Scarves, the cruelest fashion item?

Larry Busacca/Getty Images for jcpenney

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Is there a fashion item crueler than the scarf? Run your mind over the contenders—the bikini, the mini, the stiletto—and remind yourself that at least with them, the emotional pain eventually ends. You accept defeat, mourn the loss, and move on. But you can go to your grave hoping, nay, believing, that this will be the season you master the accessory. One-size-fits-all, and seemingly openhearted—the scarf doesn’t judge your BMI or your wrinkles—it is in fact the great separator.

I’m speaking as a person on the wrong side of the divide. When I try the look that’s trending this fall, where you wrap the scarf multiple times around your neck to create a large, woven necklace, I appear to be in the middle of a failed suicide attempt. When I tie a silk scarf around my neck, onlookers use words like “female ascot” and “flight attendant.” Not as compliments.

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