Fashion Scarves and Shawls! One of the most enduring fashion accessories that have never lost their appeal are scarves. Even through generations have worn them across several centuries. Worn for functionally throughout the world to provide warmth and protection against the bitter cold, or worn for its religious and cultural significance… their use of one has also evolved into other purposes.
A Short Background:
Contrary to what some people might think, the use of the scarf is not a modern thing. These people probably got that notion from chic culture or from contemporary and high fashion circles where the use of the scarf has not lost its appeal. In the ancient days, particularly during the time of the Greeks and the Romans… the use of the shawl had been in wide practice. People during those days called the scarf-shawl as the sudarim which literally means a sweat cloth. People were wearing them to absorb perspiration while working or traveling during hot weather.
During the Middle Ages and all the way through the Renaissance period, they have been used by the nobility to signify their upper social strata and class. This was attributed to the opening of trade routes from the Far East and China…which brought along exotic items, fabrics and materials including the finest of silks. During those days, only the ultra rich and nobility could afford them. Silk exudes the highest natural shine and sheen that any natural fiber can provide. It was the choice material for this garment then and it is still the most sought after material now.
Social Significance of Scarves:
Western culture has made use of this accessory either as fashion accessory or as protective clothing according to the weather. In other cultures, it is used extensively due to its religious and cultural significance. A classic example is the scarf or the hijab worn by women in Muslim culture as a sign of modesty as described in their holy texts. The headgear is part of their outer clothing called the abaya, traditionally in black… but has evolved in some countries to different other colors and materials.
The Benefits of Using Scarves:
They are worn due to two main purposes: for functionality and practical use.
Functional use is basically related to the weather or exposure to the elements while outside. They can be used to give extra warmth, particularly during the winter season which will require extensive use all throughout the day. Even if it’s not winter, going out on a cold and windy night would require the added warmth of a scarf wrapped around the neck. Another benefit that can be derived from scarves is the protection for the hair or the head itself against the elements, dust or the wind. This is great particularly if you are riding on a convertible or crossing the river or a lake on a ferry boat.
Of course, the most basic benefit that one can get from this accessory is the style, flair and fashion sense that it can add or enhance to a dull or drab outfit or dress that you might have at the moment. The addition of simple neckerchiefs or ascots can make wonders to a dress, or you can be more adventurous and wear a bandana or head scarf which will drastically change the way you look in just a short instant. Scarves can be worn using any style you want and in combination with any wardrobe that you have, as long as the design matches or complements with each other. There are endless possibilities and you as a wearer can benefit from all that.