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Womens Vintage Scarves

February 26, 2015

Womens vintage scarves are a wonderful item to find in a secondhand clothes shop. They are like a little, colourful, affordable slice of history. In the past, even women who could afford very little in the way of new clothes might treat herself to a new silk scarf now and again, to tie around her neck or pull over her head.

Womens Vintage Scarves - Regal Tassel Silk Head Scarf

Regal Tassel Silk Head Scarf

Vintage headscarves for Women

Some famous artists have put their design skills to bear on womens scarves. The little squares are a perfect canvas for creativity.


Salvador Dali, Man Ray, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso and other artists have created some fabulous Womens vintage scarves designs. If you can find a scarf by one of the greats, you’re in for a treat. But there were also plenty of designers making beautiful Womens headscarves who not also fine artists, and there still are. Vera Neumann is a very collectable designer from the sixties, who made fresh, simple designs in bold colours.

Womens Vintage Headscarves – Silk

Silk scarves reprinting famous artworks have always been a popular choice, ad some souvenir silk scarves from people’s travels abroad are a fun, kitsch item. Instead of t shirts, people used to bring back silk head squares with pictures of the Eiffel tower, or even the Blackpool tower.


Silk is warm, light, showerproof and easily folded away to be carried when not needed, and has the added advantage of not messing up your hair or crushing it when it’s just been done, which I think is one reason for its past popularity. Now silk Womens vintage scarves are not seen so much on the streets: perhaps it’s time for a renaissance in the art?


You can wear silk Womens vintage scarves several ways: as a headscarf, tied around the neck, or even tied onto your handbag. Great headscarf wearers include, of course, the Queen, as well as sixties beauties like Sophia Loren. If you want to wear the scarf on your head, there are so many ways of tying it: under the chin, like the Queen, keeps your ears warm. Or wear it wound into a turban, folded into a rectangle and worn to keep the hair back as an alice band, folded into a triangle and worn peasant style, or again in a rectangle and worn over the hair, low on the brow as a twenties tribute.

Woolly scarves

Of course, womens vintage scarves don’t just include silk headscarves but long, woolly Dr Who style scarves. These were much popularised by Seventies stars like Ali McGraw in Love Story, and Diane Keaton in Annie Hall.


For a debonair way of wearing Womens Vintage Scarves, try white silk “flying neckscarves” with tassels. Originally worn by pilots in WW1, these have a twenties feel to them but most vintage examples that you find will come from the seventies. They are quite elegant, and warm, too.

Womens Vintage Scarves - WW1 pilot wearing a silk scarf

WW1 pilot wearing a silk scarf

Womens Vintage Scarves – DIY

It can be really fun to try knitting a stripy seventies scarf yourself, or you can also crochet individual flowers and sew them together for a warm scarf. Also try picking up knitting patterns for a really authentic take.