How to Wear A Scarf In A Masculine Manner

Man in glasses and knit hat wears gray cable knit scarf in front of yellow and white painted wall.

Scarves are one of the ultimate unisex fashion accessories to get you through the colder months. While there is universal agreement on the scarf’s utilitarian greatness and ability to be worn by all, there are also certain guidelines to keep in mind for how to wear a scarf if you are a man or dressing masculinely.

It is important to note that a lot of these fashion guidelines are based on traditional gender norms. For those who prefer to challenge gender roles, we suggest taking what tips appeal to you and leaving the ones that don’t.

What makes a scarf masculine or feminine?

There are some factors at play here to consider when deciding if your scarf is more masculine or feminine.

1. Size

Manly Scarf Camera
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It is less about the length and more about the width and thickness. Women will wear scarves of all size types, but men typically avoid thin and narrow scarves in particular. Scarves specifically designed for men tend to be wider.

2. Color and Pattern

Men will often choose scarf colors and patterns that are more dark and conservative. Just like when dressing for the “old money” aesthetic, neutral colors and navy are excellent choices. Dark green and burgundy are some more colorful options that still look quite masculine. Some pattern choices that men prefer are stripes, plaid, herringbone, argyle, checked, and tartan. If unsure about a pattern, try a cable knit.

3. Material and Season

As we said, everyone agrees that it just makes sense to rock a scarf when it’s cold outside. This typically means that you can pull out your box of scarves when autumn hits and pack them up once spring has sprung.

Manly Scarf Academic
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Where men and women differ is that women will sometimes opt to continue wearing scarves, even when the temperatures are rising. They will do this by selecting scarves made of lighter materials, such as linen or cotton. Men typically stick to the more utilitarian fabrics, such as wool and cashmere, which will ensure your scarf actually keeps you warm. If looking for a more expensive and fashionable fabric choice, men may consider a silk scarf.

Ways to style your scarf in a masculine way

Now that you’ve selected your scarf based on the tips above, it’s time to figure out how to wear it. Ranging from simple and quick to more versatile and eye-catching, here are some masculine ways to style or tie your scarf.

1. Classic Drape

Manly Scarf Wolf 2
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This is the easiest way to wear your scarf. Simply hang the scarf loosely around the back of your neck and let each end fall down your chest at equal lengths. This is more so for those who want to show off a fashionable scarf and are less concerned about warmth.

2. The Over-Hand

Also called “The Ascot,” begin in the classic drape position but pull one end of the scarf down so it is much longer than the other end. Take the longer end and cross it over the shorter end, like you’re going to throw it over your opposite shoulder. However, instead of doing that, you will tuck the longer end under the front of the main scarf loop that surrounds your neck. Pull that longer end out over the top part of the loop and keep pulling until the length is suitable (but ideally still shorter than the original short end of the scarf).

3. The Parisian Knot

Manly Scarf Parisian
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Also called “The European Loop” or “Casual Sleek Knot,” this may be one of the simpler knots, but it is an incredibly easy way to make it look like you put effort into how your scarf looks. First, you’ll stretch your scarf in your hands, then fold it over length-wise (aka hamburger style), so you are holding both ends of the scarf in one hand. Drape this folded scarf around the back of your neck and pull open the loop that you created when folding the scarf in half. Tuck the ends of the scarf through that loop, then pull on the ends to tighten the scarf.

4. Reverse Drape Tuck

This one starts out similarly to the Over-Hand but comes out looking much more sophisticated. Begin with your scarf loosely draped around your neck and one end pulled down lower than the other. Take the longer end and wrap it once around your neck. Then, with this same end, you will tuck the end into the circle you just created and pull down a little bit. Repeat this move on the other side with the other end of the scarf. Adjust the length of the ends accordingly.

5. The Once-Around

Consider this the baby brother to the Reverse Drape Tuck – no knots but a similar appearance. Follow all the same instructions for the Reverse Drape Tuck but stop after creating the scarf loop around the neck. Adjust the ends to your preference. If the ends are too long for your liking and you’re feeling chilly, wrap the scarf around your neck one more time for a look called “The Twice-Around.”

6. The Four-In-Hand

If you want a scarf look that will stay firmly in place and keep you warm for hours, this slightly more complicated style might be the pick for you. Begin like you’re going to do “The Parisian” but only pull one end of the scarf through the loop you have created. Take the loop and pull it out a bit so it is loosened, then twist it and pull the other end of the scarf (which should be hanging loosely on your opposite shoulder) through said twisted loop. Pull the scarf end down and adjust so the scarf lays flat on your chest. It’s a bit of a unique look, so use solid-color scarves for this one.

Tip: find out even more ways to style a scarf.

Stay warm and fashionable

As you try these scarf styles out, experiment with tucking them into your coat or laying them on top. It will take some practice to get it just right. To ace the art of pairing scarves with different outfits, check out our key guidelines for layering clothes and be sure to include a winter hat to complete the look. Be ready to become one of the most stylish men this winter.

Image credit: Pexels

Jules Rivera

Jules Rivera (they/them) is a writer and artist based in Nashville, TN. They are a multi-faceted human who can critique red carpet looks in one breath and discuss intersectional feminist theory and systems change in the next. After blogging their way through young adulthood, Jules is excited to be writing with Modern Ratio.