Silk Scarves: The Finishing Touch

October 14th, 2012

It’s no secret that men are embracing fashion and becoming more style-conscious across the board.

This is due to a number of social and cultural shifts including an increased access to information, social media platforms providing a wider variety of perspectives, male icons embracing current fashion such as top athletes and entertainers, a competitive mass-market retail environment offering accessible on-trend options, period television programs highlighting the well-dressed men of eras past, a new breed of American designer creating practical and approachable menswear, etc.

I recently spoke on a panel of “experts” discussing the overall direction of menswear in America, and it got me thinking. Where is it heading? Will men continue to care more about their appearance?

In my opinion, this movement will continue. Men will increasingly take pride in looking put-together and developing a personal sense of style. I predict this will take us to a slightly more “dandy” place, where men continue to embrace tailored clothing but combine it with accessories that are slightly less utilitarian and slightly more debonair.

One example: finishing a tailored look with a silk scarf. Practical in the sense that it does provide some warmth, but its primary purpose is romanticism and style.

Here, how to use a silk scarf to bring your look to the next level.

    1. Casual Friday

    This time of year, a silk scarf is perfect to break the chill during your commute to the office.

    A simple loop tucked under an open shirt can put a whole new spin on a typical “business casual” blazer & chinos look, providing a strong dose of personality and confidence.

    Fold it in half, pass both ends through the folded loop, and tuck it behind the collar inside the shirt. After that, forget about it and wear it with conviction.

    Earlier this year we meant to publish an article highlighting one of my favorite fabrics: wool hopsack.

    This loosely woven textile is highly breathable and versatile due of it’s unique texture. Think of it like tweed for the Spring/Summer/early Fall.

    That said, every look in this post features one piece of the camel hopsack suit I had made last season.

    2. Weekend Trip

    Simply drape a silk scarf around the neck and tie it inside a cardigan or jacket. This instantly turns a simple and predictable Fall look into a unique signature.

    Because there are so many different ways to tie it, a silk scarf is a great accesory for traveling this time of year. It allows you to pack light and get more out of the pieces in your carry-on.

    It’s hard to explain how comfortbale hopsack trousers are. They have replaced my broken-in chinos on many weekend afternoons.

    They feel softer and breathe better than traditional cotton or wool trousers, and are basically immune to wrinkles due to their loose drapey weave.

    If there is one shoe that represents the current menswear craze, it’s the double monkstrap.

    It’s a loafer – treat it as one and wear it with anything from dress trousers to jeans.

    • Gold Plated hand-engraved shades by Matsuda
    • Navy wool cardigan by Uniqlo
    • White t-shirt by Alexander Wang
    • Burgundy paisley silk scarf Vintage
    • Camel hopsack suit trousers
    • Watch by Montblanc Timewalker Automatic
    • Brown alligator watch band by Montblanc
    • Burgundy socks by Marcoliani
    • Leather/suede double monkstrap shoes by Scarpe di Bianco
    • Brown leather duffle by Frank Clegg Leatherworks

    3. Artist Chic

    This paisley number is a large square, like a lot of silk scarves.

    Hold it from diagonal corners, twist it gently into a long wrap and knot it around the neck, as you would tie an ascot.

    The lower on the neck you wear it, the less “stuffy” it will look. Ideally, it should just peek out from under the shirt.

    Like a tweed waistcoat, a hopsack one in a neutral color can be mixed and matched with dozens of different outfits, whether you’re heading to a business meeting or a fancy cocktail party.

    A beard is one of the most effective accessories for allowing a man to pull-off a more forward look.

    It makes everything look masculine and rugged, even a silk scarf worn as a ascot.

    Don’t be afraid of letting it get little bushy, just make sure it’s evenly trimmed with clean sharp edges.

    • Round hand-engraved metal shades by Matsuda
    • Burgundy suit jacket
    • Grey/Burgundy windowpane shirt
    • Grey/Burgundy paisley silk scarf by Zara
    • Camel hopsack Vest
    • Watch by Montblanc Timewalker Automatic
    • Brown alligator watch band by Montblanc
    • “New Standard” Raw denim jeans by APC
    • Brown alligator belt and silver buckle by Ralph Lauren Purple Label
    • Burgundy socks by Marcoliani
    • Brown suede captoe lace-ups by To Boot NY

    Thanks, as always, for reading.

