Monday, June 10, 2013

Choosing a scarf - Hermes, in black

Many people ask me how I choose the scarves I buy... (I can hear my mother, replying "Veeeeery carefully!")

Most important, absolutely, is that you should LOVE the scarf. Not just like it, not just think that it goes well with your wardrobe - you've got to feel strongly, and perhaps in a way that you can't explain rationally.  The appreciation of beauty is a gut-level reaction that can't always be verbalized, and can never be faked. This is as true for an inexpensive scarf picked up at a street fair, just as much as it's true with an Hermes - it should be true for anything that goes into your closet, frankly...

So, hypothetically, you've narrowed your choices down to six different scarves.  All Hermes, all with black as the main neutral color show.  How do you make a choice from here?

all scarves - Hermes

Honestly, if none of them make your heart sort of yearn to reach out and snuggle up with it, you should walk away.  If you try them all on, and none of them make your face light up with delight, put them down, thank the staff person warmly for the attention, and WALK AWAY...

But there are other considerations that might help you in your muddled, carried away by excitement, joyous choice.  I am of  the opinion that everything in your wardrobe should look as if it belongs to the same family.  Not identical twins, but certainly at least 2nd or 3rd cousins.  They should bear some resemblance, one to the other.  They should all look like they belong to you...

So let's toss these six scarves into an assortment of items that I've chosen, which to me seem to harmonize with the scarf in question.  If you already own a fair number of these items, the scarf choice might be somewhat easier.

First up:  you like graphic prints, touches of red,and the high-contrast that red, white, black and brights brings to your wardrobe.
tee shirt- Edith A. Miller, stud earrings- Astley Clarke, hoop earrings - Alexis Bittar, Hermes Les Jeux d'Hermes scarf - Hermes, sunglasses -  Rebecca Minkoff, ballet flats- Banana Republic, clutch - Diane von Furstenberg
See how all of these look sort of happy to be grouped together on the same page?

Next is a scarf  that demonstrates your comfort level with acid bright accent colors, and the strong use of brown and black together - not something that everybody can do successfully!
tee shirt - Majestic, brown pearl earrings - John Lewis, hoop earrings- Dorothy Perkins, Kilim scarf - Hermes, Sunglasses - Oliver Peoples, ballet flats - Banana Republic, raffia clutch -  Jil Sander

This next scarf would be ideal for someone who enjoys mixing warm gold with black and grey; someone who can carry off that unexpected contrast of warm and cool with panache.

tee shirt - T by Alexander Wang, Stud earrings - Judith Ripka, gold and silver hoop earrings- David Yurman, Astrologie Nouvelle scarf- Hermes, sunglasses - Prada, ballet flats - Banana Republic, beaded, embroidered zip clutch- Lanvin
Maybe, even though black is an important neutral in your wardrobe, you still have a place in your personal style for organic shapes and colors like green and brown...
tee shirt- Acne, stud earrings - Judith Ripka, bamboo textured earrings- C. Wonder, Mecanique du Temps silk scarf -Hermes, sunglasses -  Ray-Ban, ballet flats - Banana Republic, clutch - Georgina Skalidi
Some of us are deeply attached to black and white, with strong contrasts and clearly defined structures:
fitted tee shirt- Missoni, stud earrings - Topshop, jet and hematite earrings -Swarovski, Les Cannes silk scarf - Hermes, sunglasses - Valentino, ballet flats - Lanvin, black bag - Artessorio
Or you might be someone who loves the shimmer of silvery grey, punctuated with touches of red.  This could be your perfect scarf:
tee shirt - French Connection, silver stud earrings - Lauren Ralph Lauren, silver hoop earrings- Pomellato, Ors Bleus d'Afrique silk scarf -  Hermes,  sunglasses - Prada, silver ballet flats - Sperry Top-Sider, bag - Georgina Skalidi

When a scarf arrives in it's new home, it should appear to be returning to it's natural habitat...

24 comments:

  1. Janice,
    Funny you should post this today. I was in Chicago last week and went to Hermes....looked at all the scarves in 'my colors' and none of them made me feel the way my other scarves had. I was disapointed, but knew that, as you said, I would never wear a scarf that I bought for all the wrong reasons. Thank you for this post. I feel better that I came home without Hermes in my suitcase. Maybe next time...

    Warmly, Kathleen

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  2. what a great post. The Kelim is most me. Regards Ruthie

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  3. My favorite one is the 'canes'. As a matter of fact< i have been eying this one on the Hermes website. I do not have any opportunity to try on an expensive scarf, and have to rely on web photos. Would that be a foolish approach to purchase one?

