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How to Wear a Scarf with a Suit

Not exactly sure how to wear a scarf with a suit? Lucky for you, there are many ways to style a scarf appropriately with a suit, so you can find the unique style that suits you.

We’ve talked about the importance of a scarf many times on this blog; from our post on ways to look sharp this Thanksgiving, to our post on adding color to a wintry mix. Unquestionably, they’re extremely versatile and have a wide range of different uses. As a matter of fact, by simply changing the way that you tie them, you can completely transform your outfit and look.

Wearing a scarf with a suit begins by finding a scarf that isn’t too chunky, is made of wool or cashmere, is 60-75 inches in length, and has two ends; infinity scarves don’t have the same versatility. Then, you’ll wrap it around your neck with your preferred style and (often) tuck the loose ends under your lapels to ensure a clean look.

Of course, how you choose to wrap your scarf is a matter of style and personal taste, and we’ll dive into your options below.

man wearing a brown blazer with green scarf with text overlay 'How to wear a scarf with a suit & topcoat"

Why does it seem so hard to wear a scarf with a suit?

Many gentlemen consider a scarf a cold weather ultiltarian accessory meant to keep out the cold while shoveling out their car, and not an accessory to pair with their finest suiting. Perhaps when you think scarf, you think Ralphie from A Christmas Story wrapped tip to tail in an oversized knitted scarf–not the vibe you’re looking for when you suit up.

Of course, that’s not the kind of scarf we’re recommending you to wear with a suit. For this style guide, you’ll want to find a scarf roughly 60-75 inches long, with a thinner weight, made of natural fibers like cotton, wool, cashmere, or even mohair. Avoid chunky knits, polyester, and infinity scarves. And while looking for a “thinner” scarf sounds counterintuitive for cold winter days, wools are great insulators, and retain the elegant draping properties of a fine wool suit. It follows that these properties make them the perfect pair.

Not to mention, wearing a scarf with a suit can add a bit of color to an otherwise drab winter wardrobe. During winter, we often store our bolder suits in favor of browns, greys, and darker blues. Why not grab a scarf for a subtle pop of emerald or ruby, or find a stylish plaid to break up an otherwise solid outfit?

Best of all, wearing a scarf means you’re not committing to the style all day—you won’t keep it on during dinner, or an important meeting. Use this as an opportunity to take some risks with accessorizing, try some new colors, or approach your style in a bold new way.

1. The Slip Knot

This scarf knot has some major cold-stopping power. It’s also easy to put on and take off, so your co-workers won’t think you’re trying to strangle yourself as you head out of the office in your suit and scarf. The most traditional way to wear a scarf with a suit, the slip knot is an absolute classic.

man wearing scarf style slipknot
how to tie a scarf slipknot
  • Step 1: Fold the scarf in half lengthwise and then fold it again to form a sort of hoop.
  • Step 2: Let the scarf dangle around your neck with the hoop on one side of the shoulder.
  • Step 3: Take the other end (A) and bring it towards the hoop.
  • Step 4: Let A pass through the loop.
  • Step 5: Tighten the loop to get the complete effect. We recommend tucking the ends if you’re buttoning up.

When to wear: Cold weather

Scarf length: Medium

2. The Wrap-Around

The wrap-around scarf style is easy to accomplish as you’re rushing around the city, constantly going indoors and out. Tuck the ends of your scarf into your suit jacket or topcoat to keep out any cold drifts. Wearing a scarf with a suit this way is simple and elegant.

man wearing blue scarf with suit
how to style scarf with suit for men wrap style
  • Step 1:  Drape the scarf around your shoulders and let it hang around your neck equally on each side.
  • Step 2: Bring one side (B) towards the other side (A).
  • Step 3: Let B pass over A and wrap B around the back of your neck to the other side.
  • Step 4: Adjust both ends to the desired length, and ensure your neck loop isn’t too tight—allow a little room to drape.

When to wear: Cool weather

Scarf length: Medium

3. The Shoulder Toss

You’re a little more laid back, and don’t want the fuss of always redoing your scarf. Eschew the stuffiness with a simple shoulder toss. Keep in mind, though, that this style is less suited to cold or wind, or you might find yourself regularly readjusting.

man wearing scarf with suit shoulder toss
how to style scarf with suit men shoulder toss style
  • Step 1: Drape the scarf over your shoulders and let it hang around your neck equally on each side.
  • Step 2: Take either side (in this case, A), and toss it over your opposing shoulder. Adjust to desired length.
  • Step 2a: [optional] Brush your shoulders off mid-toss.

