Scarfing Through The Years
Yeah, there’s another definition of scarfing, and I’ve certainly done my share of that through the years too.
But this is about literal scarfing.
My First Scarf: Back when I was dancing to Annette Funicello records, I had a little Annette scarf tied around my neck. I felt awkward with this scarf. It didn’t serve any purpose (although I’ve learned since that fashion does not have to be functional). Was I supposed to look like a cowgirl? And I had heard this scary story about a girl whose scarf disguised the fact that her head had been severed.
There was a long scarf famine after that. In high school, this may have had something to do with the movie “Isadora” — in which lovely Isadora Duncan died a very tragic death as her long scarf became entangled in the spokes of her lover’s car, throwing her from the car like a spitball from a slingshot.
In college, my scarflessness was simpler. Love Beads.
When I got my first job however, scarves were back. Women were becoming executives for the first time, and even us non-executive types wore the uniform. A suit with a white blouse and a floppy bow. They were basically all the same, so I really only needed one, but I had several. I had a brown suit with a paisley bow, a navy blue suit with a red bow, and my favorite – a gray suit with a turquoise bow. Sometimes I mixed and matched. It still looked like the same suit. I looked like a flight attendant every day.
In the 80s, business attire loosened up. I thank Miami Vice for that. It suddenly became okay to wear something other than gray. Brights and pastels were in. And scarves got untied. A white silk scarf was cool. Clothes may have been lighter, but makeup was certainly heavier. But this get-up was perfect for going out for drinks and dancing after work. Which I did a lot. I could nurse one wine-spritzer for three hours, while seriously flirting.
About 1989, I found my way into my own style. But not exactly. I actually found my way into Diane Keaton’s style. I traded in my scarf for a necktie. Sure, “Play It Again, Sam” came out in 1972, but it took me seventeen years to be comfortable enough to put on a tie. (and figure out how to tie it). I loved this style. I met my husband in my Diane Keaton phase. He loved me but he thought I dressed a little nutty. (The perm wasn’t Diane Keaton; it was my own style and I had those curls on my wedding day.)
I’ve taken a long break from neckwear. I like beaded necklaces and long pearls.
Until this year. Scarves are back this winter. Everyone has them. Long rectangles wrapped and wrapped against cozy necks. Lightweight sweaters and heavy scarves. I love this look.
I bought one. (naturally).
But here’s the thing: Every time I put on my new scarf, I hesitate.
I’m vaguely reminded of something. But I just haven’t been able to put my finger about it. What is it? Why do I always end up taking off the scarf and substituting a necklace?
Then today I saw it.