How To Tie A Scarf For Men | Men's Scarf Primer

Posted by Rishi Chullani on

In this blog post, we cover an accessory that’s made a resurgence in recent years: The Men’s Scarf. We cover How To Tie A Scarf, in addition to the reasons for wearing one and the ensembles that they would enhance!

Fall Season is here and you’re ready to dress with aplomb. Dressing to Daniel Craig’s fashion sensibilities and less to Charles Barkley’s. You’re ready to don your sports jacket, your knit tie and your pocket square. Yet it still feels like something is missing. From not only an aesthetic standpoint, but a functional one as well. An accessory to shield your neck from those furious winds is on the cards. Cue the scarf. Men’s scarves, which have made a resurgence in recent years, have been proven to be the ultimate accessory, serving both an aesthetic and a functional purpose. So how does a gentleman pick the perfect scarf, decide when to wear it, and ultimately how to tie a it? In this comprehensive guide, we cover all of the above and more!

Why Wear A Scarf?

From a functional standpoint, scarves do an excellent job of protecting a man’s neck. A thicker wool scarf can help keep your neck warm on a midwestern winter morning, while a lighter-weight scarf composed of linen, cotton or a synthetic material can aid in with that stylistic summer look, all while protecting your neck from that enervating heat.

From a fashionable standpoint, a scarf can immediately enhance an otherwise neutral look, or similarly, can be used to balance out a bolder outfit. However, during warmer months, pulling off a lighter weight scarf does require a dapper gentleman to be extremely confident with their sense of style.

Men's scarf

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How To Find The Right Scarf

Given that a scarf is a rectangular piece of fabric, it should appear to be incredibly straight forward. But size, color and material often confound the best of us. So what should we be looking for in the perfect scarf?

An ideal scarf will be between 6 to 12 inches (16 and 30 cm) in width and 55 to 70 inches in length (140 to 180 cm). This will ensure that your neck is well covered, while giving you adequate length to tie a range of knots while still looking sleek and stylish!

Please feel free to view The Dark Knot’s range of Men's Scarves, that are at 68 inches in length, making them ideal for particular ways of wearing a scarf (see below).

While scarves are typically considered to be made of wool, they can also be constructed from cashmere, cotton, linen or even synthetic materials. While woolen or cashmere scarves are ideal for winter months to keep you insulated, linen, cotton, silk or synthetic scarves can work during the summer months for making an aesthetic statement!

Given that most scarves are made for women (the men’s market is a relatively small percentage of the scarf market), these are some signs to look out for when picking the right scarf!:

  • Scarves in animal prints, as tempted as you may be!
  • Any scarf that is advised to be worn with a pin
  • Large Knitted Scarves or scarves that could double as a quilt!
  • Elaborately woven or beaded scarves

When To Wear A Scarf

Scarf With A Suit

Ready to add some panache to your suit during the cooler seasons? A scarf is the perfect addition! With minimal effort, you can layer your ensemble one step further. When wearing a suit with a scarf, it is important to drop the knotted look, so as not to have the scarf and tie conflict for prominence in your attire. As a result, simply drape   the scarf over your neck without any intricate knotting. If it’s a long scarf, fold it in half and drape the scarf as necessary.

Feel free to choose a bolder scarf for extra flair or pop, or neutralize your look with a more subtle pattern / color!

Scarf with Suit

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Scarf With A Sports Jacket, Coat or Bomber Jacket

Jackets with scarves provide for an ideal look. If the jackets are not worn with a tie, now is the ideal time to pull off one of those scarf knots! Enhancing your outer layer with a more colorful scarf is a great way to enhance your look. Alternatively, you could dress down a bolder sports jacket with a neutral, solid colored scarf in taupe, beige or grey! Either way, the addition of a scarf is going to make your ensemble significantly more stylish!

Scarf Sports Jacket

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Scarf with Jeans

Looking to dress up your more casual attire? Scarf with jeans are the way to go! Paradoxically, here is where you can up your scarf game. Given the relatively non layered look associated with jeans (at most a t-shirt with a leather jacket), you can add a scarf with more thickness, and take it a step further with a scarf knot.

Looking for something aesthetic yet extremely simple? How about going for the Parisian Knot (please see below for further details). Just fold your scarf in half, place it over the back of your neck, and pull the loose ends through the looped end. The benefit of this knot is that it is easily adjustable.

Scarf with Jeans

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Scarf with A Hoodie

Looking to add swagger to your hoodie? Add a scarf! Pick a scarf with a bolder color or pattern, that complements your other accessories.

Men's Scarves from The Dark Knot

How To Tie A Scarf

There are numerous ways to tie a scarf, and each one can make a substantial difference to your outfit. Here are 10 ways To Tie A Scarf!

Please feel free to view The Dark Knot’s range of Men's Scarves, which are 68 inches (average to above average length) and can therefore be used to wear your scarf in a multitude of ways!

The Drape Scarf

Drape Scarf

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The drape is used more for aesthetic than functional purposes, as it does not cover the front side of your neck. The scarf drape is the perfect drape to inject your attire with a bit of panache, without having to strut a tie.

The simplest and most effective way of wearing a scarf, the drape does not require a knot. This look is achieved by literally draping it over your neck, and requires close to zero effort. 

As the name implies, just drape the scarf over your neck, with equal lengths on each side, and that's it. Perfect this look by tucking the draped scarf into your blazer or suit jacket, allowing your scarf to be slightly exposed form under your lapels! The scarf drape works best with a short to regular length scarf.

The drape scarf is best for when the weather is cool, but not cold, given the relative minimalistic nature of this look. The drape scarf is best worn with medium length scarves.


