There's hardly any accessory more versatile or necessary than a scarf. No matter your age, these outfit finishers can keep you warm and add a dose of personality to your look. However, styling them isn't always easy, especially as you refine your wardrobe in your seventh decade. Fortunately, there are a few tried and true techniques. Ahead, personal stylists tell us their favorite ways to style scarves on women over 60. You just might want to welcome a few more to your closet.
While you can and should wear scarves year-round, they're most necessary during the colder months. For winter, invest in a thick knitted wool scarf, suggests Tara West, a fashion stylist who serves clients in Connecticut, Boston, New York City, and Los Angeles.
"It looks especially chic with a tailored long wool or cashmere coat," West says. "Style a layer-wrapped knit scarf with a puffer for a casual or sporty look." This type of scarf will never go out of style, and you'll find yourself wearing it year after year.
Try a versatile pashmina.
Another scarf that will serve you in various situations is the pashmina.
"Made of cashmere that's eight times warmer than wool, they are cozy, lightweight, and rarely pill, fluff, or snag," says Elizabeth Kosich, certified image stylist and founder of Elizabeth Kosich Styling. "Folding up to a weightless, compact square, pashminas are perfect for travel and as versatile as it gets—neck scarf by day, black tie shawl by night. It can even double as a blanket on a redeye or transatlantic flight."
Add a few to your wardrobe in neutral colors that will match anything—then watch as your reach for them for every occasion.
Invest in a seasonal silk scarf collection.
Silk scarves are particularly chic on women over 60.
"I personally like using my silk scarves for a pop of color to brighten up a neutral outfit," says Allie McKenna, wardrobe stylist and personal shopper. "For women over 60, I would suggest having a rotating seasonal silk scarf collection." For cooler months, McKenna recommends jewel tones or darker patterns; for the warmer months, try more vibrant hues.
She notes that these scarves don't have to be expensive to make an impact. "Check out your local second-hand or vintage store." They'll likely have a bevy of scarves in fun patterns, shapes, and hues. You might even snag a heavily discounted designer option.
Tie it ascot style.
OK, so you have your silk scarf. But what to do with it?
"Scarves tied ascot style—wrapped around and tied at the neck—is the most flattering way to style a silk scarf over 60," says Kosich. "It combines form and function by framing the face and drawing attention up while concealing the neck and its potential signs of age." We love this technique paired with a crisp button-down or neutral sweater.
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Or use it as a non-neck accessory.
Of course, you don't have to restrict your silk scarf usage to the neck area.
"They are at their most smashing when worn in unexpected ways—rolled up and worn as a belt, looped around the wrist as a bracelet, tied onto a handbag handle, or worn as a headscarf under a sun hat," says Kosich. "Styling a scarf in unconventional ways amps up personal style in a big way." All the more reason to invest in one you really love.