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The Best Men’s Scarf Brands: Winter 2023 Edition

  • Nov 29, 2023
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The Best Men’s Scarf Brands: Winter 2023 Edition

Menswear doesn’t get much more uncomplicated than the humble scarf. This simple strip of fabric has been around in its various forms for the best part of 3,000 years, keeping necks warm, outfits accessorised and football teams supported throughout the ages. It offers a quick and often relatively inexpensive means of jazzing up your winter wardrobe and supplementing your layering game, and it’s about as versatile as they come.

For such essential accessories, scarves seldom get the attention they deserve. For most men, they’re an afterthought, living in the shadows of more exciting cold-weather shopping-list items, like big coats and fancy boots. But to neglect this winter staple is to do your style a disservice because a good scarf from a respected brand could actually be one of the most cost-effective clothing purchases you’ll ever make.

For a relatively small financial outlay, you’re getting something you can wear with every single outfit and keep calling on many years or even decades down the line. Style it with your weekend casual wear, team it up with tailoring, wear it loosely thrown over the shoulder for a laid-back look, or wrap it up tightly to seal out the cold. It may just be a length of woollen fabric, but the possibilities are almost endless.

Thinking of picking up a new scarf to see you through the coming winter? Here’s everything you need to know, from how to spot a good one to where to buy the best versions.

Do You Really Need A Scarf?

Begg x Co

Sure, you can get through winter without a scarf, so it’s not ‘essential’ in that regard. But having at least one that you can whip out when the temperature starts to plummet will make dressing well a lot easier in the cold weather.

For one, wearing a scarf is a quick and easy way to make whatever you’re wearing that little bit warmer. The human body loses a lot of heat through the neck, and a scarf can help to protect against this.

Secondly, it allows you to add a touch of colour or pattern (or both) to whatever you’re wearing, in a very noncommittal type of way. It’s not like putting a jazzy shirt on and being stuck in it all day. You can remove a scarf on a whim if you feel it doesn’t match the setting, and no one will bat an eye.

And last but not least, a scarf can help you to bring a touch of tactile luxury to everything you wear. Go for a fine material like cashmere or silk and you can enjoy the soft, comfortable feel of the fabric with every outfit.

Buying Considerations

Fabric

Asket

The first and arguably most important thing to consider when shopping for the perfect scarf is the fabric. This will dictate how the scarf feels, looks and plays a big role in determining the price too.

For winter warmth, woollen fabrics are best. At the cheaper end of the spectrum, 100% lambswool is a cost-effective option. If you want something a little softer and don’t mind paying a premium, cashmere is the way to go. Or you could aim somewhere in the middle with merino or a nice wool blend.

Size

Begg x Co

A scarf should be big enough to drape loosely around the neck while leaving plenty of length at either end. You want it long to give you the freedom to wear it in lots of different ways.

That being said, there is a trend for oversized scarves at the moment too. Brands such as Acne Studios that make ultra-wide statement scarves are proving hugely popular, but it is an exaggerated look that takes careful styling to pull off, and it might not suit you if you’re looking for something subtle, versatile and timeless.

Pattern

Drake’s

You can go as understated or unusual as you like when it comes to pattern. Either use it as an opportunity to express some personality and stylistic flair, or treat it as something subtle and highly versatile that you’ll be able to wear with anything and everything.

If you’re going down the former route, bold stripes are a good way to go, or for the latter, go for a neutral or earthy option like grey, beige, cream or navy. For the best of both worlds, you can’t go wrong with a nice grey check.

The Best Scarf Brands For Men

Asket

Swedish basics brand Asket is a one-stop capsule collection that features everything you need to build the ultimate does-it-all wardrobe, and nothing you don’t.

Alongside garments such as the perfect white tee, a three-pocket overshirt and a wool overcoat, Asket have deemed the cashmere scarf to be worthy of ‘essential’ status too.

The label’s version is just £70 and comes in four highly versatile colours for maximum wearability across your entire wardrobe.

Shop now at Asket

Begg x Co

Scottish cashmere specialist Begg x Co makes beautifully soft scarves in its mills on the West Coast and the Scottish Borders. The brand has been in existence for almost 200 years, making it an excellent option for those who like their clothes to come with a bit of heritage behind them.

Prices start at around £100 for a lambswool-cashmere blend, or you can go all out on an oversized version in full cashmere for around £600. There are plenty of great options in the middle ground too.

Shop now at Begg x Co

Johnstons of Elgin

Another historic Scottish knitwear specialist, Johnstons of Elgin has a story that can be traced back to the 1700s, and it still produces some of the best cashmere garments in all of Scotland today.

In addition to scarves, sweaters and accessories, the label regularly shows at London Fashion Week where it showcases its more experimental designs.

Prices start at around £150 and go considerably higher.

Shop now at MR PORTER

Acne Studios

Sweden’s Acne Studios used to be famous for its denim, but in recent years, it’s the label’s oversized statement scarves that have dominated explore pages and street-style photographs.

These ultra-wide, ultra-long scarves are great for turning clothes into outfits, giving simple looks a sense of purpose and tying everything together.

Shop now at MATCHESFASHION

Drake’s

London’s Drake’s has a well-documented history of working with weird and wonderful patterned fabrics, which it makes into some of the most beautiful and unique ties, scarves and accessories on the market. The brand has a range of neckwear available, ranging from winter warmers to lightweight options perfect for adding some flair to your outfits year-round.

They’re not cheap, but they are some of the best in the business.

Shop now at Drake’s

Brunello Cucinelli

If it’s high-end Italian cashmere you’re looking for then Brunello Cucinelli should be the first brand on your shopping list.

Known as the ‘King of Cashmere’, Cucinelli’s eponymous luxury label deals in some of the finest woollen fabrics in the world, using them to create everything from simple scarves to stunning Italian tailoring.

Shop now at Farfetch

Burberry

When it comes to making a statement and flexing your fashion chops at the same time, nothing hits quite like a good old hit of Burberry check. The key is not to overdo it. So instead of going full Daniella Westbrook, we’d suggest adding a touch of the iconic pattern to an otherwise understated outfit.

A scarf is the perfect vehicle for this, and Burberry has some great options in cashmere starting at around £300.

Shop now at SSENSE

Aquascutum

Another British brand famous for its checked scarves is Aquascutum. The historic label, much like Burberry, first gained prominence off the success of its raincoats, but is now just as well known for its neckwear.

A beloved part of the UK football-casual subculture, these patterned scarves are perfect for jazzing up simple outfits and start at around £100.

Shop now at Mainline Menswear


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