How to Wear Scarves When You're Plus Size

Posted by Jen Anderson on

How to Wear Scarves When You're Plus Size

Wearing scarves can sometimes feel like Advanced Fashion. You find some tutorials online, or try to copy a photo in a magazine but you're not happy with the results. The truth is that not every way to wear a scarf is going to look good on a plus size body. A voluminous scarf doesn't pair well with an ample bosom. 

Before we get down to specific styles, we should talk about what you should be looking for in a scarf.

Selecting Plus Size Scarves

You probably have a collection of scarves that you've inherited or bought here and there over the years. I'm a firm believer in impulse buying when it comes to scarves. As long as you think it's pretty, you'll be able to wear it. 

Mel arranges a scarf around Danielle's neckJust like your clothing wardrobe, you'll want an assortment of solids and prints, neutrals and brights. With the solids, stick with the colors that look best with your complexion. Prints can include some colors that aren't your best because of all the other colors. Turn to your solids and neutrals when wearing a print or something colorful. Your prints will go with your solid clothes - if nothing else, your print scarves will all go with your Black Classics. Reach for the neutral scarves for those outfits that don't go with any of your other scarves.

You don't need to study color theory here. If you're not crazy about how one combination looks, then it doesn't matter why it looks off. Trust your instincts.

With square scarves, you may want to go as big as possible just for the sake of versatility. For the longest time, I thought I would never be able to wear square scarves. I'd fold them on the diagonal, roll them up, and discover that the thing was still too short to circle my neck. But there are actually ways for you to wear square scarves that aren't huge.

And now on to the specifics!

The Necklace

This one is essentially the Collier (the Collar) style from Hermes. For this one, you need a rectangular scarf. It doesn't need to be especially long. You're going to tie a knot in the middle of the scarf. Then 2 more knots, halfway between the first knot and the ends (dividing the scarf into 4 sections. Like this:

Danielle holding a knotted scarf

Then tie the ends of the scarf behind your neck, creating a necklace.

Danielle in Primrose pink with a green scarf     Danielle in a white button down shirt and a green scarf

The Clip

You can do this one with a rectangular scarf or a square scarf that's big enough. You'll need a scarf clip and a small safety pin. You may already have a scarf clip in your jewelry box, and there are plenty of vintage scarf clips on Etsy. 

This style lets you wrap a scarf around your neck while keeping it in place and controlling how close to your neck it lies. If you have a short neck like I do, you may want to keep the front of your neck uncovered. Or you may want to wear the scarf close to the neck.

Pin the scarf clip in place with the safety pin. The smaller the pin is, the less the clip will move around. Then pull the ends of the scarf through the clip, arrange just so, and close the clip.

Danielle in a Primrose Pink top and a black print scarf clipped into place

The Long Tie

This one is Hermes' Cravate Fluide (Flowing Tie). It's done with a square scarf. Grab the scarf close to a corner like you're going to strangle it. Place the scarf around your neck and tie that one corner to the rest of the scarf, forming a tightish collar. Let the rest of the scarf cascade down. 

Tying the Long Tie   Danielle in a Primrose Pink dress and print scarf

The Fake Knot

This one is surprisingly simple and versatile. Tie a knot in one end of a rectangular scarf. Wrap the scarf around your neck and pull the other end through the knot. You can then slide the knot up or down until it's where you want it. 

Danielle in a red dot top and black scarf

Play with Your Scarves

Give yourself the time to try different styles and combinations so you don't have to think when you're running out the door. It's a lot of fun, and you may discover some forgotten gems in your scarf drawer.

What are your favorite scarf tips and tricks? Tell us in the comments or in our Facebook group.

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Check out our other posts about plus size style.


Terrific, helpful article! Thank you, Jen!

—Karen (formerly kcinnova),

I love this post Jen ! Necklace scarf, here I come! Outfit now planned for a special conference. I never have thought of these simple yet beautiful options. Thank you so much, KH

—Kristy healy,

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