Scarves seem to be the most appreciated, yet underutilized, accessories women own.  Tying confusion aside, many women get drawn in by the gorgeous patterns and color combinations in scarves.  They buy them for their beauty but don’t know how to take full advantage of them.  If you have a closet full of scarves that are just hanging around, this post may inspire you to use them more.

Just to be clear, this is not a post about how to tie scarves.  I have certainly written about this topic before, which you can read here and here.  What this post is about is how to use the colors found in your favorite scarves to create stylish and colorful looks.

How to style colorful scarves

In the past I have written about how you can use colorful accessories to combine color and also how prints can be road maps on how to add color to your outfits.  This colorful scarf strategy is no different.  Use your scarves like little guides for popping more color into your looks.

Illustration is often better than explanation, so below are five looks using five different beautiful scarves to show you how these key pieces can create stylish looks.

Outfit #1


In this first outfit I started with this gorgeous scarf from Rafe New York that is so rich.  Using the shades in the print I created this outfit.  I grounded the look with these black J. Crew pants and added this camel T. Tahari sweater, that is a blouse and sweater in one.  Not only does this combination pick up the colors in the scarf but camel really warms up black when worn together.  Next, to pop the rest of the outfit with the pop shades found in the scarf, I added these aqua flats from Boden, a cognac bracelet from Banana Republic and bag from Rebecca Minkoff.  Lastly, I used these simple Stella & Dot earrings in citron.

Outfit #2


I created an outfit using a stripe and a pattern to show that it can be done.  Pattern mixing can be tricky, but one easy way to do it is to do it with a two color stripe and then a print that picks up the color from the stripe.  Another tip is to choose a rounder print with a stripe, like I did with this scarf from Nordstrom and the striped top from Anthropologie.  Using the peach pop in the scarf, I added these coral pants and finished the outfit with a pair of navy Free People espadrilles, soft blue stud earrings and a versatile gold metallic tote bag from Lauren Ralph Lauren.

Outfit #3


In this outfit the colors in this scarf from Echo works beautifully with the tweed Karen Millen jacket, camel J. Crew pencil skirt and cognac Nine West pumps while adding a splash of emerald gren.  Using this pop I added the Kate Spade earrings and tote from Nine West.   Scarves can often give you the ability to add in accessory colors you might not have considered otherwise.

Outfit #4


I felt it was important to include a simple two-color scarf, like this one from Ann Taylor to show another versatile way scarves can be used.  With the scarf being in just two colors, blue and white, I can really style it with any colors.  In fact, originally, I had chosen a coral dress but changed it for this yellow one from Modcloth.  Scarves like this can be incredibly versatile because of how much they work with.  The outfit is finished with a pair of Lucky Brand flats in chambray, a white bag from MICHAEL Michael Kors and a pair of blue and yellow earrings.

Outfit #5


When you have such a neutral base, like this pair of navy pants and ivory sweater, both from Reiss, you can wind any color scarf around your neck.  Not only does a scarf, like this one from Modcloth, add some colorful interest, it allows you to bring in other colors in a cohesive manner.  Using the colors found in the print of the scarf, I styled this outfit with a teal Zac Posen bag, blue and coral pumps, a pair of minty green Stella & Dot earrings and a bright yellow coat from J. Crew.