I have never owned much jewelry, but those items I do own are very precious to me. Not for their value, but for their memories. Since living here in France, I have come to realise I rarely wear any of my jewelry any more. Rather, the French scarf has taken over in my accessory drawer.
Scarf = Versatility
Of course working with animals, digging in the garden and rarely getting an opportunity to dress up these days plays a big part in it. Dangling earrings and a cat simply do not mix, and a necklace is just begging for one of our ducks to try to eat it. But a scarf, a scarf has shown me its versatility in all areas.
It was a baby duckling sling when Maggie was tiny and couldn’t keep up with me on her little feet, so she nestled into my scarf at my neck and I did everything with her there. In the garden I learned to use it as a sun hat or protection for my neck. I have used them for gift wrapping or packaging. And even when I do get the opportunity to dress up, I still seem to reach for a scarf.
A scarf can not only decorate, but in summer a light scarf can cover the shoulders if the evening turns a little chilly. In winter, I can snuggle into it at a restaurant if there is draft from an open door, or if we are feeling intrepid and sitting outside with our aperitif.
With an eye for design and quality, finding French scarves here has been easy. Too easy. They started to build up in my wardrobe. And I have a rule, if I don’t wear it regularly or at least in the past 6 months I don’t get to keep it. (Luckily, I wear a lot of scarves.)
When I opened my first shop Pumpjack & Piddlewick on Etsy, it was no surprise then that scarves soon found their way on to it. In fact, I have had to limit my buying days as I kept finding beautiful and unusual ones. I love researching the scarves, researching French designers, or simply knowing that someone somewhere will like the design as much as I do.
My searches had me finding some truly amazing, and particularly silk, scarves. For some reason the silk scarves from the 1950s and 60s have the most wonderful, often way out there, no theme is too weird, artwork. Want a scarf devoted to Victorian carriages, pas problem. Perfume bottles and birds, mais oui! Or even husky dog sledding? Truly, and I am being focused here, French vintage silk scarves have no limitations in designs, from the floral to the geometric, fun to minimalist, sublime to the – well, it’s all subjective.
I have fallen so in love with the eclectic variety, let alone the superb quality, I decided to open a second shop purely dedicated to them. It’s called… wait for it… ta da… ‘French Silk Scarf‘. It’s a sort of a name on the tin thing, but search engines are fairly targeted, so win win.
French Scarf Style
What I also found was why the French like their scarves so much. They go with everything, or they tie the outfit together. In the past, I used to pick a colour and my whole outfit, including jewellery, would be built around that colour. In adopting the French style, which is actually much easier, I now wear two colours, maybe three at a pinch (after all I am still a little bit of a rebel), and use a scarf to bring the colours together. I hadn’t noticed even that I had submerged myself in French scarf culture until the other day. I realised that I had put together a blue and tan outfit and it dawned on me it was because I had just the scarf to compliment it.
So, if you have scarves languishing in your closet, or have always thought about buying one, give it a try. Discover its versatility, and in so doing, discover why the French like scarves.
How to wear a Scarf
This is one of my favourite videos of ways to wear a French scarf. Lots of inspiration. PS – she’s French.
If you would like to know more about the French Scarf, including (lesser known) French designers of them, the history of French silk or 11 ways for a man to tie a scarf, here is more reading for you~
Research and Writings On French Silk Scarves ~
What makes a ‘French Silk Scarf’ so Special? (includes 11 ways to wear a scarf for Men)
17 Lesser Known French Designers
All about French Silk
All my related French Silk Scarf writings