The scarf is an elegant fashion accessory that is worn around the neck. Being a staple item, the scarf protects the wearer from the wind and cold. It is believed that the early versions of the scarf were made from wool fibres however these days, the scarf is made from various types of raw materials.
Silk is the most preferred material used in the making of the scarf however, cashmere, wool, pashmina, linen, and blended fabrics are also used in the production process of this unique accessory piece. The scarf is designed in a variety of superb patterns such as polka dot, paisley, Prince of Wales check, tartan, striped, herringbone, carnation, etc. Apart from the material and pattern the scarf is made from, this unique accessory has an impressive back story that is worth talking about.
The scarf emerged in Ancient Egypt in 1350 BC. It was believed that Queen Nefertiti was the first in history who wore a scarf under her headdress. According to archives, the scarf was used as a mark of the military rank during the reign of the Emperor Cheng in China in 230 BC. In the Roman Empire, men wore a sudarium – a cloth made of linen – around their necks or were knotting it around their waists. It is said that the Roman Emperor Nero was wearing a sudarium during almost all of his public appearances, showing us the aristocratic roots of this authentic accessory.
According to a legend, Napoleon Bonaparte gave his wife, Josephine de Beauharnais, a scarf made of pashmina as a gift when he returned from Egypt. His wife was cynical at first however, she collected over a four hundred scarves in the following three years. Whether it is a legend or not, this story supports the importance of the historical background of the scarf.
Unfortunately, the scarf had not become a fashion item until the 19th century. It is said that Ludwig van Beethoven was the first who made the scarf the epitome of high fashion in 1810. In the following decades, silk scarves became an accessory for the nobility during the reign of Queen Victoria in the British Empire. With the outbreak of the First World War, the scarf became a winter item for men as they started wearing scarves underneath their trench coats. The use of the scarf by men sharply increased with the launch of the ready-made scarf collection of Hermes, the French fashion house, in 1937. The scarf was a symbol of femininity in the past however, it is now worn as an everyday accessory by almost all men around the globe.
The scarf is a wonderful choice to add elegance to your suit however, you should be careful while choosing the pattern as the scarf should harmonise with the tie you are wearing. From my point of view, an odd jacket and odd trouser combinations are ideal options to complement scarves, if you are not wearing a tie. Otherwise, there may be an overdose of patterns and colours when viewed from the outside.