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    1. no, it wouldn't necessarily be foolish. you know how to make an intelligent choice, and you should check Hermes return policy just in case it doesn't blow your hair back when it arrives. I love mail order, once I got past the point of being freaked out about having to send things back from time to time when they weren't perfect!

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  4. What I meant was what to wear with coup de fouet. I recently fell in love with it and had to take it home - my FIRST Hermes scarf !

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    1. I love that scarf - what colors are in yours?

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    2. Blue but I'm unsure how to wear it :-(

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    3. It was in the window display and my heart stopped beating it was soooo gorgeous ! I would be completely prepared to change my entire wardrobe to enhance its beauty. I'm totally obsessed. LoL I never thought a mere scarf would be so alluring.

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  5. Great picks, Janice! I would wear any of these! I just realized that one place I wanted to go in Chicago that I did not get to go to was the Hermes store. Oh well, I guess I just need another trip!! :)

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  6. I love these combinations. I have three or four Hermes scarves, and only really wear one as I've never really figured out how to put them together with anything. The colors and patterns are so bold. These are beautiful, and I'm off to the scarf drawer to look at them anew. Thanks.

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  7. Thank you Janice for your great post. Lately, I must admit, I can't wear my scarfs, after I had seen all yours. I just want to change them all (It is a perfect time). I am getting older & my scarfs don't express myself anymore. So, now I am fully inspired for change.

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  8. I find that my black Hermes scarves are the ones I wear the most...probably because I wear a lot of black!! I still wear the first one I ever bought in Paris when I was 21 years old (almost 30 years ago!) more than any other scarf I own!

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  9. I own the second scarf in this post (and the last in the combinations you offer). I LOVE it. It is ever more beautiful in person than in a photo. I've found it looks very good with blues--denim shades of all sorts. It is also lovely with white (I've worn it with a white blouse) and with black. It is very versatile!

    I own two other Hermes scarves. One is mostly black and quite dressy while the other is many colors and quite versatile.

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  10. To me this is one of your most interesting and exciting posts ever. You talk about two concepts I'm currently wrestling with: 1. love everything you bring home and 2. everything should look related.

    Another concept you talk about--I am tracking my expenditures on clothing to prove to myself that I can stop "buying around" the good stuff if I become more aware.

    Thanks for everything.--Adelfa

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  11. The scarf that is quite versatile is the first one you featured - les jeux des hermes. Folded up it displays different colors and looks so differently that when flat - but I think your pairing of other items to the scarves is really well pitched.

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  12. Could you please post a photo or two of someone wearing one of these beautiful square scarves....I have problems in that area.

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  13. I've posted on this subject, too- and would add, tie it many ways in the store. Pay special attention to the corners. A scarf can look gorgeous opened up but folding it loses the center in many folds, but you usually see the corners. For that reason, Ors Bleus might win.

    I find as I get older. the carrés are heavy, too much in warm weather; I'm wearing the triangles above 70F, or a pochette.

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  14. I completely understand about "make your heart sing". We were in Seattle a few weeks ago, wandering through the artist section of Pike Place Market. A fabric artist had hand dyed silk scarves. Far more expensive than I normally can justify. I let out a gasp of delight and had one in hand before I could stop myself. It was sheer, unadulterated delight to hold that scarf. I would have bought a dozen from her but my budget reminded me I'm middle-income, not a trust fund baby. So the original scarf that made me gasp in delight... well, it's in my closet now. Every time I've worn it, I get compliments. Every. single. time. Makes my heart sing. :)

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  15. You are so right and so wise. I've learned (finally, after many dumb wardrobe mistakes) that if I don't lovelovelove it, I shouldn't buy it. I bought my first Hermes scarf from a duty-free cart on a flight home from Europe and it's still one of my go-to scarves. You posted my most recent must-have, a Dareen Hakim "live and laugh" scarf a few weeks ago. It was jumping off the monitor toward me the second I saw it! Best of luck, helping us all understand how to dress like best and true selves.

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  16. Wonderful post. Congratulations on your new adventure.

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  17. I just noticed my Thank you from yesterday didn't post.
    Thank You Janice, and I'm sorry about the delay.

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  18. Great tips for summer scarves!
    If you wanna know more on how to choose your winter scarf have a look at my new blog post: http://dresslikeaparisian.com/how-to-wear-a-scarf/
    Bisous de Paris!

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