Today’s article will explore styles of vintage inspired scarves, fur stole, capes and evening wraps for winter. Scarves may exist in many forms and sizes. From knitted, to shawls, to faux fur stoles; the availability of styles is vast. Depending on the fabric, size and style, a vintage inspired look can easily be created with the addition of this versatile accessory.
Umbrellas can shield us from the rain; similarly parasols may protect us from the suns powerful rays. Gloves retain heat, as may the topic of today’s article – the scarf. Of course, scarves may be worn all year round, as the sheer variety of styles available may attune to many environments and climates. However, during the colder months of fall and winter, scarves become an important layer of warmth and protection.
Vintage Inspired Scarves for Winter – Knitted Styles
Classic knitted scarves are often the form of scarf recalled when considering winter scarves. The long, rectangular shape provides opportunity to wrap the scarf multiple times around the neck, providing installation and warmth. Various yarns and colors may be utilized, as such, this style of scarf is the perfect small knitting project for many novice knitters.
Trends in knit scarves over the decades:
1910s – Thick, extra long chunky knit scarves with long tassels. Wide horizontal stripes on the ends or long vertical stripe edging were very common. Having a matching knit cap was essential.
1920s – Scarves shortened up to the waist length by mid 20’s and were now lighter, smoother knits. Plaid was a common print as well as vertical stripes in multiple colors.
1930s- Scarves were much shorter to the point of being neck wraps or ascots instead of long wrap around scarves. Fringe was very short, if any at all. Instead edges were knit into points to echo the Art Deco designs of the day.
1940s- Scarves moved from neckwear to headwear. Triangular scarves wrapped around the head and tied under the chin. Long knotted fringe returned. Solids and prints were equally common.
1950s – The wrap scarf returned and was bigger than ever. Oversized blanket scarves were both long and wide and made in plaid, tweed, textured wools and stripes, often coordinating with a coat or other accessories. The long chunky knit scarves of the 1910s returned in the ’50s as well.
1960s – The long scarf was gone by the mid ’60s. Only a small head scarf remained. Instead fur collars kept necks warm.
As knitting grew in popularity during the first decades of the twentieth century, this in turn enabled knitted garments to become desirable accessories.
To complete the look, a matching hat or pair of gloves may be worn. Knitting books and magazines of the 1940s even show matching mother and child sets, in which both would sport hats and scarves of matching yarns and patterns.
For a classic vintage style, opt for patterns of stripes, chevrons or Fair Isle.
Cute Winter Scarves – Faux Fur
Faux fur styles immediately add glamour to an outfit. Throughout the early decades of the twentieth century, genuine animal fur was incredibly popular. In fashion history, animal fur had long been a symbol of status, wealth, power and social standing. By the 1920s, the fur industry boomed as Parisian designers began incorporating various furs into their collections. Following this, Hollywood movies featured stars clad in luxurious fur coats and stoles; further increasing the appetite for furs.
Today, there are many genuine vintage furs still available, both in coats and in stoles and scarves. However, there are also many faux fur styles available. Advances in technology today produce faux furs that look and feel authentic, with various cutting techniques and dyes utilized.
A faux fur stole can add elegance to a vintage inspired outfit, immediately evoking a 1930s or 1940s era. Choose from natural colored faux furs, or opt for a brightly dyed faux fur instead to make a statement.
Vintage Inspired Scarves for Winter – Evening Styles
Whilst most of the scarves and stoles featured here are intended to furnish a cold weather outfit, equally there are many styles that make excellent evening accessories.
surface decoration and embellishment was the height of fashion. The simplistic, loose lines of dress formed the perfect canvas onto which to showcase beautiful techniques and designs. In 1909 Mariano Fortuny experimented with pleating techniques, the result of which was his Delphos gown – a dress of the finest silks pleated to gently caress the female form. Devoré – a surface decoration technique applied to velvet which removed the pile of the fabric to reveal the under layer, also became popular during this time.
As textile innovations and surface decoration flourished during the 1920s, this enabled accessories such as scarves to become stand-out pieces.
To enhance an evening style, choose a silk scarf featuring beautiful prints and patterns. Or, to gently cover the shoulders, a cape is the perfect choice. For a 1920s style, look out for designs featuring beading, devoré, bold patterns and embroidery.
Vintage Inspired Scarves for Winter – Shawls
As surface decoration blossomed during the 1920s, this enabled shawls to become a popular fashion accessory once again. Shawls had been a favored accessory choice for centuries. During the Industrial Revolution they enjoyed a boom in production and popularity. From the decades that followed, the shawl was the perfect accompaniment to the wide, hooped crinoline skirts fashionable from 1850s-1860s. In later decades, as the line of women’s fashion favored bustles; the vogue for shawls declined until the late 1940s.
Women would adorn themselves in large shawls, displaying beautiful textiles and surface designs. At this time, and indeed throughout much of the history of the shawl, the shawl was worn not only as a means to keep warm, but also to be seen as ‘in fashion’.
This original 1930s example from Augusta Auctions demonstrates the devoré technique beautifully, whilst clearly showing the large size of the shawl.
To create a 1920s style, drape a shawl or cape over a coat or outerwear. Choose styles featuring bold patterns, embroidery, or even faux fur collars for a perfect vintage look. Naturally the heavy knit shawl is also timeless. For an evening style, opt for designs incorporating delicate textiles and surface decoration. Fringing, velvet devoré and beading would all make the perfect finishing touch to a vintage inspired style.
Whether you choose a cute winter scarf style to keep the chill of cold temperatures at bay, or as an embellishment to complete an outfit, there are plenty of styles to choose from. For a 1920s look choose a decorated shawl, or for an evening style, a beaded cape. 1930s and 1940s styles would suit a faux fur stole. For versatility and to suit many eras, opt for a classic knitted scarf.
Whichever era or decade preferred, there are many styles and choices available to choose from to create a perfect vintage inspired look.