When to wear: Cool weather

Scarf length: Medium

4. The Ascot 

While an ascot is an entirely different accessory altogether (it’s typically shorter, silk, and worn under an open-collar shirt), we’re taking inspiration from it to style this very classy way to wear your scarf with a suit.

man wearing scarf with topcoat ascot style
how to tie scarf ascot style with mens suit
  • Step 1: Drape the scarf around your shoulders and let it hang equally.
  • Step 2: Take point ‘A’ and cross it over point ‘B’
  • Step 3: Pull point ‘A’ through the opening formed by the cross (try to flatten it out as you pull up and over) and adjust to even out the lengths of both points.
  • Step 4:  Adjust the knot as needed, tuck in below your jacket lapels.

When to wear: Cold weather

Scarf length: Medium

5. The Infinity

To steal the name of another scarf type, the infinity balances style and warmth. To wear a scarf with a suit this way, you’ll just keep wrapping until you run out, simple as that. Of course, tuck your ends in!

man wearing scarf with topcoat infinity style
how to tie scarf infinity style for mens suit
  • Step 1: Drape the scarf around your shoulder, ensuring that point ‘A’ is longer than point ‘B’. 
  • Step 2: Wrap point ‘A’ around point ‘B’ 
  • Step 3: Continue wrapping until you run out of length, tuck ends in. 

When to wear: Freezing weather

Scarf length: Medium & Long

6. The Tuck-In

The Tuck-In is a great way to wear a scarf with a suit without adding a ton of bulk. By simply crossing the ends under your jacket, you can keep the scarf close to your body and retain the sharp silhoutte of your jacket.

man wearing gray scarf with topcoat and suit
how to style scarf for mens suit tuck style
  • Step 1: Drape the scarf around your shoulders at equal lengths.
  • Step 2: Cross point ‘A’ over point ‘B’ 
  • Step 3: Tuck in!

When to wear: Cool weather

Scarf length: Short & Medium

7. The Classic Drape

Maybe we’re running out of gas for #7, but we can’t ignore this very laid-back way to wear your scarf with a suit. This suit and scarf combination doesn’t offer much cold protection and really only looks good with your jacket open. But hey, it’s simple, stylish, and exudes “chill when it’s chilly” vibe.

man with scarf draped with suit
how to drape scarf on suit for men
  • Step 1: I mean, do we really have to explain this one?

When to wear: Cool weather

Scarf length: Medium

man wearing scarf with topcoat ascot style

Men’s Neckwear 101: Simple Rules of Stylishly Wearing a Scarf with a Suit 

Whether you’re trying to pull off square scarves or a neckerchief, there are some simple rules to follow to ensure you’re always looking your best.

Here are 5 simple rules:

1. Keep it simple.

Let’s face it; not everyone is Lenny Kravitz, who can pull off being engulfed by an oversized scarf that arguably is more of a blanket. Keeping it simple with the right scarf keeps you looking fashionable. Leave the flashy, bulky scarf for special occasions. Opt for a lightweight scarf and practice scarf tying.

2. Keep it masculine.

Men have worn scarves for millennia and, in the past, scarves even determined military ranking. Scarves are functional and should look like it. Whether you’re wearing a casual outfit or business attire, choose scarves that keep your style masculine.

3. Consider the weight of your scarves.

Choosing the right scarf takes a bit of common sense. Don’t wear a full winter scarf or a thick chunky scarf with an all-season suit. Not only will it get too hot being draped around your neck, but it will also look like something is off.

4. Don’t be afraid to wear them.

Pull out the scarf that has been stuffed away in the back of your closet. A silk scarf, a fake knot, or a scarf drape are easier to execute than you may think. Embrace the change they bring to an outfit. Play with patterns, contrast colors and fabrics, and learn to layer, knot, and style.

5. Don’t use pins.

You often see pins when scarves are worn around the neck or when they’re used as a hair accessory like a tie for a ponytail. But while pins are fashionable for women’s scarves, they don’t look great with men’s scarves. You have lapels on your coat and jacket, use that instead.

How To Spot The Best Quality Scarf to Wear with a Suit

Money doesn’t mean quality. Scarves can be affordable, including those made of more expensive fabrics like cashmere and silks. While istinguishing good quality from the bad can be tricky, why would you wear a cheaply made scarf with your quality custom suit?

That’s why we’ve given you some tips to differentiate good scarves from the bad:

1. Check the seams.

You don’t need to be a seamstress to judge the edges of a scarf. Check if there is pulling or unintentional fraying at the seams. Do the fibers’ edges look raw, as if they will soon break down? Do the edges have a clean finish or are there a lot of loose threads?

