There are few better ways to re-wear an outfit than to pair a different scarf with it. I'm totally guilty of this. I'll go out to dinner wearing a sweater, jeans, and a scarf, and then the next day I'll go on a photo-shoot wearing the same sweater and the same jeans with a different scarf. I convince myself that a different neck accessory means I've totally changed up my look. While I don't think I'm fooling anyone, a scarf is a great way to give new life to the staple t-shirts and sweaters in your wardrobe. This technique is especially effective if you pair an outfit with a nice silk scarf at night and then a cotton one for day (I'm talking springtime, here; I'm so over wool scarves right now).
Solid colors are great, but if you're trying to jazz up an outfit, why not go a little wilder? After all, this is The Wilder Things. So to help you in your search for the scarf you didn't know you needed, I've chosen five of my favorite patterned ones for spring. Some were made for men, some for women, but it really doesn't matter. People of each sex look great with a colorful piece of fabric wrapped around their necks, so whether you're a dapper dude or a glamorous girl, tie one on (after the jump).
The first scarf, the closeup of which is the opening photo of this post, is a Missoni Zig Zag Cotton Scarf via Net-A-Porter. You're probably thinking that it must be absurdly expensive, given the brand. And yes, it's not cheap, but at $310 it's kind of a steal for Missoni. If you're looking to invest in a killer piece, I'd have to say go with this one.
But I also don't blame you for not wanting to spend over $300 on a scarf, and fortunately, you don't have to. This lovely Woolrich Woolen Mills Yellow Africa Scarf via Context Clothing is more reasonable at $78. It's technically made for guys, but I wouldn't hesitate to wear it. I love the print and the colors; they would certainly make any outfit more interesting.
And then there's this totally adorable, totally affordable Tsumori Chisato Frog Bandana via Creatures of Comfort. It's only $33, and it has the same global feel as the WWM scarf above but with brighter colors. You can kind of tell that the little red block-like things are supposed to be frogs, but they're abstract enough that it just looks like a really cool print (though I do love frogs, and wouldn't mind a scarf with very clearly drawn amphibians on it). I love the blues and the reds; they go really nicely with the uneven, handrawn lines of the boarder.
Ah, yes, and then there's The Hill-side Fair Isle Scarf via Madewell. I have a crush on The Hill-side because they make updated, modern scarves out of workwear fabrics. The Hill-side is, like WWM, also typically menswear, but I love this more feminine print. It's such a great idea to put a Fair Isle print, which is traditionally knit into woolen sweaters, on a cotton scarf in pastel colors. Totally shakes up a winter-staple in a lovely way.