The Vintage Scarf Buyers Guide.
For a relatively small outlay a vintage scarf can be a great way to either enhance a vintage outfit, or to add a bit of individuality and colour to whatever you are wearing.
They can range from purely decorative to something for the coldest winter days, but I’m going to focus on what to look for when buying a particular type of scarf that falls somewhere in between.
There’s a particular type of scarf that grew in popularity in the first half of the 20th Century in the UK, a short length that would tuck under an overcoat collar ,inside a tweed sports jacket or even under a crew neck jumper that offered the patterns and colours that a cravat or ascot did ,but added some warmth and practicality too. They had a revival of sorts in the early sixties with Mods adopting them into their wardrobe and then again with the Mod revival in the late seventies and with the popularity of vintage collectors and enthusiasts of today.
The fantastic thing about these vintage scarves is the sheer variety of patterns that have been available over the years mean that its rare that you see the same one twice. I would say they tend to fall into three different categories, Geometric ,Paisley and Abstract . The other main consideration is to whether you want one that is wool backed or not. The wool backed scarves do tend to be a bit more practical ,offering a bit of warmth and will sit better under an overcoat .Whereas the plain ones will be better tucked under the collar of a crew necked jumper or a light jacket to add some colour.
The patterned material will tend to be made of a type of man made fabric that goes under the name of Tricel or Rayon ,it’s like an artificial Silk but harder wearing ,easier to wash and holds the colour well. Hence scarves that are 50-60 years old still look like new with incredibly vibrant patterns.
There are some made of silk which will tend to be a bit more expensive but ,and its not often I say this ,the man mad fibres are just as good.
Well look at brands and pricing and what to look for when buying. There are three main brands with these vintage scarves.
Vintage Tootal Scarves, Vintage Sammy Scarves and Vintage Duggie Scarves.
Tootal are the most popular ,they have been trading since 1799 and continue to this day. They tend to be the most expensive as the name is the best known ,and the scarves are of excellent
quality. The Polka Dot Vintage Tootal scarves tend to be the most expensive at around £40-60 depending on where you buy them. Them other two brands are Sammy and Duggie, with all vintage scarves starting around the £10 mark second hand up to about £30-£40 .
As for the different patterns, its really up to personal choice ,sometimes I scroll through many before one just stands out ,and you’ll probably find the same. And if a scarf is dirty or torn in any way ,id move on to another one. There’s enough choice on the market that you shouldn’t need to buy one less than perfect condition. They really are a fantastic and inexpensive way of adding a personal vintage touch to anything you wear ,vintage or not .
These vintage scarves make wonderful accessories and the perfect companion to wear with any type of vintage tweed jacket or vintage overcoat. They also can be worn to any occasion and are especially popular to wear at vintage events including Goodwood Revival.
At Live for Tweed we have a great selection of tweed jackets and vintage scarves, so feel free to take a browse and find the perfect vintage clothing garment, with free UK delivery on orders over £59.99