Scarves can add panache and colour to your wardrobe, and if you are like me, they will seem to be breeding in your drawer.

Once you start appreciating how a scarf can lift your outfit, keep you warm and let’s be honest, maybe hide a less than baby smooth neckline, you’ll be unable to resist buying every colour and style.

Parisian women have known for years that scarves are an essential but I would wager that one thing they don’t do that I have fallen foul of is buying cheap.

The trouble is, when you live by the principle that a woman can never have too many scarves, acquiring a new one every time you leave the house becomes a bit of an obsession. Like a magpie spying a shiny object, any scarf or pashmina on a rack in a shop or a market stall draws you in and you could find you are walking away with the item in a bag before you even know what has happened.Tooltip Text

A few months back on a girly outing in London, I succumbed to a market stall full of the most beautiful, jewel like coloured pashminas. Did I need them? Don’t be silly, of course I didn’t but the goldie- cream coloured one and the peacock blue just had me written all over them, and I was seduced by the ‘two for a tenner’ offer. And they really are beautiful colours.

Trouble is, as soon as I took them out of the packaging, I realised how easily creased they are and how the fabric just doesn’t do the lush colours any favours at all. I’ve only ever worn the goldie-cream one, hoping that after a good ironing it would stay fairly smooth but in no time it looked like an old tea towel. And whilst some scarves are meant to have the crinkly look, this one just looked exactly what it was – cheap. Annoyingly, I still love the colour of this one and the blue one so can’t bring myself to ditch either. Plus I keep thinking they might do as table runners which I won’t be too stressed about if oil or wine gets spilled on them. Having to throw one away because it’s stained won’t be too painful, at five pounds each.

So from here on in I can guarantee that whilst I shan’t be curbing my mania for scarf buying, I will definitely be more selective about quality.

I am usually a bit of a nightmare when buying most other clothes. Any dress, shirt or skirt I see hanging up is subjected to the crush test; the fabric taken in my hand and squeezed so that I can see how it reacts, whether it creases slightly, not at all, or looks like Princess Di’s wedding dress did when she stepped out of the carriage.

I also feel the fabric to gauge if it will be soft against the skin, hard wearing, washable and if it has a look of quality to it. These principles I will also be applying to my next scarf purchase.

I haven’t always got it wrong. In fact,some of the scarves in the photos have stood the test of time, and knowing that they will be getting more frequent wear over the coming months is one of the better aspects of knowing that autumn is here.

Are you a scarf or pashmina addict? Do you have a favourite which you wear incessantly?


© 2016 Linny Bartlett/Karma’s Footsteps

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