Best Scarf Knots for Gentlemen
First of all, all these ways to tie a scarf require a scarf that’s between 70 to 75 inches long. If it’s shorter, it won’t look as good. Why is that? Well, you won’t have enough scarf left at the end of the knot to actually tuck it in so it keeps you warm and looks dapper.
Whenever you buy a scarf, definitely check the length, for example, the Burberry scarf I reviewed was too short. The Fort Belvedere scarves that you can find on our website all have the proper length. On the flip side, the scarf is much longer, you just have a lot of material to work with and if you tuck it into your coat it just makes you look bigger.
You’ll need a scarf that measures 70 to 75 inches long to try these scarf knots.
Scarf knots are most useful when you practice them, and you know what you want because some are warmer, others are cooler; some are better for an overcoat with a deeper cutout, and others better for something that’s more uptight and closed.
So, here are our favorite knots in order from the least involved or least secure to the more involved or more secure knots.
1. The Over-the-Shoulder
This one is not really a knot but it’s the simplest way to wear a scarf. It’s jaunty and nonchalant and looks really great with a silk scarf for evening wear.
The simplest way to wear a scarf.
You can also wear it with a cashmere scarf or a wool scarf where it’s not really cold outside and it’s all about the looks. You can also pull this one off with a slightly shorter scarf, and it’s ideally worn with an overcoat or a jacket that has an opening that’s not too deep and a textured fabric, so the scarf can grip the material and doesn’t just slide off like, let’s say, in a worsted jacket.
How do you get the Over-the-Shoulder look?
- Take the scarf and loop it over the center of your neck.
- Now you put a little bit on your right side, and then you just throw it over your left shoulder.
- Looking at it at a profile view from the side, you want the front and the back end to be roughly the same length for a balanced overall look.
As easy as it is to wear the scarf this way, it’s also most likely to come undone easily.
The problem is if it’s too short in the back it’s likely to just come undone, and it’s more an annoyance and it doesn’t look the way you want it to.
2. The Once-around Chest Warmer
Even though this one is also not a knot in a true sense, it’s definitely more secure than the Over-the-Shoulder one. This one really only works with an overcoat.
How do you tie it?
- Take your scarf and loop the center over your neck.
- Adjust the length so one third is on the one side and two-thirds on the other. No, it doesn’t matter which side is longer.
- Tuck the short side underneath your coat across the chest.
Raphael wearing the once-around chest warmer “knot”.
- Loop the longer side of the scarf once around your neck and tuck it in cross-chest on the other side.
- Try to hold it in place, button up your coat, and adjust the scarf so it looks the way you want it to. Especially if you have your double-sided scarf, you want it to show both sides.
3. The Loop Tie
The Loop Tie, also known as the European loop or Parisian knot. Well, this is our last false knot today. It’s a very easy one and a personal favorite of mine because it’s quick, simple, and it looks nonchalant and that has a slight asymmetry, which I find to be pleasing.
The loop tie, also known as the European loop or Parisian knot.
It pairs best with a high to medium-cut v-neck jacket or overcoat opening. It can be worn with a sport coat, a blazer, or an overcoat. It’s not ideal for super cold weather because you get openings on the side. It’s a great way to wear a double-sided scarf because you get a different look every time, and you can adjust it the way you want it to.
How do you tie it? Well, it’s actually super easy.
- Fold the scarf in half lengthwise.
- Hold the ends and center the scarf around your neck. I typically have the loop in my left hand and I pull through the other ends on the left side with my left hand. You can also do it the other way around. Have the loop on the right hand and pull it through the right hand on the right side. I prefer on the left because men’s jackets are buttoned left over right and so it has that same kind of direction if it’s more on the left, and it would come out when you pull it out of the jacket.
- In any case, once you have the loop, stick the other ends through the loop and pull it tight. Not too tight but also not too loose. If it’s a longer scarf and your overcoat doesn’t have a deep cut-v, you can probably tuck it in. Otherwise, you can just let it dangle, same with a sport coat.
Once you have the loop, pull the other end using your left hand or right hand.
This tie doesn’t work with a scarf that’s too short because it will come undone all the time. So, make sure you have the proper length. If you’re a really deep v-cut, it’s probably going to be hard just tuck it into your overcoat because there will be a shirt or something else exposed underneath the scarf.
For most regular overcoats, you will just be able to tuck it in though. If you have a sport coat or a blazer or a jacket or a suit, don’t tuck it in, just let it dangle.
