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Are Scarves and Shawls in Fashion This Winter?

All experts agree that fashion is about to explode. After being cooped up inside for so long planning their outfits, people are ready to explode into winter 2021 rocking as many fashionable styles as possible. 

However, many fashionable people might be wondering: are scarves and shawls fashionable in 2021? 

Scarves have a long and strange history. Though they have immense practical usage, something about them just feels like a flamboyant accessory. Many men in the past have felt put off by the idea of wearing a scarf. 

So how exactly are they to fare in this strange transitional year where things are still opening back up? Keep on reading to learn more about scarves for fall 2021 — and winter as well. 

Scarves This Winter 


With the world finally returning to normal this winter, scarves are certainly in. Just as the jazz age of the 1920s rose out of the tumult of World War One and the Spanish Flu pandemic, a new era of culture, fashion, and aesthetics will develop out of the COVID- 19 pandemic and tumult of 2020-2021. 

Scarves This Winter 

Something to watch out for this winter is the resurgence of certain retro styles. A key element of 21st-century fashion is reworking and remixing fashion styles from the days of old with a new twist. We recommend heading to thrift stores and vintage stores for fantastic items at low prices. 

The 70s is one decade that’s making a strong comeback. Pair a scarf with a great terrycloth shirt or slouchy menswear and you can’t go wrong. 

The sixties have also made a large resurgence. Heavy, paisley-patterned scarves with fringe will surely come back this season. 

You can also wear a scarf on a day when the weather is not quite as cold. Cute 80s scarves that wrap around your neck even after the jacket comes across are a wonderful way to make a normal outfit shine.

Men’s scarves will take a slightly more subtle approach. Our research into the subject of winter scarves 2021 suggests that men will likely be wearing thick, monochromatic scarves that will contrast with the rest of their outfits, creating layers of visual interest. 

It should be noted, however, that the line between men’s and women’s clothes is quickly blurring. Don’t be afraid to look through the section of the opposite gender to see if there’s something you like. 

The Thing About Scarves 

Here’s the thing about scarves — in colder climates, everyone has one. They’re pretty important to keeping you warm during the winter. However, not everyone makes use of them in a fashionable way — or tries to. 

Opalescent and nacreous scarves aren’t for everyone. If you want to slide under the radar, you can wear a one-color scarf or a simple pattern.

However, this, in many ways, is the scarf equivalent of dressing in jeans and a t-shirt. While it might look fine and functional, there’s nothing particularly stylish about it. There’s nothing wrong with this — just be aware of it. 

If you’re going to wear scarves as a fashion statement, however, you might as well go all-out. 

To make sure this doesn’t overwhelm a viewer’s eye, pair your scarves with more neutral attire. This will also help your awesome scarves stand out. 

Shawls This Winter

Shawls are a bit more elusive. Not everyone out in the big bad world has a shawl. However, there’s no doubt that the most fashionable people who are keeping up with scarf trends will know that shawls are also in style for winter 2021. 

A shawl is a bit tough to define in light of similar articles of clothing. For clarification, a shawl is bigger than a scarf, does not contain holes for limbs (that’s a poncho), and does not connect back to itself (that’s a cowl). However, a shawl is not quite as big as a blanket (which, strangely enough, might also become a fashion trend).  

However, a shawl is not defined by any sort of shape or stitch pattern, so the world is still your oyster. 

Shawls will be fashionable this winter because they’re outside of the norm. People will want to explode back onto the social scene with as big of a statement as possible. Don’t be surprised if you see shawls over leather jackets, shawls worn as oversized scarves, and even shawls worn as headwraps. 

For men and women alike, we recommend making use of a shawl on an extra-cold day when you’re showing off multiple layers. If you have a button-down, sweater-vest, and overcoat going, you might as well round it all off with a great shawl. 

The Thing About Shawls

Here’s the thing about shawls — they’re over the top and fabulous, which means that they’re not always right for every occasion. Shawls are often a piece of formal attire.

In our contemporary world, the line between “formal” and “informal” is increasingly blurred. Because of this, it’s tough to know when to wear a shawl, and what shawl you should go with given each situation. 

We recommend finding some fashion mentors you can look up to. Elizabetta’s evening shawl guide is a great resource will found that will help you understand when it’s best to make use of a shawl. 

The Verdict: Scarves and Shawls Are In 

To answer the question simply, YES — scarves and shawls are absolutely in for winter 2021. Feel free to rock your coziest accessories in any style you wish. This winter is going to be one that’s all about showing off what you can do fashion-wise, so don’t worry about going over the top. 

For more articles like this, check out our “fashion” section. 
See also – 
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