Tied Up in Knots

Chelsea knot

Inspired by a letter to the editor enquiring why men in London are going about with scarves knotted like a woman’s, The Daily Telegraph weighs in on this pervasive phenomenon:

“Just what is the right way for a man to wear a scarf?”
[…]

“A man’s scarf should be worn inside his overcoat and exposed an inch above the collar, with the tie on view,” protested Ted Shorter from Tonbridge. And the response to this mild observation? In short: Get knotted.

“There is no other way now; this is a major revolution. Everyone is knotting,” said Jeremy Vine, a committed scarf knotter and presenter of BBC1’s Panorama programme. “Scarves are just so long now, you’d be tripping over them otherwise.

“Is knotting too feminine? People will just have to take a view depending on the person.”

Even the established Savile Row tailor Gieves & Hawkes admits time has moved on. The classic drape was immensely popular “to bring some breakage of colour with your lapel”, said our friend with the tape measure.

“And with a silk scarf, really, that’s the only way to wear it. But for a woollen scarf, it’s perfectly acceptable for men to loop and knot.”

Gareth Scourfield, the fashion editor of Esquire magazine, admits that men may be influenced by their wives and girlfriends. “But it has allowed men to wear scarves in a much more creative way. Let’s face it, men don’t have as many exciting clothes to play with as women.”

Nick Foulkes, the author and self-confessed “dandy” and style guru, said: “The scarf is a sartorial flourish. It’s the early 21st century equivalent of the bold linings worn by 1980s estate agents.”

3 Responses to “Tied Up in Knots”

  1. JaneC January 30, 2007 at 1:33 pm #

    I would think that if a scarf was tucked down far enough into the coat for the tie to be showing, it wouldn’t be serving a purpose other than being decorative, which is purpose enough in itself, if course, but isn’t very nice if one must go outside where it is cold. Woolen scarves worn as in the picture actually keep one’s neck warm.

  2. La BellaDonna January 30, 2007 at 4:35 pm #

    It is also my understanding that the scarf, looped as in the picture, is worn in what is known as the “hacking” style. The “hacking” referenced has nothing to do with computers, and everything to do with riding horses. As far as I know, it is appropriate for men and women both.

  3. Never teh Bride January 30, 2007 at 11:48 pm #

    I think that men ought to loop in whatever way keeps their necks warm ;-)