A scarf—which can come in a multitude of shapes, sizes, colors, patterns, and materials—adds an elegant flourish to almost any ensemble. Like most fashion accessories, scarves have utilitarian origins, used to wipe away sweat and dirt, protect the head or mouth, or keep the neck warm. Particular patterns and colors in scarves have been used to mark military rank, religious and political affiliations, membership in a club such as Boy Scouts, or allegiance to a sports team.
Around 1660, French men took to wearing small, light scarves around the neck and calling them "cravats." Thanks to Queen Victoria, scarves worn as embellishment—and a signal of wealth and privilege—grew popular for women and men in England in the mid-19th century.
In 1937, French fashion house Hermès introduced its famous silk scarves, hand-stitched and hand-printed with a wide variety of motifs—from coats of arms, equestrian themes, and 1...
Other sought-after vintage scarves are made of silk, cotton, and wools like cashmere, and include designs by Emilio Pucci, Givenchy, Chanel, and Burberry (particularly in the company's trademark Burberry Check pattern and gabardine fabric).
Interviews & Articles
. What woman’s name comes to mind when you think of vintage scarves? If you said "Vera," you are not alone. Vera Neumann … [more]
When I was a girl, my mother had a lot of wonderful handbags. My dad traveled often in Western Europe. Every time he came home he … [more]
I’ve pretty much always been a little bit fashion-nutty, ever since I was about 16 years old and I discovered Vogue. I started lik… [more]
Jayne Mansfield is buried in my hometown. You could drive past the cemetery and see her heart-shaped headstone from the road. We h… [more]
Even as a young girl, I was interested in the historical aspect of handbags. I probably started collecting in high school when I b… [more]
Tziporah Salamon is used to being photographed—by everyone from New York City tourists to famous "New York Times" street-fashion p… [more]