When the bleak winter months really hit full swing, a scarf becomes an essential element for staying warm. Rather than walk around with your eyes poking out of a massive knitted muffler, we've found wrapping a silk scarf around your neck before zipping up your parka provides an elegant base layer and a light touch to the season's heavy ensembles. Below are 11 silk scarves guaranteed to brighten up the doldrums of cold weather months.
The London-based illustrator and print designer Charlotte Linton brings her sketches to life with an assortment of 100% silk double georgette scarves, found across three collections named for exotic locales like Java, Himalayas and Madagascar. "Mineralogy" packs a colorful punch with rocks bursting from geometric shapes. To order (£270) contact Linton.
The 100% "Carmen Foulard" silk scarf in slightly muted, but still juicy hues, comes with a crocheted border made from recycled twine. The Swiss-made wrap is the upshot of a longstanding friendship between two Italian women who share a desire to create social- and environmentally-friendly garments. The scarf sells from Ikou Tschüss for 300 SFr.
Intentional or not, Berlin-based artist Viron Vert's "By Aidmail" scarf series is likely to make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. Inspired by the socio-politics of contemporary culture, if worn over your head they appear as an identity-changing wig. The series sells exclusively from Colette, each is €205.
Bless' "Berlinmexico" silk scarf features a digital print designed by the Berlin-based concept shop. This breezy edition sells online from Ssaw for €79
Celebrated for their spirited graphics and unusual silhouettes, Anntian is the work of Berlin-based designers Anne Hilken and Christian Kurt. Each piece is a hand-printed labor of love, designed to reveal a story within a certain theme. This double-sided silk scarf sells online from Creatures of Comfort for $290.
From the "φοῖνιξ" collection by Amelie Charroin and Marie Colin-Madan—the young duo behind the French label Milleneufcentquatrevingtquatre—the "Rideau Antichambre" silk scarf features a vibrant surrealistic scene that feels like a study on perspective. The painting propped against the wall is a cheeky nod to another scarf, their "Orion" scarf from the the preceding "Desertshore" collection. "Rideau Antichambre" sells from Boticca for $111.
Conjuring up thoughts of long, serene summer afternoons, the watercolor design on the aptly named Poolside Scarf is soft on both body and mind. The piece is available from Eskayel for $209.
Hand-dyed by trained architect Martha McQuade in her Minneapolis studio, each Scarfshop scarf is created in small batches using water-based dyes. This sublime colorblock cotton-and-silk scarf sells from Spartan for $80.
The gold leopard and dashing zebra prints on this extravagantly fringed silk topper puts a modern twist on the traditional accessory. The scarf, which is handmade in Spain, would be an investment piece for most, justified by an all-seasons appeal and a dramatic look that's easy to throw on and go. Buy one at Beklina for $780.
The Japanese designer's signature painterly patterns come to life in a contrast-print gingham and spotted Animal Gingham Scarf. The graphics have a childlike whimsy while offering a sophisticated punch of color to a dark winter outfit. The wrap is available from Opening Ceremony for $255.