2. Learn to identify low-quality materials.

Some materials you can identify by touch, whether they are artificial or natural. For example, synthetic fabrics are rougher than silk, whereas natural silk’s texture is very soft and non-sticky. With cashmere, if it’s rubbed against itself, lower grades pill easily. Just by running your hand over the fabric, you should notice straight away if wads of fibers have already started forming.

3. Judge both sides of your scarves.

While there might be both color and style variations on the underside of your scarf, good-quality scarves should be as rich in color and texture both front and back. Bad quality scarves usually have distinctive “backs” lacking color or patterns. A good quality scarf should be great visually equal on both sides.

Men’s Scarf vs. Women’s Scarf: 3 Differences

The main difference between men’s and women’s scarves are their designs and length, but mostly they are unisex fashion accessories. Where they can differ:

#1: Color and Design

It is much easier for women to pull off a more masculine design than vice versa. For example, shepherd’s check or gun club patterns are classic in menswear, but women also often wear these designs. Most guys will avoid ‘cutsier’ patterns like printed hearts or cupcakes.

#2: Length and Width

Traditionally, men’s scarves are longer and wider than women’s. That said, that has slowly been changing and evolving in recent years. Men are starting to choose more casual, simple scarves of average lengths and widths, probably to be able to tie a more stylish knot.

#3: Materials

This is mostly personal preference, but many women’s scarves are made of more delicate materials, like silk. Conversely, a classic scarf for men is more likely to be a solid color cashmere/wool scarf, like our wool scarf.

man wearing gray scarf with topcoat and suit

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have a question about wearing a scarf with a suit, or neckwear in general? We put together this helpful FAQ section to answer some of the most common questions surrounding them.

Why would you wear a scarf?

Scarves were originally created to help protect us from various types of weather. Not only can they keep you warm, but they can also shield your face from sunburn or a sandstorm. In modern times, they can even double as a last-minute face mask.

Utility aside, scarves also help men everywhere look more stylish. They are one of the few accessories that we as guys can wear, and the right scarf can create or complete a look. As we highlighted above, wearing a scarf with a suit can really elevate your style or change your vibe.

Should your hat match your scarf?

Sure. It is an easy option and an almost fail-proof choice (as long as both are matching solid colors). If they are patterned, you want to ensure they still complement your outfit as a whole. Differing designs of your hat and scarf can be pulled off, but it’s best they don’t have too much contrast or clashing tones.

Is it manly to wear a scarf?

Scarves are a classic menswear piece and are very manly to wear. When worn right, and especially when properly wearing a suit with a scarf have a way of making your outfit look structured and put together.

Are scarves still in style?

These are a staple for winter and colder months and are a practical must-have. While a certain pattern, knot, or fabric may go out of style, scarves themselves are timeless. 

What is a shemagh scarf?

Shemagh scarves, also known as the keffiyeh or Arab scarf, are versatile, soft woven cotton cloths, similar to heavyweight bandanas. They’re ideal protection from weather like extreme heat, wind, dirt, and cold temperatures.

Can you wear a scarf for business casual?

If you check out our business-casual guide, you’ll see a blazer is key for pulling off that modern, sleek business-casual look. And like wearing a scarf with a suit, scarves are a great addition to a blazer. If done well, it adds extra style and elegance while subtly painting confidence.

More Great Style Guides For Men

Style guides are really helpful when you want to look your best or level up your outfit. We have a handful of style guides for men, and these are some of our must-reads: 

  1. Wearing a scarf with a suit isn’t the only way to accessorize. Bracelets can look great, too. Whether you’re headed to the beach or the office, we’ve got your wrists covered in this guide to bracelets for men.
  2. A guide to wearing white all year long is essential to make sure you continue to follow the rules of fashion, even after Labor Day. 
  3. Prioritizing warmth doesn’t mean sacrificing your style. This is one of the many essential lessons in our seasonal suit and tie combination.

In Conclusion

Knot to brag, but you now know how to wear a scarf with a suit the right way. A men’s scarf is great at adding color to a wintry mix and can be the answer for ways to look sharp this thanksgiving. Start taking your outfits to the next level. 

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5 thoughts on “How to Wear a Scarf with a Suit”

  1. chris says:

    thank god

  2. Madeline says:

    I could never figure out the slip knot, now I do. I am nice and warm now.

  3. Onyi says:

    The “Tuck-in” is my favorite. It covers your neck and makes you stylish.

  4. Kimberly Trembley says:

    Fantastic. Thank you

  5. Pingback: 4 Ways To Wear A Scarf With A Suit – Francis Avenue

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