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How to Tie a Scarf

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For those of you, like us, who aren’t fortunate enough to live in yearly warmth and sunshine, you know the love / hate relationship we have with winter.  We love the snowboarding trips and the holiday festivities.  But we hate the icy, windy, biting and outfit-slicing cold; we’re already shivering just thinking about it.

Last week we wrote about how to stay warm while looking fresh. But when winter is in full swing, coats alone won’t cut it. You can always accessorize your coat with a flask full of whiskey – and drinking this would certainly help with warmth during the cold. But we know this strategy is probably full of fool and short on proof.

Enter the scarf. The scarf is your friend because sometimes even the thickest of wool coats could use a splash of, well, more wool (and color)! We’ll show you how to tie seven of our favorite scarf knots so your neck can be as warm, stylish and generally pleased with itself as the rest of your custom suited self. And if none of these seven scarf knots can keep you warm, you can always do all 7 at once (like our newest intern Amber in the picture above).   

Note: To ensure that you’ll be able to properly tie your scarves, we like our scarves to be around 60 to 75 inches long. Also, keep in mind that some knots will be tougher (and your neck may be less comfortable) with thicker and coarser wool scarves.

Without further ado, let’s get to it:  


The Upper East Side
(aka The Classic Drape) 

For the man who prefers a simple look, can’t be bothered to tie or untie knots and probably wears loafers year-round. This one doesn’t offer much cold protection and really only looks good with your jacket open. But hey, it’s simple and some guys like simple.

Fold the scarf in half lengthwise and let it hang around your neck equally on each side.

The Harlem (aka The Shoulder Toss)

This OG “knot” is a classic but doesn’t do too well in windy conditions (unless you enjoy constantly readjusting). It might not wow anyone with style, but let’s get real, you really don’t give a f*ck. You’re also going to stop reading after this section.

Step 1 Fold the scarf in half lengthwise and let it hang around your neck equally on each side.

Step 2 Bring one side (A) towards the other side (B).

Step 3 Toss A behind you and adjust both ends to desired length.

Step 3a This step is optional, but feel free to simultaneously brush your shoulders off during mid-toss.

The Williamsburg (aka The Wrap Around)

This one can be found in style blogs, magazines, movies and your local hipster hangout. Wear it loose and wear it with a DIY homemade knit scarf. Enjoy it with an organic soy latte.

Step 1 Fold the scarf in half lengthwise (or leave it loose) and let it hang around your neck equally on each side.

Step 2 Bring one side (A) towards the other side (B).

Step 3 Let A pass from under B.

Step 4 Adjust both ends to desired length.

The FiDi (aka The Slip Knot)

Your neck likes to stay warm and you like to keep your neck happy. This one’s got 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.

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 hoop to make a European loop.

Step 5 Tighten the loop to get the complete effect.

The Canal Street (aka The Fake Knot)

This knot looks elaborate but is actually easy to pull off. And there’s nothing fake about how good it looks so don’t ruin it with a Burberry knockoff.

Step 1 Fold the scarf according to basic knot 1 and let it drop down your neck equally on each side.

Step 2 Make a knot on one side (A).

Step 3 Let B pass through A to form a knot.

Step 4 Tighten the knot to get a beautiful fake knot.

The TriBeCa (aka The Ascot Knot)

You’re a neat freak and prefer clean smooth surfaces. This knot can be impeccable and will look great with your $85 haircut.

Step 1 Let the middle of the scarf fall on the back of your neck with equal length on both sides.

Step 2 Take one end (A) and bring it towards the other (B).

Step 3 Let A pass from under B.

Step 4 Bring A upwards to make a knot as illustrated.

Step 5 Adjust both the ends equally facing downwards.

The West Village (aka The Twice-Around Ascot)

If you just can’t get enough of the Ascot, or if it’s one of those frigid below-zero days outside, this knot is for you.  It takes a little extra effort but it’ll keep you warm and frosty.

Step 1 Let the middle of the scarf fall on the back of your neck with equal length on both sides.

Step 2 Bring one side (A) towards the other side (B).

Step 3 Let A pass from under B.

Step 4 Bring A towards the front.

Step 5 Let A pass through B again to form a knot.

Step 6 Adjust both the ends equally facing downwards.

We hope this was helpful!  Stay warm and happy holidays from the whole Black Lapel team! 

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24 thoughts on “How to Tie a Scarf”

  1. Tried the West Village several times and found the description and diagram confusing.

    1. Hey Katie, which step are you stuck on?

  2. If u need draws to know how to tie a scarf, dont wear it…

    1. Haters gonna hate, y’all.

  3. Do you have any knots or ways to tie square shaped scarves

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Square scarves are also known as desert scarves. As their name implies, they are generally lighter weight so don’t expect one to keep you that warm on a blustery winter’s day, but if you’re looking for more sun protection and style, you can tie one simply. First, bring two points together diagonally so that the scarf makes a triangle shape. Then take two points of the triangle, pull them around behind your neck and tie them together.

      The result will be something like this. (Please note, this scarf will not get you a recording deal or a big booty wife like the wearer in this photo, but it will up your street cred.)

  4. Great stuff, for us ostrich necked men a well tied scarf is a saviour… Not if only high collars and neck-scarves where back in fashion

    1. Ha! You missed your heyday, James. Sounds like you could have definitely rocked this look.

  5. Nice Job!
    Can you make a post about how to fold a pocket square?

    1. That’s a great topic idea Ian! We’ll plan one for the near future!

  6. I felt that the directions could have been more descriptive. “Let A pass under B. Bring A towards the front.” I don’t understand which direction A is supposed to be going. The illustrations are more help than the written directions, but I’m still left figuring each out on my own. I has helped give me a knot to shoot for figuring out myself more than actually show me how to tie the different knots.

    1. Starting out with equal length on both sides always leaves me needing to readjust after I get the knot tied. Telling me which side needs to be a bit longer would be more helpful.

      1. Taylor, A and B can pretty much be interchangeable. :) And having uneven ends gives the knot a little bit of sprezz appeal! Shoot us an email at concierge@blacklapel.com if we can help you out with any of these knots!

    2. I agree!! As a woman I wear scarves all the time, and was looking for ways to teach my husband. I was left a bit perplexed.

      1. We told Taylor he could email us at concierge@blacklapel.com if he has any trouble. Same goes for you, Jessica (or your husband for that matter).

        What we said to Taylor about a little sprezzatura also applies. A little studied nonchalance goes a long way.

  7. This is awesome, better than anything I’ve seen out there looking and simple to follow. Thanks for this!

    1. Glad you liked this Jeff. Holler at us if you’ve got suggestions on our next topic!

  8. Best tutorial I’ve seen on scarf tying! Now if I only had a navy charcoal suit to wear under my scarf.

    1. Don’t let us hold you up on that charcoal blue suit. It’s finally out! 😉

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