Tie one on in style

“Just let me grab a scarf!”

Or maybe its: “I love this dress. It’s great to wear for work, but too plain to wear for the dinner party but I don’t have time to change.”

Perhaps you could add a color packed silk scarf and finish it with a pin or a single clip earring to hold it in place creating a perfect way to dress it up without having to lug another outfit around.

Others have said, “I’ll bring a scarf I can wear as a shoulder wrap, just in case it gets a little chilly.”

Scarves have been making life a little easier, more colorful, and more comfortable for mankind for centuries, having gained a spot in history thanks to the article’s use by Roman soldiers as a means of wiping away sweat, dirt, and grime.

The scarf has always been an item looked to for its ability to perform a specific task, weather simple or complex.

More often than not, the key to achieving the desired look or to performing a specific task with the help of a scarf has more to do with the confidence of the individual involved in the process than the scarf itself.

Scarves come in countless sizes, shapes, colors, fabrics, and range in price from as little as a dollar for a basic cotton bandanna on up to several hundred dollars.

The only limit imposed on their possible use comes from a lack of imagination, creativity or of courage on the part of the person wanting to wear or use it say fashion industry icons.

“Scarves are something to be collected, to be worn and to be enjoyed by just about everyone,” offered St. Clairsville business woman Melanie Bromelow, owner of Mel’s Imagination in St. Clairsville.

The hand selected inventory at her popular women’s boutique has always included a wide selection of scarves which has enabled her to regularly see new trends developing, shifting and evolving when it comes to using accessories such as scarves.

She personally enjoys employing scarves in many of her daily wardrobe combinations.

They are a great way to add some fun to your look, to intensify it with a strong addition of color and can offer opportunities to use traditional items in a little somewhat different way than you have been doing, she offered.

“A favorite hairclip can be used to secure two ends of a scarf, and then have the clip rest much like a pin would. If you have a favorite large clip earring consider using it with a scarf as a sort of fastener as well,” she said.

She noted there is also no need to confine your scarf use to one at a time.

“You can get some of the best results by just trying several combinations, and then figuring out which you liked the best,” she said. “You don’t have to limit yourself to using just one kind of scarf at a time. An eternity scarf – which is simply a circle of fabric – can be added to a look which uses a long scarf but looked too plain or lifeless until the two are put together.

“Scarves are the most versatile accessory for women,” she said during a recent presentation on how to expand your ward by learning to do more with what you have on hand. “The availability of different fabrics and of their different sizes makes scarves perfect items to use for almost every occasion.

“It seems we can always find a great dress, but there are times when you need it to be perfect dress: meaning it has to offer something of coverage for the upper arms. If you take a large square scarf and tie it together at the lengthwise corners you have instantly created an elegant and simple evening wrap offering just the right amount of coverage to make the dress perfect,” she said.

The biggest reason people hesitate to wear a scarf as a fashion accessory is they think the creations are hard to make do what you want them to do.

“Tying scarves is not as hard as it looks; it just takes a little practice and imagination. When you see a woman wearing a great scarf, it catches your attention,” she offered in encouragement.

The first compliment about the beautiful look created by an added a scarf to an outfit will be all it takes to get you started on the path to thinking of scarves as accessories you cannot live without, offered Melanie. A sentiment shared by those affiliated with the websites of www.texersilk.com and at www.life123.com

“You can change a look so dramatically by simply having added a scarf,” she said. “There just is no good reason not to consider adding a special highlight to your outfit through a scarf of one sort or another.

“Scarves can change a basic outfit in so many different ways, creating a world of different looks,” she reflected, noting the experience of learning a new scarf tying technique is all it takes for many to get their creative juices flowing. “Everyone can learn to wear scarves”.

Scarves were included in the glamour and spotlight of show business, in the era of the likes of Greta Garbo and Grace Kelley who wore scarves in a stylish and often dramatic way in their personal lives as well as in their movies.

Another reason to celebrate the joy of scarves is the fact that they can help ease the difficulty of getting through an ordinary day for someone experiencing hair loss due to chemotherapy or some other medical condition.

“Everyone can learn to tie scarves regardless of their body size or shape,” said Melanie. “Once you start getting compliments on outfits that now include the use of scarves, you will likely find yourself collecting them.

Melanie is available on a limited basis to share programs about scarves and other fashion topics, and can be reached at Mel’s Imagination on the corner of U.S. 40 and Ohio 9, in downtown St. Clairsville, and by email at melsimagination@comcast.net or by calling the store at 740-695-7970.

“But there is more fun to be had: besides wearing them around your neck and shoulders, use a scarf as a belt or tie it on your handbag,” offered the local fashion expert.

What is the reaction from the audiences who have been fortunate enough to catch one of her presentations at a local club meeting.

“I never thought of wearing it that way; it really does change the look of the outfit; and it is not hard to tie it that way once you see how it is done” – are three of the most typical comments following scarf tying demonstrations.

Loccisano can be reached at kloccisano@timesleaderonline.com

(Loccisano used several sources for this article including www.texersilk.com and at www.life123.com)