Thrift Store Scarves: The Perfect Outfit Accessory

Goodwill's Stacey Kay models two different way to wear a scarf
When you think of vintage style icons like Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor or Grace Kelly what comes to mind? Aside from their timeless beauty and sophistication, there is another factor that they all have in common: the scarf. From atop their heads to around their handbags, it was a rare instance that a beautiful silk scarf was not seen adorning one of these ladies’ outfits in one way or another.

In the first half of the 20th century, scarves were as important an accessory as necklaces or earrings. The prints, colors and fabrics of scarves have traditionally mirrored changes in society much like the rise and fall of the hemline, heel of the shoe, or shape of the shoulder.

Goodwill's Stacey Kay models two different way to wear a scarf

In the 1940s, scarves became more than just an accessory. Images of Rosie the Riveter conjure up memories of a time when women wore scarves on their heads to keep their hair from becoming stuck in factory machinery. Ten years later the scarf transformed again, with the 1950s bringing a fresh palette of bright florals, pinks and blues. In the logo driven 70s and 80s, designers began branding their scarves, adding names and signature patterns to classic silk variations. Women also collected this accessory as a travel souvenir, showing off their status as ‘well-traveled.’

Flash forward to 2012, and the various styles and ways of wearing a scarf have once again been popularized. In today’s fashion world, anything goes with this classic accessory, and fashionistas have been spotted wearing modern and vintage scarves in a menagerie of ways.

Goodwill's Stacey Kay models two different way to wear a scarf

Goodwill stores are the perfect resource for stocking up on scarves, and their low prices allow you to freely experiment with this accessory without the guilt from spending too much. In addition, your purchase will contribute to the economic health of your community since 82 percent of every dollar you spend goes to  fund job training programs for people in need of work.

Scarves can help add texture, pattern, color and contrast to your outfit, whether it be for casual, work or a night out. These four style elements can help take your look from bland to boss, and a thrifted scarf can be the metaphorical cherry on top of the sundae. Here are some ideas for accessorizing a silk square scarf.

Goodwill's Stacey Kay models two different way to wear a scarf


●     Hair Bow – Take inspiration from the 1940s and tie your scarf around your head with the bow on top. This look is great with hair up or down, and you can experiment with the size of the bow by wrapping the scarf various times at the nape of the neck.

●     Turban – Whether you use a square or long scarf, a turban is another way to draw the eye upwards while adding texture, pattern or color to your look. Twist the ends of the scarf above your forehead and tuck or tie the loose parts at the nape of the neck.

●     Neck – Tying a scarf around your neck is a cute way to spruce up a plain top. Choose complementary colors or show off the art of contrast.

●     Waist – Long scarves in light fabrics like silk or rayon can also be used to define the waist. Just tie into a bow off to the side at the smallest part of your torso.

●     Purse – Don’t wanna wear the scarf? You can still partake in this trend by choosing a fun scarf that complements your handbag. Just wrap it around the handles of your purse and voila, your handbag is instantly transformed.

Have other ideas for how to accessorize with scarves? Share your ideas and links in the comments section below!