I’ll try a third option and let’s call it stylish. When I first noticed the trend of men sporting gauzy, lightweight scarves last year, my initial reaction was something to the effect of, “oh, please…”
If it’s warm outside that automatically makes the use of any kind of scarf that of a fashion accessory. And that, my friends, is a recipe for manly disaster.
Except that I’ve actually tried it out and, well, I kind of like it.
When it comes to styles that appear even slightly effeminate, like lightweight scarves in warm weather, American men tend to reflexively run the other way. European guys seem to make such accessories look annoyingly cool and natural.
Though not implying that I hang out at chic street cafes and tool around DC in an Aston Martin Vanquish, I do indeed have two summer scarves, both from Drakes-London, one of the forces promoting this look.
Since Drakes had actually given me my scarves for free I felt an obligation to man up and try them out, and so I did. While obviously impractical for high summer – though lightweight they really do retain heat quite well – for a cool or breezy evening, they are very nice.
And let me just point out that if Michael Drake thinks summer scarves are cool, manly and totally masculine, you best reconsider your opposition. Most of the brand names you encounter on an average trip to your clothier of choice think Michael is about the most stylish guy to tie a tie.
The two scarves pictured in this post, currently available at Drakes-London, are particularly classic, versatile and compatible.
Worn lightly wrapped around the neck or folded and looped in a European fashion, the summer scarf takes on the look of something picked up in Marrakesh or Paris. It has a certain exotic feel to it that is more world traveler than fashion victim.
That said, this kind of nonchalant elegance is a delicate balance. Summer scarves need to have a rich but muted coloring to them, and a classic but unfussy pattern; masculine yet relaxed and un-stuffy. Drakes’ scarves in particular are feather light, extremely malleable and made from some exceptional fabrics.
Washed Linen Blend Madras
Another point, and frankly this is more important, is to not care what anyone else thinks. This is a leap of faith for a lot of men and ultimately if it’s not for you then don’t wear it. It’s a personal look that comes nowhere near American Ivy League, but it is nonetheless a classic, classy look. My wife actually likes the look and, frankly, that surprised me.
But when paired with a light sport coat or blazer it can feel quite natural. In my case, with worn-in khakis and a white oxford, my outfit had that nice thrown together, been-around-the-world look to it.