As they say in Hollywood upon completion of a scene, “It’s a wrap.”
Last year’s story was filmed, edited, and released. We have before us a new scene and a clean storyboard. It can feel fresh and exciting to imagine all the possible connections, adventures, and growth that can unfold this year. For some, the uncertainty can have an immobilizing effect. In reality, 2023 is only a sequel or the next chapter of the grand story of our individual lives. Many of the scenarios will look the same, yet we get to choose our costumes.
This brings me to the timeless and versatile scarf.
Audrey Hepburn supposedly claimed, “When I wear a silk scarf I never feel so definitively like a woman, a beautiful woman.” Shawls. Scarves. Shrugs. Mantles. Stoles. Capes. Ponchos. Pashminas. Rebozos. Let’s call them wraps. They have the potential to add chic and elegance to any outfit.
Although the desire to enhance our image with feminine flair is why we tie a scarf around our necks, waists, wrists, or purses, they beautifully serve various additional purposes. We sometimes opt wearing a scarf or wrap for added warmth in place of a jacket or coat. Shawls feature widely in religious ceremonies, and some cultures require women’s heads and bodies to be covered with large mantles while in public. I have also seen women carrying babies or vegetables in a woven cloth, the next moment using the same shawl as a picnic blanket, or keeping their heads dry in a sudden downpour.
Even the etymology of the word “scarf” suggests utility. The Old French root escarpe means “sash or sling, a pilgrim’s purse suspended from the neck.” Old Norse had a word with similar letters denoting a small bag or satchel, and Medieval Latin’s scripa meant a bag woven of rushes.
(A weaving of rushes sounds a bit scratchy to me. Instead, head on over to Unique Batik’s collection of comfy, soft scarves here )
Style and usefulness aside, wearing a shawl can be a challenge. I’ve had my set of frustrations attempting a classy look while constantly having to re-drape. Fortunately, we have free access to countless experts online. You can also turn your shawl into a vest. ( Demo shawl to vest )
Time to wrap it up.
Whatever the challenges ahead, let’s dress up for it!