Wearing A Scarf As A Shirt Is The Best-Kept Styling Secret Among The Fashion Set

Bring on the beach vacation vibes.

Originally Published: 
Girl wearing a scarf as a top

Instagram's mysterious algorithm is the recipient of much ire from those obsessed with the app. Though you're sucked into an infinite scroll, you still might feel like you often miss the recent shots your best friend posted while in Mallorca and the outfit pics your favorite influencer debuted wearing head-to-toe Dior. But, sometimes through the fray of endless photos and oddly-specific ads, something jumps out at you. For instance, lately, the app’s trendsetters all seem to have mastered how to tie a scarf as a top — and while you may have missed the first or second photo proving such, you may suddenly find the trend in all sorts of unexpected places.

Simply reworking a scarf, migrating it from around your head or neck to a spot cinched snugly against your ribcage, isn't a new idea by any means. But, as all trends fade and reemerge, so it seems does this humble scarf-as-top trick. For instance, back in the '90s and early '00s, the styling technique was championed by women including Christina Aguilera, Fiona Apple, and Beyoncé. Today, it's the off-duty style that Instagram’s top It-girls (think: Imani Randolph and Maria Bernad) are adopting one by one.

Part of the style's appeal is the fact that it's intended only for OOO activities. You're not wearing your silky scarf as a top to the office, you're taking it somewhere sunny and relaxed (hopefully with an icy cold beverage in hand). Add to that both a humble scarf's versatility and packability, and it's quite possibly the vacation style staple you've been underestimating for far too long.

Below, see a few photos from the coolest outfit creators on Instagram and observe all the inventive ways they tie their scarves. And with the Memorial Day long weekend less than a month away, now’s the perfect time to start bookmarking these ideas now.

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Beach Chic

If you're looking for something easy to throw on over a swimsuit, consider a pair of simple shorts with a scarf in place of a top. A printed style will come in handy to tie over your hair if things get windy, or can work as a bikini cover-up; it's all your choice.

The Wrap

In most instances, you'll find scarves simply tied around the body in a triangle shape, but a cool beach-worthy alternative is to wrap it around the body, over the collarbone, and tie it behind the neck. It requires a longer sarong-style design to pull off, like this colorful iteration from Victoria Ragna, but the results are well worth it.

Matching Set

Leave it to the ever-on-trend With Jéan to design a two-piece set featuring a top that actually resembles a scarf. You can style this scarf-looking top a few different ways, which will make it feel like a new piece every time you wear it. Plus, switch things up and style it with denim or roomy trousers, too.

All About Accessories

A scarf top serves as the perfect opportunity to test out Spring/Summer 2022 jewelry trends (see: flashy silver, colorful beads, chunky chokers). Since there are no straps, sleeves, or lace to get in the way, your bold necklaces and statement earrings have a chance to shine.

Back To Classics

If you're seeking to try the look but don't want your ensemble to feel too trendy or over-the-top, just keep it simple. A logo print scarf or one with a cool eye-catching print is easy to style with a pair of classic straight-leg jeans and sporty kicks.

Print Mixing

Whether you’re new to print mixing or you’d consider yourself an expert, try the styling technique out with a funky checkered scarf. For your bottoms, choose the trendy pattern in an iteration that’s a notch smaller than the top for an intriguing take on the sought-after look. To make things feel a bit less busy, opt for the same color scheme on your top and bottom.

Tie It Up

Consider flipping the script and tying a graphic scarf in the front, transforming it into a knotted bandeau, and style with a pair of high-waisted pants. (The leather pictured above is so chic, but for summer consider swapping in the same style in linen — an equally eye-catching option.)

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