    Yours in style,

    Dan Trepanier


    Photography by Alex Crawford.

    • Justin

      Where can I post these silk ties?

      • Justin

        Scarfs… not ties lol sorry .

        • Dan Trepanier

          Check the credits in the “Featured” section.

    • Omar M.


    • Jerry V.

      I made couple of typos but it’s understandable isn’t it? Haha

    • Jerry V.

      Hello Dan!

      I’m a big fan of the site and a long time follower (since the blogspot days) so I’ve been looking at your pictures quite a while now. That’s why I’ve got to ask have put on some muscle? Making some gains?

      Keep rockin’ my man,
      Jerry from Finland

    • AresM

      Already living the wool cashmere scarf season here up north but these are some killer looks. #1 should be in all men’s style books next to “autumn smart casual”. Thanks man.

    • Sartaaj Hussain

      All for the beard. :)

    • viet

      I wondered how much for the the green pants

    • Rich

      Hey Dan,

      I’ve been following TSB for about 3-4 months now. I live in New Zealand and love the ideas you’re throwing out there. In NZ we’re generally a little more conservative and guys who express themselves more in their dress are often considered vain and effeminate. Not saying I will be rocking a silk scarf tomorrow (small steps) but you’re opening up my mind to different ideas and it’s definitely a good thing.

      Regarding the beard, heaps of guys down in NZ rock a beard in the winter and it doesn’t get nearly as cold as NY. I don’t see what the issue is.

      Keep up the good work mate,

    • Adyna

      I knew this post will appear someday..glad to see it. a blush and a scarve bring out the perfect, delicate woman….on men, scarves complete the style game. Nice!

    • Ludwig Pierre

      Remarkable blending of a unique fall color palette. The tailoring of the clothing is exquisite and as an often suit wearer I personally know the precision its takes to attain these amazing cuts. Subtly but well tapered trousers. The silk scarf is very european and adds a debonair yet approachable factor to any gentlemanly look.

    • Roof

      I just don’t think the beard suits you – or at least it needs to be trimmed, the current scraggly beard you have going on doesn’t quite work for your facial structure.

    • TD

      Can’t get enough of this shit! Keep it coming TSB. Daily visitor (at least).

    • Carl

      Awesome outfits! I especially liked the second look. I would really like to see your take on casual layering for fall.
      Keep up the good work!:)

    • Jose

      I like the contrast of colors and textures, works together really well. As far as the beard, not a huge fan of facial hair but like you said Dan, its all about personal style and evolving your own. I can always digg that.

    • MN

      Put me as a vote against the beard (as if it matters).

      I just don’t agree with this Nick Wooster-esq “#menswear” trend of trying to “butch up” effete outfits with tattoos, beards et al.

      I say just rock it with confidence without the need for affectation.

      Plus you are 6ft+, you don’t need a beard for manliness, Nick Wooster is what, 5’6″?

      • Badger

        “Effete” doesn’t mean what you think it does.

        • MN

          I’d check up on your definitions because outfits arrayed around silk scarves certainly fit that bill in the current iteration of men’s fashion in the U.S.

    • Brian

      My vote is for the beard!

    • Keith

      Haven’t been on the new site in a while and was surprised to see the new beard! Not my personal style but fair play – Not everyone will have the balls to grow a handlebar, wear a silk scarf or that “Old Italian Man Swag” look but thats why this site works – it emphasizes originality and individualism, offering ideas and styles to inspire, without dictating fashions or instructing people what to wear.
      Keep it up!

    • Jimi Brady

      Awesome article, Dan. And since you mentioned votes, I am officially voting in favor of the beard. I personally keep a very thin layer of scruff – in my opinion, a man should embrace his facial hair from time to time. It’s a great way to look a little more rugged, and it’s totally appropriate for Fall and Winter when you need to keep your face warm.

    • @Vidal_nTheVille

      I liked each look and will look at these as guidance on how to work a scarf or two into my rotation.

