A scarf is an accessory made of a soft fabric (knitted or woven) which is usually worn around the neck. It can vary in length and fabric depending on the season. Originally, a scarf was used for cleanliness in warm weather but over the last few centuries has been seen to be used as part of a uniform (to depict a rank depending on the fabric used) cultures (to show respect) or religions (such as Judaism, Islam and Christianity).

In the 1800s scarves were chosen to be worn as a fashionable accessory by both genders. From then on scarves have been viewed as a must-have, particularly in the colder months for warmth. Women have often fashioned scarves in their daily attire in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. They were usually short and designed in a silk or chiffon, tied in a soft knot around the neck or wrapped lovingly over their hair for a classic and elegant style.

Scarves for men can often be called a “cravat” or a “necktie” as they form the same function yet are shorter and are normally made in a silk or satin. Men could be seen to worn this for flying which protected their necks from sores or mouths form smoke during the War.

Scarves can be worn with many other garments and if chosen to fashion may feature as a headscarf or a bandanna which is unlikely to be knitted but may be created in a light weight fabric.

There are several ways in which a scarf can be tied; this includes the pussy-cat bow, the ascot knot and the square knot.

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Written by Hollyann Prince

Hollyann Prince, graduating in International Fashion Business at Nottingham Trent University next year, currently writing the Silhouette & Looks and Accessories section of the Dictionary for Catwalk Yourself. A lover of fashion history and everything unique.

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