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11 Types of Scarves: Explanation & Visual Guide

Scarves are a great way to spice up your outfit. However, they’re also essential when it comes to staying warm in the autumn and winter seasons. Each scarf serves a different purpose and is worn appropriately. So, what kind of scarves are out there? Read along to find out the different types of scarves you should be familiar with.

Key Takeaways

  • Scarves are very fashionable accessories, perfect for layering an outfit
  • They are stylish and very comfortable
  • Scarves can’t run out of style as there are so many varieties and options to pick from

What Is a Scarf?

A scarf is a garment of clothing typically worn above your shirt or jacket. It is a piece of fabric that hangs around your neck that can be made out of different materials and used for warmth, style, sun protection, cleanliness, to denote your social status, the team you’re cheering on, or religious reasons. Based on that, scarves can be categorized into types depending on:

  • The season they are suitable for
  • The material they are made out of
  • Their function
  • Style

In this article, I will mostly focus on the stylistic aspect.

Also, read the different types of hoodies.


The traditional scarf is a long piece of fabric, about 50 to 70cms in length. This type of scarf is worn loosely around the neck.

It is mostly used to keep us from cold in the winter. It can be worn for warmth or as a fashionable accessory. The material of this scarf can be made knitted out of wool or it could be made out of mohair or cashmere.


A boa scarf is a fabulous accessory to spice up your outfit with. It is a scarf made out of feathers that can be in any color you want. They are known for their extravagant appearance. Whether you love or hate their dramatic look, they have a long history of being scandalous.

People used to wear them as a sign of elegance even as early as the Victorian and Edwardian eras. However, some people still consider boas a vulgar symbol of entertainers, and the cabaret. Boas have never been consistently trendy, but they are considered an important symbol of fashion.


The infinity scarf is a piece of fabric that is made as a circular scarf that you can fold in two. This type of scarf is perfect for cold weather as keeps its wearer cozy and warm.

The infinity loops – the two loops around your neck – are a great way to keep yourself warm and fashionable in the winter season.


This is one of the most common yet one of the most versatile type of scarf. It can be manufactured in satin, cashmere, wool, cotton, or even silky material. Mostly used as a thick knitted scarf that is made out of wool; This scarf is best worn in the wintertime for extra warmth in combination with a puffer jacket, or coat.

Any winter outfit looks more fashionable with accessories. Therefore, adding the muffler scarf on top of your jacket gives you a sophisticated, cozy look all while keeping you safe from the cold.


This type of scarf is a very simple, usually knitted scarf. It has a circular shape in the middle of which there is a hole. It’s simple and easy to wear.

Just like the muffler, the cowl is a winter type of scarf, therefore it is made out of pashmina or wool.


Snoods are scarves that are tubular pieces of fabric very similar to the cowl and the infinity scarves. They are thick and worn in the wintertime.

The only thing that makes snoods differ from the cowl is the added hood; which is where the name comes from. They are worn higher on the neck and are larger, allowing for much more protection from the cold.


From the name of this scarf, we can conclude that they look much like a blanket. The blanket scarf has a rectangular or square shape and is probably the biggest type of scarf on this list. Thus, making the blanket scarf a super cozy option when it comes to picking out which scarf to wear. They are made from cotton, acrylic, or flannel fabrics.

Their versatility makes them appropriate for any type of styling; This makes them very fun to experiment with. They can be worn as anything ranging from a traditional scarf, a shawl, or belted – as a vest; And, the best option of all, you can wear them as an actual blanket to snuggle up with.


Moving on from the winter time, the sarong is a thin piece of silky smooth fabric in a rectangular shape, something similar to a blanket scarf. However, unlike the blanket scarf, it is usually a scarf you wear around your waist when going to the beach.

This scarf is usually tied in a knot on the side of the waist keeping it from falling, it has a loose fit and is made to protect you from the sun and covered up while wearing a bikini underneath.


The poncho is also a very chic and fashionable piece to add to your everyday look. It is highly versatile, so it can also be worn as a scarf.

You could wear a poncho with any of your jeans and sweaters, adding it for a nice layered look that is going to keep you extra snuggly. Or, you could wear it with a bodycon dress for a very modern and put-together look.


Headscarves are a piece of silky fabric worn around a person’s head (usually for women); As the name suggests, it is a headpiece scarf, which covers up the head and hair of a woman allowing only the face to be seen. They have various purposes and used to be worn all around the world. They keep the hair back. They are clean and sanitary as they protect it from wind, rain, and even the sun.

Headscarves were used in a religious context by orthodox Christians when going to church. Nowadays, they are mostly worn in the form of a hijab, by Muslim women, as a cultural and religious symbol.

Triangle Scarf

When you think of a scarf made in a triangle shape, you usually would think of a bandana. However, these scarves are larger and more intricate. They can be crocheted or knitted, and are made from any type of material such as linen, silk, or wool.

Also read alternatives to t-shirts that you can wear.

Final Words

There are so many different types of scarves, shawls, and wraps. They are differently shaped types of interchangeable outfit pieces and usually serve the purpose of keeping you warm, cozy, and comfortable. They come in a variety of different knits, colors, and patterns. Scarves are a great fashionable way to layer any outfit