How to Wear a Shawl: Things You Probably Haven't Thought Of

How to wear a shawl is a fascinating question.

Shawls and scarves move around. They slip off. They dip into the gravy or get stuck under a chair. The first rule how to wear a shawl is "lighten up."


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Assume slippage and develop your insouciance.

With so many beautiful shawls on the market, you can update wardrobe items and add chic.

Simple Can Be Marvelous

Simple works.

Our first instinct is probably to do exactly what this photo shows.

Drape one end of the shawl down your front. Then stretch the other tail up the front and over your shoulder. Take time to arrange the fabric artfully.

Be sure to raise your arm as you do this, so that you can move through your day with ease.

It helps to have a rougher fabric, so that the has a bit of natural grip like Velcro.

You might try pinning the shoulder with a big stick pin made for that purpose or a large brooch.

red shawl with slacks

Another simple, intuitive look is to simply drape the shawl over your shoulders or arms. The shawl functions as a lovely wrap.

Glamour Belt Is Key to Chic Look

I love how this ensemble is anchored by a big belt buckle.

This sophisticated yet casual look captializes on today's love for all things faux fur.

This look works best if the shawl and the best are eye-catching pieces that will anchor the outfit. Keep everything else simple.

Achieving this look takes some planning. Scour boutiques and flea markets for that perfect large belt.

Add a coordinated hat for ultimate appeal.

Use this photo as inspiration. It can be done with any color of your choice.

faux leopard shawl anchored with belt

Rustic Pin Complements Handcrafted Look

This handknit shawl is anchored with a giant-size rustic pin. It completes the crafted look perfectly.

A rolled collar is created by shaping the garment around the neck.

Can't find a big stickpin? Make one. Take a wood kebob skewer and decorate it with using a hot-glue gun and twine or some other snazzy complement.

Details matter. Be sure the pin you choose is right for the texture, colors, and overall design of the shawl or scarf.

handknit shawl with wooden stick pin

How to Make Neutrals Work

A crisp white muffler-type shawl beautifully accents the neutral colors of this ensemble.

The dark jacket and dark blue jeans, and the medium taupe shirt, conspire to make the white scarf a beautiful frame for the model's autumn skin tone and hair.

The video below teaches you how to achieve this simple look with knots -- as well as some ideas I am sure you have not thought of.

If a shawl is just not you, learn what cardigan sweater styles will flatter your figure, such as the open-front cutaway, or investigate the season-spanning potential of the long sweater coat.

knotted shawl is casual look

Be Effortlessly Exotic in Border Print Shawl

This image illustrates how to wear your shawl to show off its prettiest feature -- in this case, a border print.

Set low on the bosom, this glamorous and sexy look is anchored with a large brooch.

Find vintage pins at yard sales or ebay.

You can make a shawl by edging a rectangle of fabric with a beautiful tapestry ribbon border of your choice.

shawl draped to show off border print

Use Contrasting Colors to Spark Interest

Frenchwomen are famous for tossing a scarf around the neck to add a special chic to almost any outfit.

Learn how to achieve that special chic of French clothing here.

Here, a red beret is the focal point while a dark muffler shawl adds interest to the front of the camel coat by hanging loosely.

Of course, it can be wrapped inside the coat for warmth.

Muffler shawl adds interest to coat

IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTE: Never wear a scarf or shawl so that the tails hang down your back. This makes it too easy for a mugger or worse to GRAB those tails and use them to get a stanglehold on you. Keep the scarf ends in front!

If you are a fabric maniac, you may enjoy reading about the history of wool, which is practically the history of civilization!

This video share 10 more tips for how to wear a shawl. Pashima wool shawls are popular. New fabric blends may add a touch of silk to add a luxurious feel finish.


Update Old Outfits At Fraction of Cost of Replacing Them

For a fraction of the price of buying a new suit or dress, you can create a glamorous effect by draping, tying, or knotting your fabric once you're an expert on how to wear a shawl.

Unique shawls in wool, silk, cotton, and other natural fabrics from artisans around the world can be yours without leaving your home: Shop One of a Kind Shawls & Scarves at NOVICA. Novica partners with National Geographic is a green business that maximizes the money earned by artists and artisans from around the world.

A shawl or scarf can turn a day ensemble into garb for evening out, so mastering a few basic styles can be a step in creating a flexible wardrobe on a budget.

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