well if you’re traveling, or in a desk-to-dinner situation. If you want to reduce the volume even further and have them look less “done,” just twist the bias-folded fabric a few times before you tie it.

The silk scarves I’m wearing in the video are from Ivana Nohel. Madame Butterfly scarf is HERE. The other scarf was a gift from my friends at Red Leopard, and isn’t currently on the website.

More silk square scarves:

Silk twill will soften up with wear. It’s also a very durable material…don’t be afraid to scrunch it, knot it, twist it. Any creases will usually fall out once the scarf is folded or laid flat. Now, some will disagree, but I cold-water wash my silk scarves (either by hand or in a lingerie bag on the delicate cycle in the machine). I’ve even put one of my Hermès scarves in the dryer on low heat (to intentionally soften the fabric) and it came out just fine.

So don’t be afraid to pull those scarves out and wear them! Do you have a favorite silk scarf?

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  1. Thank you for the scarf tutorials! They don’t strike me as matronly at all.
    Years ago I was in the restroom at work and happened to bump into a friend. She complimented me on my outfit. I was wearing a silk scarf with a navy blazer and all of a sudden it hit me – I looked like a flight attendant! I mentioned that, and then she looked at me and said -“you’re right”! It wasn’t mean-spirited at all and we had a good laugh.
    No flight attendants with your looks. Well done!

  2. Great video, Susan! I often choose a scarf in the evening for my next day’s outfit, but when I’m getting dressed in the morning, have trouble tying and getting it to lay right, etc. so inevitably put it aside. You have inspired me to try again.

    Any suggestions for smaller square scarves? I have a great small Hermes, but the ties always end up too close to my neck and make me feel like I’m choking. I’d hate to have to use it only as a purse-tie.

  3. I loved your video presence! You should do more! Your modest and unbraggy writing/editorial style comes across in your actual self, and it’s nice. Slight ASMR effect, which is so soothing as part of a mid-day fashion moment/break. I wear scarves every day but usually leave the squares as my typing is not so great – your video should help.

  4. I love scarves and wear them often but these are two ties I hadn’t seen before or had forgotten, so thanks very much.

    Very cute video! You should do more.

  5. I loved your video and scarf selection. Now I have new ways to use some of my scarves that have been “sitting” in a drawer.

  6. Great video as I recently inherited some beautiful French silk scarves from my mother. One of them a Dior silk scarf in its original package and never worn. I am happy you mention the material softens over time as I find it ‘crunchie’. Also happy you address the ‘matronly’ affect as neck scarves can do that. I have noticed smaller scarves being worn by young colleagues. Knotted at the neck and worn with a striped or polka dot top. They look very modern and fresh! I think it’s the mixing of patterns and those slender necks tha make the look;)

  7. I am delighted to hear your voice! Never apologize for the lighting — we know you do this at home. Excellent video! You are utterly charming. I need to try these two methods

  8. Thanks for dog paddling in the shallow end! Loved knowing how to tie my scarves. Also fun to hear your voice,

  9. Really enjoyed your video presentation and am looking forward to seeing more in the near future with more variations on scarf fastening.
    Enjoy your cheerful and positive vibes.

  10. Love everything about the video! I like that you kept it simple and used natural light. And it was wonderful to feel like I’ve finally “met” you in person after all these years.

    Off now to dig out all those expensive scarves I NEVER wear! 🙂

  11. I saw lots of skinny scarves in stores in Paris in April, although I didn’t notice many women on the street wearing that style. It really does have that flight attendant look! I’m never sure if that style hides an aging neck or accentuates it but it makes me feel like I’m being strangled. But I can see the advantage too of not being as overwhelming as the big scarves we have been draping ourselves in for years. I’m with the others who thought the video was delightful!

  12. This was a great video and I’m inspired to try these two new options. I’m also inspired to try washing and gently drying a Hermes scarf I never wear because I’ve always found it too stiff. Fingers crossed that I have a good result but honestly it isn’t doing me any good just sitting in the drawer!

  13. I rarely wear silk scarves: all of mine are cotton or combination. But I’ll try working with this. Actually, I tend to buy the long, oblong scarves and have developed several good ways to wear those. Fun tutorial!

  14. This has nothing to do with the video – I haven’t watched it yet but your skin looks amazing. Your lipstick
    choice is perfect for you. Bravo!

    1. This was exactly my first thought as well! Lovely skin, perfect shade of lipstick…do you mind if I ask what it is?? I will be watching the scarf tutorial soon. Thanks Susan!

      1. Hi Susan, really enjoyed and appreciated the video – thanks so much for taking the time and effort to make it! I have a lovely liberty scarf with peacock feathers brought back by friends from a choir trip to Europe I missed out on (hmmm, that’s 35 years ago now!).

  15. Thank you! I love my scarves and recently brought out all my holiday ones so I’m sure to wear them this year.

  16. Thanks Susan, I would love to see some different ways to tie a smaller scarf, like the one in My Stylish French Box.
    Thanks, Linda

  17. I thought I knew how to tie a scarf but …not really. So true “you’re never to old to learn
    something new” !
    Thank you and I’m with those who
    found your video presence charming and lovely….love your hair.

