Paris Style Report Part 3: Scarves

During the cooler months, you’ll see scarves on everyone in Paris: women, men and children. I noticed a lot more variety this time with regard to colors and patterns, though a few were more predominant.

Paris Scarf Trends: Winter 2019

Tartan and Check

Tartan scarves were everywhere in Paris. I saw many versions of tartan, check and houndstooth scarves, either in neutrals or color. When color is worn, I most frequently noticed red or autumn tones of rust and ochre. (Red is the accent color I’ve seen worn most in Paris over the years.) Color-block scarves were another pattern I saw often.

Chunky Knits

Cable knit and oversized blanket scarves were another popular choice. The really huge scarves were mostly worn by younger women. Textured, ribbed and cable knit scarves were often neutral, and in a color close to the wearer’s outerwear. I did see the occasional brighter color worn, often red.

Jacquards, Floral Prints

I spied several women wearing paisley jacquard prints, often in autumn tones of burgundy and rust. I also noticed more scarves in floral prints this visit, usually smaller and on a dark background. And yes, the occasional leopard print.

Style blogger Susan B. wears a camel J.Crew sweater-blazer over black separates. Details at une femmme d'un certain age.

What one doesn’t see in Paris are complicated or fussy scarf arrangements. Larger or bulkier scarves are wrapped around the neck once or twice. The most ubiquitous scarf tie I noticed was the one I’m wearing here: wrapped once around the neck, with the ends tied once. Easy peasy!

Do you use scarves to add color and pattern, or do you prefer to match your outerwear?

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  1. Wow that soft gray sweater is gorgeous! Love it with the jeans and colorful tartan scarf. That’s an outfit I would wear for sure!

  2. I’m all about scarves for contrast and accent. I am with you on the simple tie and happy to see that – in terms of color and pattern – just about anything goes this season.

  3. I love scarves and have collected many of them over the past few years. I wear them as an accessory, adding pattern and color to my outfits in the way some might use necklaces. I find necklaces uncomfortable, oddly enough, and I run cold, so scarves are the perfect style alternative.

    1. Love that outfit! Your hair is really growing! How long do you plan on letting it get? Mine is very short, but I am trying to find a new hairstyle.

  4. Love the gray sweater/jacket! Could you give us the name of the store? I’m in Paris now — it’s soldes season! Can’t believe my luck! Merci!

  5. Love my scarves! I often pick them up as gifts when I travel; easy to pack and always fits! Thanks, Susan, for traveling and reporting what’s currently going on in Paris!!

  6. I prefer wearing scarves to necklaces, actually. And it figures, I JUST gave away a magenta houndstooth scarf at the New Year because I hadn’t worn it for years…..

  7. Yes! I love scarves and they are great souvenirs. I have three from Italy that are in rotation this winter – both for warmth and color. And the wonderful memories of collecting them.

  8. Susan, do you think the tartan scarves were a nod to the holiday season? Was plaid as popular? I’m headed to London in March, which will be a tricky month to pack for. Wondering about scarves and outerwear for a mostly likely wet and messy week. Anybody care to comment from London?

    1. Hi Marguerite, no I don’t think it was about the holidays. I’ve always noticed more tartans and checks in London than in Paris previously (Burberry, usually). My experience with the UK in the spring is that it’s cold and often wet.

  9. Just love plaid scarves, Susan! It all started when I was in Edinburgh, Scotland 2 years ago. I came across a new tartan honouring Princess Diana. It is a soft pink with blue lines in wool, so really suits the Canadian winter climate. I noticed that it gave my 60 year old face a nice “lift” and since then, I’ve added cashmere ones in soft blue with brown & cream lines as well as one in solid cream. The light colours do wonders around my face (very light, pinkish skin & medium brunette with highlights).
    Thanks for your great insights and fun fashion news from abroad.

  10. Along with the others, I love scarves. However I have a short neck and short stature so I often worry that I look like I’m all material when I wear scarves. I have even cut scarves lengthwise to decrease the width of a scarf.

    1. Hi Holly, I’m also short (5’1″), and have a short neck. I’ve found that lighter weight scarves work best, and I’ll work on a post showing some of my favorite ties for petite and/or short-necked women.

      1. Oh, thank you Susan! I remember you mentioned your short stature and that’s why I often ask you what size you have in certain items. I very much enjoy your blog as you model your outfits in addition to giving readers formulas for outfits. (Youlookfab no longer models her outfits)

        1. I too love scarves but also have a short neck and am5’2”. Try to be careful about texture. Keep to soft knits and soft lightweight scarves. My skin doesn’t handle wool well any more…itchy and irritating. Any one else have this problem? Thanks for all the great ideas, Susan.

  11. I wear scarves frequently and love the Burberry aqua and green plaid one. But I don’t love the price, might have to stalk it in case it goes on sale.

  12. I’m really short and always feel that scarves overwhelm me, but you don’t look overwhelmed at all! Thank you for being so inspiring always, Susan.

      1. I agree, Susan. And also not pulling them too close up to my neck. I always enjoy seeing the way you wear them, since we’re of similar height!

  13. Wrapped once or twice around the neck and then tied. The piled-up look is very popular. Huge scarves–those blanket scarves–worn wrapped around and around, not necessarily with ends hanging down. Infinity scarves also are still popular. It’s a big neck, even for men.
    I saw a friend the other day, a big-shot lawyer. She was dressed simply, in slim pants and a very fitted suit jacket. But she had this big silk scarf, which was twisted and tied in a kind of cascade of curls. I was in awe and intend to find out the technical details.

  14. Scarves are a major part of my outfits three seasons of the year. I have heavy cashmere for winter, and just bought a bright red ribbed knit scarf. It goes with nearly everything. I also love a cashmere/silk blend for spring and fall. I often wear a scarf with a background that matches my outfit and coat, but with a contrasting bright color, often red. A scarf can transform a simple sweater and pants or jeans into a fabulous outfit.

  15. Yes, I love scarves and have collected them for years. Frequently when on vacation, I will find a fabulous scarf and bring it home. It’s always such a wonderful memento of a place. I am happy when fall and winter roll around to have the opportunity to wear them more often. In the summer sometimes to fend off the a/c.
    Love your new hair style!

  16. I love the look of the scarf untied and loose, great on a vertically challenged person like me. The picture of th mannequin shows it best. An old men’s tie would make a great tied belt as in the photo. Love the ideas from Paris shop windows. Old jeans and chambray shirt and you have a whole new look. I never give away scarves, so sorry for the reader that did.

  17. I still fight with the damned things. Just yesterday I bought a very bright citrus yellow scarf in cotton/silk. Trying to work how I can wear it now. It never comes easy with me. Actually, most of my scarves go from purchase straight into the drawer and hardly ever come out. But I love scarves!