4. The Knotted Once-around
It is similar to the Chest Warmer but a little more three-dimensional and a little more elegant, in my opinion. Why? Well, it turns out a little differently every time, which gives you a slightly more rakish look.
So, how do you tie it?
- Start by opening your overcoat and take your scarf and loop it around the center of your neck.
- Just like with a Once-around Chest Warmer, adjust the length to about one third on one side and two-thirds on the other.
The Knotted Once around scarf knot.
- Loop the long end once around your neck so you end up with two roughly the same long ends in the front.
- Now, you take the longer end and tie a simple knot again, it doesn’t matter which way you tie it; you can cross the loose ends or just let them dangle. You just don’t want to have a knot that is too tight or too loose. It should visually cover the v-neck of your overcoat. Ideally, you tuck it into your overcoat and you can bunch it up a little bit to get an even more three-dimensional texture.
5. The Pull-through Knot
It’s not one you see a lot on the streets but it’s very simple to tie, so if you want to stand out from the crowd in a subtle way, this is a knot to consider.
How do you tie it? Well, the first three steps are the same again.
- Open your overcoat.
- Loop your scarf around your neck in the center and then pull it about one-third to two-thirds.
- Now, take the longer side of the scarf and create a loose knot about halfway on that longer side.
The pull-through scarf knot
- insert the shorter end without the knot through that loose knot and pull it close to your neck. You don’t want it to be too tight but it should sit really close to your neck.
This knot works best with an overcoat because you should really pull in the ends. Otherwise, they’re kind of uneven, and with a jacket, it’s just a look that is too long and it accentuates not your face but your crotch. And you never want to do that with clothing.
6. The Count
Next is the Count, which is a high coverage knot and kind of an extension of the Pull-through Knot. It’s a particularly elegant knot that makes you look like the Count from Sesame Street. No, just kidding, of course.
How do you tie it?
- Open up your overcoat and loop the scarf around your neck centered.
- Pull it again to one-third to two-thirds.
- Again, on the longer side, you start with a loose knot, but this time get the loose knot closer to the edge. Not about halfway through, more about a quarter to a third.
The count scarf knot.
- Now, insert the other end through the knot and pull it close to your neck. You’ll now see that one end is quite a bit longer than the other.
- Take a long end and pull it through the gap between your neck and the scarf, bring it forward, adjust it, and tuck it into your overcoat. The loosened underneath provides support to hold it in place but to get that kind of debonair look that changes every time you wear it, but it has the advantage that it covers everything and it looks very elegant.
7. The Modified Four-in-Hand Knot
Lastly, we have the Modified Four-in-Hand Knot, which we somewhat borrowed from our ascot and cravat tying guide. Obviously, this scarf is also inspired by the Four-in-Hand necktie knot, which you can see in our 3 Easy Tie Knots guide along with many other regular gentlemen’s tie knots.
How do you tie the Modified Four-In-Hand knot?
- Because of that, it starts like tying a regular Four-in-Hand knot. This means, take your scarf and loop it over the center of your back neck.
- Adjust the length so your right side is just a few centimeters or a few inches longer than the left side.
- Take the longer end and cross it over the shorter end.
- Now, open it around once – 360 degrees.
Tying the four-in-hand knot start like the regular four-in-hand tie.
- Then, pull the end up under the gap between your neck and the knot you created. Pull the end all the way through, so it’s comfortably tight but not too snug.
More Modified Four-In-Hand Knot Options
You can, basically, pull that end through the knot just like you would with a regular Four-in-Hand tie knot. It will likely look a little different because scarves are typically thicker and sometimes both ends will show from the front, which is typically not the case with a regular tie. Frankly, I don’t like this true Four-in-Hand knot because it just doesn’t keep me warm enough.
The second option is to pull the end, not through the knot, but to just throw it over the knot. Because you created a knot, it creates certain stability and you can adjust it and it looks somewhat similar to the count because it is not super tight. It may not last, it will come loose over the course of the day.
A variation of the four-in-hand knot.
For the third variation, do the same thing as in step number one, meaning you pull the end through the knot just like a regular Four-in-Hand knot, but now, you take the longer end, bring it in between the gap, between the knot and your neck once more, and throw it over. That way, you have a secure knot in place. Behind the scarf, you can adjust it and make it look good.
Because you have one end dangling down and the other one folded over, it won’t kind of rotate or move around. It’s very securely in place. It just takes a little longer to take it off, so keep that in mind if you’re in a hurry.
Which of these is your favorite way of tying a scarf? Share it with us in the comments!
First Appeared on Gentleman’s Gazette