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4 Ways to Wear a Blanket Scarf

How to be chic and cuddly without drowning in fabric.
From Burberry's fall 2014 collection. Photo: Imaxtree

From Burberry's fall 2014 collection. Photo: Imaxtree

In our latest column, "Ask a Fashionista," you can solicit our strongly held opinions on everything from how to wear a midi skirt without looking like a tree stump to whether a certain retail CEO should go ahead and resign already.

Q: I love the oversize blanket scarves I've seen everyone wearing.  How do I style the look without looking sloppy? — Annabelle, Seattle, WA

A: There's something so cool about wearing an excessively large scarf. The adundance of fabric is luxurious but there's a certain element of "what, this old blanket?" that gives off an effortless vibe—that is, if you're wearing it right. 

I spoke to stylist Sally Lyndley about how to wear one, and she had what seemed like infinite styling suggestions beyond the most simple draped-across-the-shoulders look seen at Burberry. "I've always worn throw blankets and you can find really great cashmere blankets or alpaca that are meant for your couch and those always make fantastic blanket scarves," she said. "I think it's easier to wear blankets that are slightly more rectangular than square just because of the shape. I fully wear my Elder Statesman blanket, which is almost eight feet long, all the time, as a jacket and scarf." She recommends finding a scarf at least the length of your wingspan, which is usually close to your height. And don't hesitate to restyle the scarf throughout the day. "I lived in New York and London and Paris for so long, where it's really cold, so I'd wrap it one way to actually be outside and then when I got inside and I wanted to keep it on, I would rewrap it another way."

We focused on four easy ways to incorporate the cozy accessory into your look. See Lyndley's explanations for each below. 

1. Wrap Around

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"I like to do this because it's so simple," says Lyndley. "It's wrapped three or four times around my neck and then tied in the front, just one knot. So I go around as many times as I can just around my neck and its kind of nice because I tuck my hair in and it's another way to keep your mouth covered." It's also the perfect style for crazy cold weather. She adds, "A lot of the bulk is around your neck and around your head instead of being underneath your jacket or in front of your jacket. You can made sure your coat or your jacket is totally done up."

2. Belted

"I put the middle of the scarf at the back of my neck and pull it over my boobs like a halter top," says Lyndley. And then I'll belt it loosely around my waist and then just slightly cross them over, almost like a wrap dress. If you don't like things at your waist, you can also do it lower at your hip and that looks really cool too."

3. Shawl 

"This style is more for when I have a blanket at the office i just like to leave it over my shoulders and around my arms almost like a kimono vibe," says Lyndley. "I call it "The Jessa" because she's always got something like that on "Girls." It's always really easy and literally doesn't need anything. You can also belt it that way lower down at your elbows. 

4. Snowman

And, finally, there's the easiest way to wear a jumbo scarf. "It’s the most iconic, classic way to tie a scarf," says Lyndley. "It's how most kids put a scarf when they build a snowman." Perfect for snowy weather.