I’ve made it my mission every winter to channel Lenny Kravitz and his concerningly large scarf any chance I get. Besides being the accessories of choice for rock stars, it’s also a winter necessity and, according to our parents, the only thing preventing us from getting a cold.
Earlier this year, wandering around Soho on a chilly day, I realized my neck was fully exposed even with my puffer coat. Thinking this would be an easy fix, I stopped into a few stores to grab a new scarf only to have my inquiry met with a shrug. “We only have this one,” a sales associate would say as they handed me the lone scarf they had in the store, either out of my budget or in a weird color. I wasn’t particularly picky, but it proved to be harder than ever to find a scarf that met my standards.
Finally, I caved. I bought a scarf online, and when it arrived it was so unbearably linty that I couldn’t use it, one of the risks you run into when shopping for knitwear online. The scarf sat unused while I zipped my puffer up all the way and invested in turtlenecks, then the weather warmed up and I didn’t think about scarves at all. That is until senior fashion writer Emilia Petrarca pointed out the very real problem of buying scarves online. Some things are predictable: Sneakers or denim from brands we’ve always shopped from tend to arrive as expected, and maybe on rare occasions they won’t fit. But scarves can be too scratchy or too linty or just disappointing. With colder weather looming, I’m hoping not to make the same mistakes. We’re (mostly) skipping the acrylic and going straight to the wool and cashmere blends. If you’re also hoping not to get lint all over your all-black outfits, here is where I’m searching.
If you want to save …
Venture over to the menswear section to find this knit set. It’s a wool-cashmere blend, so it’s worth spending a little more for that softness. Trust us.
Senior shopping editor Bianca Nieves’s hack for finding good-quality scarves is to search for 100 percent wool at sites like ASOS. Just make sure to sort the price from low to high! This is on the pricier side but it’s 100 percent wool.
Another store you probably own at least a few pairs of dress pants or blazers from, Banana Republic. This is on the pricier side, but it’s cashmere and currently on sale.
Uniqlo rarely disappoints and the Heattech has saved me on many cold New York City days.
If you want to splurge …
Skipping knits altogether, I’ve had my eye on this puffer scarf from Kanuk. It’s a little unconventional but still cool.
Everlane is another brand I feel like I can just grab something from without much research and trust the quality. This is a blend of recycled wool and cashmere, and I love the vibrant shades.
Another wool blend that is just very fun and a little oversize.
Fully worth the hype and the splurge, these mohair scarves are soft and come in a variety of color schemes to match whatever coat you grab this winter.