MomStyle Accessory: the big scarf!

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I found this one for sale online, only about $12 and claims to be "Pashmina & silk." Who knows what it really is, but it's a good price!

Good accessorizing can take an outfit’s statement about you from, “I put on clothes.” to “I am intentional about my appearance!”

My winter go-to is a “Pashmina” shawl. I have many colors and different weights, and I wear one nearly every day. It’s such a versatile and functional styling piece that I can hardly walk out the door without one.

Pashmina comes from the Persian word “pashm” which means, “wool.” Pashmina is not actually an internationally recognized fiber, it is a marketing term used to describe different products. Sometimes it is cheaper standard wool treated with resins to make it softer. Sometimes it’s not even wool, but acrylic! Always check labels, as anything with actual wool in it will be labeled as such. Cashmere is the fine wool produced by goats in cold cold high altitudes, and that term is regulated – like Champagne!

I choose a wide shawl instead of a narrow scarf because I can do so much more with it. Since I often use it as a scarf, however, I sometimes refer to it as such. Just know, for the sake of this post, I mean shawl!
I typically start the day with one wrapped around my neck a few times, like a typical scarf. My office gets fairly cold (maintenance is still trying to figure out why the air conditioning comes on at 11 a.m. regardless of the temperature), so the Pashmina gets unwrapped and used as an actual shawl or blanket while I’m at my desk. Our main conference room is always super warm, so off comes the scarf. So versatile!

affiliate linkThey are not just functional, though. I like adding a pop of color, and sometimes I feel like I need something long and drapey to finish an outfit. Or hide behind. You know what I’m talking about! As I mentioned earlier, accessorizing can make all the difference in an outfit.

Here’s my styling tip: Instead of letting the ends hang straight, which kind of cuts across the body, make the scarf longer and hang the edges diagonally. Here’s how:

Here's a typical scarf tie, with the edges hanging straight across. It's fine, really!

1. Hang it from your neck without wrapping it around, so the ends hand pretty evenly in front of you.

2. With each hand, grab the opposite long edge.

3. Pull!

Now your scarf is longer, it’s hanging on the bias so it looks a bit fuller, and the edges are hanging at diagonal angles instead of straight across your body. I think it looks better this way, and you can now wrap, twist or tie it however you like.

See how much longer it gets? I think it's prettier and more flattering!

PURCHASING TIP: Some shawls that have not a hair of actual Cashmere wool in them are marketed as “Pashmina” when they are really viscose. Anything with actual wool in it has to be labeled as such, so look for indications of “70% Cashmere/30% silk” as opposed to, “100% pashmina” which could in fact be anything. For the price, I’m willing to buy and wear other wool blended with silk and marketed as Pashmina, but I really prefer not to wear the completely artificial ones. They pill up easily, and are often treated with weird chemicals to make them softer.

CLEANING TIP: Cashmere can be washed! Put each piece in a mesh bag and wash it in the washing machine on the gentle cycle, with only cold water. Use baby shampoo instead of detergent. Pull them out of the washer immediately so they don’t sit there on each other, and then dry flat. Voila!

TRAVEL TIP: When flying, the shawl can be rolled up as a neck pillow, or serves as a much-nicer-than-airplane-issue blanket.  Or both – just bring multiples!

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “MomStyle Accessory: the big scarf!

  1. Pingback: Scrapeboard

  2. Great post…totally agree…instant chic and also very practical…I wear them winter, fall and spring ALL the time…adds some punch to an old dress/outfit.
    Great tip on checking labels…I have a couple that are “pashmina” and didn’t hold up well..I would rather shell out the dough and have it for a few seasons.

    Best
    C

  3. I have all sorts of scarves. Thick wooly ones to pashminas – I use them year round. It’s almost my comfort blanket but it also just makes an outfit go from BLAH to HELL YEAH!

  4. OOoh, I have a few of those and I love them!

  5. LOVE pashminas! Instant elegance!

    I’m so lucky – my MIL lives in India and she always brings me pashminas when she visits. I have like 15 🙂

  6. Jeana

    I have always had a hang up with scarfs. I feel I’m wide enough with out something else around my neck, but now since I’m losing weight I just might like it!!!

  7. Jeana

    I need to go get me one and give it a try. I’ve had this hang up that I’m already wide enough I don’t need something else around my neck, but now that I’m losing weight i just might fell comfortable in it!!! Can’t wait to give one a try!!

  8. Caitlin

    So that’s how you get the ends of the scarf to hang diagonally! I agree, it’s more flattering that way. I’m breakin’ out mah scarves!

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