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Unveiling the Art of Properly Draping and Tying a Scarf

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SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Scarf Scares: A scarf can be a beautiful complement to a dress or blouse, picking up and highlighting subdued colors when it’s tied right. When it’s tied wrong, it can look like a jumbled noose around your neck.

“The key to a great scarf is how comfortable you feel when wearing it,” says Stephanie Grani of Stephania in San Juan Capistrano. “There has to be some thought into how it’s going to be worn. If it’s set at too much of an angle, it will fall in your face when you bend over.”

Sometimes a good knot is not a knot. “I know of a designer who has hand-painted scarves with matching elastic ‘scrunchies’ that are usually used to knot ponytails in hair,” Grani says. “The scrunchie works like a knot that is easy to put on and doesn’t damage the scarf.”

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If you’re not completely sure how to place that favorite scarf around your neck, you can try wrapping it around you like a belt or using it as an accent to a hat. And remember, if you see a scarf with more knots than a cheap piece of plywood and you like the look, prepare to spend a few hours learning how to do it right.

Mono-a-Mano: Now that local offices are filled with guys wearing new monogrammed dress shirts that they got for the holidays, the great debate rages. And no, it’s not who will win the Bud Bowl. The question is: Should initials be monogrammed in the order of first, middle and last names, or first, last and middle names?

“Using the first, last and middle order is the Old English way,” says wardrobe consultant Alex Fryer of Costa Mesa. “It’s very traditional, and usually the last-name initial is made a little larger. But it’s really just personal preference; both styles are correct.”

On dress shirts, your monogram can be on your wrist cuff or shirt pocket, although it’s a little more contemporary to have your cuffs initialed and just barely visible beyond your jacket sleeve.

Checkmate: It was just a few years ago that check patterns began to reappear on all sorts of jackets, sweaters, slacks, dresses and blouses. They look great, unless, of course, you’re wearing the forbidden “Checks Mix.”

“There are so many varied check patterns out there; they’ve really got to stand alone,” says fashion consultant Sara D’Allassandro of Yorba Linda. “I’ve seen lots of women make the mistake of wearing slacks with a tiny checked pattern along with a different checked jacket.”

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Today, more subdued smaller check patterns are in favor, as opposed to larger checks. But the larger patterns can work well when used in an accessory, such as a scarf, belt, purse or hat.

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