The more I try to hold on for dear life to my French Style and my Francophilian thoughts, the faster all things French seem to elude me. I had intended to post about the French and their scarves for days, but the Food and the Family and the Fires keep happening and giving me other things to talk about.
What is it about the French and their scarves? All Parisienne women, teens, women of a certain age, and in between, wear scarves. They wear them in a variety of wrapped and knotted styles around their necks, around their waists, as headbands or on a ponytail, and tied to their purses. And they wear them year ’round in a variety of fabrics from silk to cashmere.
My first foray into the land of scarves took place at my first job. I was 14 and working in the gift shop of a local tourist attraction. Way back then, prior to computer-generated signs, we had to hand-letter and illustrate our own. The manager asked me to be creative and make a sign for the new scarf display. “Tie One On” came to me instantly, and so my love of scarves and marketing began.
What is it about a beautiful scarf? The first scarf that I purchased was a silk, Diane Von Furstenberg with a rolled, hand-stitched hem, in burgundy, gold and cream. I paid for it with my hard-earned money from the gift shop job. And I still have it. Good quality never goes out of style.
As with jewelry around the neck, the scarf draws attention to the face, away from the rest of the body where there may be issues that you do not wish to emphasize. Nothing perks up an outfit like a great piece of jewelry or a colorful scarf at the neck. Intimidated about tying the knot? This website shows 37 ways to tie your scarf. Ooh! La! La!
If you have a moment, visit the Vivienne Files. Among other “timeless, elegant, classic, simple, unique, beautiful” fashion ideas, she puts together pages showing what to pack for vacation, and each page includes at least one scarf. The pages are sorted by color scheme, destination, time of year, and so on. Lovely to look at, even if you’re not going anywhere right now.
Scarves also keep you warm. Tie one around your neck and feel warmer all over. It’s nice to have a large scarf with you to drape around your shoulders when you are on an airplane, out in the evening and the temperature gets cooler, or if you get chilly in an over-air-conditioned restaurant.
Et bien sûr, if you are riding in a convertible, use a scarf to keep your hair in place, à la Grace Kelly. And if you don’t know who Grace Kelly is, here is Kim Kardashian wearing one. Please know that I am not putting Kim Kardashian in the same category as Grace Kelly, whose beauty was elegant, classic, timeless and REFINED. They are only listed in the same paragraph as they both wore scarves this way.
For a real French treat, watch and listen to Lauranne with her French accent as she demonstrates how to tie a scarf in this brief video from Liberty of London. I could listen to her talk about something as boring as watching paint dry – she’s so charming and adorable and French.
The big question is, where do those French women get that je ne sais quoi that makes them so irresistible? I have found the answer. Their panache, self-confidence, the air of bien dans sa peau – it comes with the scarf. Tie one on – you will feel French and fabulous!
P.S. When I wear a scarf, I feel safe knowing that MacGyver could easily tie it into a bag, or a sling, or if it were a really large scarf, possibly a parachute.