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The Once Around Scarf

Once Around Scarf

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Almost as simple as the drape (almost!), the once around does a great job of keeping your neck warm, and can be worn with medium to longer length scarves.

As opposed to the drape, ensure that you leave one side of the scarf longer than the other when you drape it over your neck. Simply wrap the longer side around your neck again, creating a loop around it and making the drape nice and snug! This style also ensures that wind related mishaps (that often occur with the drape!), are less likely.

Given the simplistic nature of how this scarf is worn, it is best worn under cool conditions (but not necessarily colder conditions). The once around is best worn with a medium length scarf.

Once Around Scarf Infographic

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The Twice Around Scarf

Twice Around Scarf

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A colder variant of the once around, the twice around scarf tying technique is a great choice for colder months. Similar to the once around, begin with draping your scarf with one end significantly longer than the other. Wrap the longer end twice around your neck, leaving the short ends hanging in the front.

Given the nature of this particular way of wearing your scarf, the twice around is best worn during much colder weather, as this method provides more than adequate insulation. The twice around is best worn with longer length scarves!

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Reverse Drape Scarf

Reverse Drape Scarf

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The Reverse Drape is a great way to tie the scarf in colder weather. While this scarf knot is not as commonly worn, it is ideal for providing your neck with protection during colder months.

To wear the reverse scarf drape, wear the scarf over your neck, making sure that both sides are of equal length. Take one end of the scarf, and bring it across your neck, and over your opposite shoulder, and then do the same with the other side. Please note that this way of wearing your scarf does not require an actual knot.

Overhand Scarf Knot

Overhand Scarf Knot

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The overhand scarf knot is simple to tie, looks great aesthetically and provides a functional purpose.

To tie the overhand scarf knot, drape the scarf around your neck, ensuring that one end of the scarf is longer than the other. Take the long end of the scarf, crossing it over the shorter end, and bring it through the loop that has just been created adjacent to your neck. Once the knot has been tied, pull on both ends to adjust the knot, until you are satisfied. For added dapper flair, try to keep one of the knot ends longer than the other! (Sort of equivalent to a pocket square fold that is not exact – giving it a more natural, effortless look).

The overhand scarf is best worn with cooler weather, and is ideally worn with medium length scarves.

Parisian Knot

Parisian Knot

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Looking to up your scarf game? The Parisian Knot, is a practical, classic slick knot that can easily become your go to.

To tie the Parisian Knot, fold your scarf in half, end to end, and throw it over your neck in a drape (go figure!). From there, thread the loose ends through a loop and tighten! Voila! (no pun intended). The Parisian Knot requires a longer scarf, unless you’re using a thinner fabric such as silk. Please note that bulky scarves typically do not work well, as the knot can appear too large.

Given the nature of this knot, the Parisian Scarf Knot provides adequate warmth to the neck, and is a great choice during colder weather. Given the thickness of this knot, the Parisian Knot is best worn during colder weather.

The Fake Knot

Fake Scarf Knot

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This convincingly simple knot is ideal for the man who wants to make a statement. This knot is perfect if you don’t know how to tie a longer scarf, as it easily uses up excess material.

To tie the fake knot, drape the scarf around your neck so that one end is longer than the other. Tie a loose knot on the longer side by taking it under and through a loop created by itself, and then loosely pulling the end through. Bring the other end of the scarf through the loop, and then tighten to adjust.

The Fake Knot is ideal for cooler weather, and is best worn with medium to longer length scarves!

Fake Knot Infographic

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Reverse Drape Tuck

Reverse Drape Tuck

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Not the most popular knot, but also not one to overlook. The reverse drape tuck is created by draping the scarf around your neck, making one end longer than the other.

Take the long end of the scarf, and loop it around your neck once. Take the same end of the scarf, and bring it through the loop just created. Now take the other end of the scarf, and bring it through the loop as well. Adjust the scarf as necessary.

Given that this is a thicker knot, the reverse drape tuck works best with medium to longer length scarves, and is ideal for colder months.

Reverse Drape Tuck Infographic

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Reverse Drape Cross

Reverse Drape Cross

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Similar to the Reverse Drape Tuck, this knot works particularly well with longer scarves, and is best suited for colder months. To tie the reverse drape tuck, drape the scarf around your neck and make one end longer than the other. Take the long end of your scarf and bring it around your neck. Then, cross the long end of the scarf over to the other end, and bring it up and through the loop just formed. Pull the ends of the scarf to adjust as needed!

The Reverse Drape Cross works best with medium and long length scarves, and works particularly well during colder months, given the layered nature of this scarf knot!

Four In Hand

Four In Hand Scarf Knot

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Looking for a dapper scarf knot? Cue The Four In Hand. Not to be confused with the tie knot of the eponymous name, this scarf knot is one of the most intricate ways to tie a scarf. Because of the many folds, this scarf knot is also one of the most interesting looking ways to tie a scarf. Similar to the Parisian Knot, fold the scarf in half length and width wise, and then drape it over your neck. Instead of pulling both loose ends through the folded loop, pull one of the loose ends through.

Once the loose end of the scarf is pulled through, twist the loop, then pull the other end of the scarf through the loop to tie the knot. Continue to adjust the knot until the scarf is placed well around your neck.

Four In Hand Scarf Knot Infographic

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And that's a wrap for this one! We hope that you have enjoyed reading this article as much as we have writing it!

Please feel free to view The Dark Knot's range of Men's Scarves (68 inches in length and hence ideal for wearing your scarf in a range of ways as illustrated above!).


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