Fashion for Women Over 50: The Art of Accessorizing with Scarves


Long, short, square, wool, silk – scarves come in all shapes and colors. But do you know how to wear them? Fashion expert Melanie Payge is here to give us some scarf advice to enhance our looks. Enjoy the show!


Margaret Manning:

Hello, everyone. Welcome to this special fashion edition of the Sixty and Me show. Today I’m with fashion expert Melanie Payge who is going to talk to us about scarves.

Melanie Payge:

Scarves are one thing that we’ve all been sold or gifted, and most of us have tons of scarves. I’d like to start off with an older scarf that was gifted to me by a foreigner when I was a young girl. Back then, I had no idea what I would do with a scarf like that.

My mother said, “Melanie, you’ve got to keep this scarf. It’s a gift. You’ll wear it on a cold day.” I’ve had this scarf for 35 years, and I’ve never worn it. If you have a similar scarf, it might be time that you get rid of it because these are useless. They attract moths, and I’m certain you wouldn’t wear it when you’re cold.

Now I want to talk about a trend we see on CNN, though of course, the female reporters on CNN have a very good reason to be wearing these huge scarves. We know that, at any moment, they may have to use it to cover up their head.

For the average woman though, these huge scarves that we’re putting on to add color or to hide an area of our bodies are really unattractive. They take away from the beauty of your face, especially if you’ve got the wrong color combinations. Multicolored scarves around your face are not very enhancing.

Also, these huge scarves take away your neckline and make your head look much smaller and your hair run out of place. These scarves are not a fashion item. They belong to a trend that I don’t suggest for women over 60 because it’s really not flattering.


But this is the size of scarf that you see in most high street shops these days. They’re the size of a tablecloth – really huge.


You could easily use one such scarf as a sarong and take it to the beach.


That’s a good use for it.


It’s definitely a better way to use it. If you’re wearing a jacket of solid color, you don’t want to overwhelm your look. If you take a big old square scarf with a printed picture on it, that would be too much. Also, you don’t want to tie your scarves. Tying scarves has been out since the 60s.

But let me switch to a Pucci scarf that’s got the right color going, and the effect changes dramatically. It’s not too busy, and you can put it around your neck easily. When you close your jacket, you might want to have just a little portion of the scarf showing to give you a bit of color or to cover up your cleavage.

Always keep in mind that scarves shouldn’t be overwhelming because it’s never really about the scarf. It’s about how you wear the scarf. Many times, though, we’d buy something because we like that particular piece.

For example, I bought this scarf because I loved its two shades of silk, and I thought it would be fantastic. But it’s very difficult to wear because of its huge square shape and because of the type of silk. One way you could wear something like this is as a shawl complementing a purple evening dress.

So, you see, it’s important to know why you’re buying your scarf.

What if you have on a multi-colored jacket? Mine has purples and blacks, but it truly doesn’t matter what are the colors or if they’re bold or discrete. A lot of people would think they could use a scarf that has the same colors going as their jacket.

However, if you’re wearing a multicolored jacket of any kind, you don’t want to be wearing a multicolored scarf as well. It just can’t work. It gets too busy and changes the colors in your face, especially if you tie it up. You don’t want to do that.

Instead, I would take a solid colored scarf – purple in my case – and use it to enhance or to cover. Also, I don’t suggest wrapping the scarf. You could pull it up a little bit, but you don’t really need to wrap your scarves and take your neck away.


Let’s talk about wrapping scarves. I am a woman who buys a lot of scarves, and I’m really interested in this advice. I also watch all kinds of tutorials on how to wrap or tie scarves. I’ve seen videos that suggest taking a narrow scarf, wrapping it around the neck once, then tucking the ends in the loop. What do you think about that?


I think that you have to treat scarves the same way you treat makeup. When you’re doing your makeup, you don’t want it to overwhelm you. You don’t want to wear evening makeup in the day. When it’s darker, you need darker shades. You want the makeup to enhance your assets, be it eyes, lips or something else.

Scarves can be the same way. What you did with the scarf actually takes away from your neck and messes up your hair. Now if you have a beautiful neck, but let’s say that there were a few wrinkles on it, you might want to bring the scarf around so the ends hang on your back. This would be the right way to wear it.

Tying scarves is a fad of the past, and just because we’re now in our 60s, doesn’t mean we have to stay with the fads of the past – nor should we follow the trends of the future. What we need to do is take a good look at ourselves, in technical terms.

Do we have wide shoulders? Do we have long necks? Do we have shorter necks? Is our face round or square? How can this scarf work for you? It’s really more about your own attributes than the scarf itself.

Of course, shop keepers make easy sells with scarves as scarves make for an easy gift, or an extra sell with a winter coat. So, my advice is don’t accumulate scarves and don’t feel like you have to wear them. Only where those scarves that are right for your body type and coloring.


I’m really glad you mentioned body type because many of us haven’t thought that our physical dimensions have to be considered when wearing a scarf. It’s really important to understand your body type and how you can enhance it. Thank you, Melanie. You’ve been really helpful.

What’s the oldest scarf you have in your closet? Have you ever worn it? Do you have a favorite scarf? What do you think about wrapping and tying scarves? Please post your comments in the box below and let’s have a conversation!

Let\’s Have a Conversation!

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