  18. Great video! I see plenty of videos done by professional teams and they often don’t look any better than those done by somebody at home with a phone.
    Anyway, you made a clear tutorial, which is what we need. Love the music! And I agree with the others that your skin and makeup are perfect and that the colors of your scarves complement your tones.
    I tend to wear my Delvaux (Belgian version of Hermès) scarf tied similar to the first one in your grid. I guess you could call it stewardess, but I do a triangle and make the knot on top of the triangle rather than under it, cowboy-style. I’d rather resemble a stewardess than a cowboy. Aren’t stewardesses always immaculate? A high compliment!
    I saw a woman with a scarf tied so that it cascaded down like a ruffle in front. No idea whether it was a square or a long, narrow scarf. But the effect was fantastic.

  19. Love love love the video! I’m going to run upstairs, take my beautiful scarves out of the boxes and attempt to mimic your look. Loved both simple demonstrations. By the by – you look beautiful in your new colors.

  20. What a lovely video! The first time I’ve seen you on film, Susan. You come over so well. The scarf tips were good but I watched it to see you primarily. I shall read the blogs differently form now on. Great.

  21. Susan, you and the video are charming. I must tease you for wearing what appears to be garment not in your colors… inspired me to wear the pretty scarves I have rather than being afraid to dip them in the soup (in one case, used as a belt, the toilet). Thanks.

    1. Thanks, Nancy! Actually the sweater is a medium navy which is in my palette. It just looks black because of the lighting. 😉

  22. One of the best scarf tying videos I have ever seen! So real and easy to follow! Please do more with different scarf sizes. I have a couple much smaller squares and skinner rectangle shapes. As a couple of other readers commented my face and neck are a bit different then in my youth. Years ago I wore the bandana size all the time but am concerned it is not flattering any more. Nice to meet you in the video!

  23. Hello Susan and all: I watch many how to videos and this was just great. Thank you. I have many scarves and I wear them frequently. I don’t really care whether scarves are fashionable or not, they are part of what I love to wear. Love the techniques demonstrated. Mary

  24. Thanks for the video – I appreciate the narration along with the demo. Always looking for scarf ideas that won’t overwhelm a petite frame. Because it’s true – a nice scarf will keep your next warm!
    Merci beaucoup, Susan!

  25. I’m a big fan of scarves. Now that I went silver I need a pop of color next to my face….btw…your complexion looks fabulous!

  26. Thank you for the scarf video – you are a natural – so charming – I’m going to improve on my scarf tying thanks to you.

  27. I love scarves. Always have. Your tutorial was great! You have a great presence on video as others have said. I am pretty impressed with your editing skills. You go girl!

  28. Great tutorial! I have always loved and worn scarves. I purchase them while traveling, each a lovely reminder of the places I have visited. Please consider doing more video in addition to your blogs. I watch my inbox everyday for your next installment. Happy Hollidays!

  29. Nice job. I never know what to do with square scarves. Now I do!
    I love scarves because they do keep me as warm as wearing a jacket. At least here in Southern California.

  30. Love scarves. Been wearing them for years. Sjeats nice to look at videos showing new ways to wear. You were very sweet in your presentation. Love to see your personality shine through!


  31. High time for another of your delightful scarf videos – these two suggestions are just what I have been needing!

  32. Great tutorial video very clear and useful! You are a natural – even lovelier in motion, and so down to earth. Well done.

  33. Thank you for the very helpful video. I wear a scarf most days and find that this is becoming part of my ‘look’. A great scarf can do wonders for almost any outfit. The folding instruction at the beginning was helpful. Like some other commenters, I also have some oblong scarves ( Kate Spade) and would appreciate any tips you have for these. Brava.

  34. Thank you for the very informative video. Also I want to say you have the most beautiful skin – so smooth and spot free! Hard to do living in the sun I imagine

  35. This was a really informative video! No dog paddling seen here! I have a beautiful Hermes that I haven’t really known how to wear. As soon as I saw your video, I tried your methods, and I am happy with both. Neither is too tight or constricting in any way around the neck. Good job, Susan!

  36. Loved finally hearing your voice!
    I grabbed my only Hermes and gave it a try. I usually just do the fold-drape-and-knot, which shows mostly the border colors. But your ties brought the gorgeous colors in the center of the scarf to the front. It looks like a different scarf! Bravo!

  37. Thank you! Your expertise with scarves was really evident in the effortless way that you positioned and tied them. Your foray into video was very successful!!! We are all hoping that you continue this venture.

  38. Susan – thank you for doing this, you look fantastic and these are some new tricks for me to try. After following you since about the time you left corporate life, it’s nice to hear your voice. Hope the overwhelmingly positive response will encourage more off this format. Have a great week!

  39. Just wanted to say how much younger you seem in video (I realize this may come off as a back-handed compliment, but I was sincerely struck by your personality in motion), and how charming you are. Video is your medium. Please do more!!

  40. A charming and informative video. I love scarves and wear them often in the fall and winter. I never get on a flight without a trusty large scarf. So handy.