      One thing I would like to see in the future is a post on vests/waistcoats. Look three was a good example of how to wear the 3rd piece from a suit in another context and I’d love to see more.

      Peace & blessings,

    • neil cummins

      Great piece once again. Really well put together outfits as always. I have always found a silk scarf is a cheap way to add your own identity to your outfit.they are also readily available via thrift stores

      keep em comin’


    • chrisd

      i want everything in your 3rd look. looks spiffy man

    • Herbert Morrison

      Tree piece mash up never on schedule but always on time.

    • Mark


      What is with the shaggy facial hair? Are you turning into a werewolf for Halloween? I don’t think it jibes with most of the looks you sport and certainly is not business appropriate.

      • Ben

        I think he looks excellent and wears it well. It’s getting to be colder so those of us who can grow beards, do grow beards–and I definitely think it adds some more character to his outfits.

        • Mark

          I think his outfits speak for themselves. If he were only wearing hipster duds, it might work. Or if it were at least neatly trimmed! He is supposed to be teaching young men how to dress…imagine if some college kid showed up for an interview for a law office or bank sporting that Shaggy DA look?

          • Dan Trepanier

            Let’s agree that you and I have different ideas as to what I’m supposed to be doing.

            Anyway, another vote against the beard.

            Thanks for reading,

        • Scotty

          I don’t get why people keep harping on his beard. Haha. It’s fine.

        • Dan Trepanier

          Thanks Ben.

          • Mark

            Physician, heal thyself!

      • Dan Trepanier

        I disagree. In most cases I think the beard offers a nice contrast with a sharper look. Keep in mind though, this is just my personal style.

        Certainly if you’re walking into a corporate interview it’s probably not the wisest move. However, I know many guys who wear a cleanly trimmed beard to the office on a daily basis.

        Thanks for reading,

        • Mark

          With all due respect, you are not sporting a “neatly trimmed beard.” It is pretty scraggly.

          • Dan Trepanier

            Didn’t imply that I was. My office is my laptop. No dress code.

            • Mark

              But the world is your stage and you are decidedly in the public eye. And you are a walking advert for so many brands, which you wear so well. So, why the rebellious grooming? I hope this does not make you dig in your heels more so that you wind up looking like a ZZTop tribute band…

              • Ben

                Seriously? ZZ Top? His beard isn’t close to that and it probably never will be.
                A beard, like Dan said, offers something more to a man and his outfit–in this case, it offers a sort of rugged yet stylish look. Why you’re so against this is beyond me.

              • John Macintosh

                There’s an old Greek proverb I like to trot out in these occasions: there are two types of people that go through this world without beards—women and children—and I am neither one of these things.

                I agree with Dan. If it’s appropriate for the line of work you are in, go for it. And if it’s not appropriate, fine, but kind of sad what a restrictive and reductive workplace you find yourself in must be.

                • Mark

                  Actually, I work in the arts and I can show up in Army pants and a CBGB T-shirt if I like. I am not against beards as a rule, I think this one has now gotten out of control and looks unkempt. Were he only featuring ripped up jeans and a knit cap I would say, “no harm, no foul.” Actually, last week I praised this outfit, which is as slick and formal as one can get: A three-piece pinstripe with lapels on the vest and a collar bar:


                  Here the beard is neatly trimmed, and I think “well suited” to the look. I think many style gurus would tell men who want to look their best, “Beards are acceptable in most business environments, as long as they are kept neatly trimmed.”

                  • Dan Trepanier

                    Hey Mark,

                    Thanks again for your comments, we at TSB always appreciate our readers sharing their opinions.

                    I completely agree about beards in business environments. You’re right.

                    However, I work in a creative field with less restrictive dress codes.

                    It’s a tricky balance for me, creating content that is basic advice for everyday guys combined with inspiring ideas that are true to my own personal style.

                    Ultimately I need to stay true to myself, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing this. As always, I encourage readers NOT to copy my looks, but rather use them as inspiration to find what works best for their personal lifestyle, whatever that may be.

                    Thanks again for reading.

                    All the best,

    • Christopher

      Particularly fond of the first look – makes the silk scarf look a little less effete

    • Axel Ruiz

      The last look is just brilliant. Very nice