Trend Watch: Scarves and a No-Neck Look

Singers and speakers, rejoice! Your necks and throats are going to be well-protected this fall if you embrace one of the season’s key trends. Scarves, turtlenecks and lush cowl-neck sweaters surround the neck in cozy warmth.


The trend of focus on the neck (seen in statement necklaces and the wearing of large numbers of necklaces over the spring and summer) is continuing into the cold months with this latest take on neck adornment. Indeed, with these latest looks, the neck sometimes disappears entirely, creating a “no-neck look.”


Scarves, in both knit and silk versions, are a key component of this look. They haven’t been terribly successful during the warmer months, perhaps because scarves can be hot worn around the neck, even if rendered in theoretically breathable silk. It can be much more comfortable to wear a necklace that covers less of the skin, an effect heightened when the design of the necklace has an airiness to it that lends psychological lightness to the style.


Here is a series of three looks from a current Dolce & Gabbana ad. Notice the long neck of the model seen to the far right wearing a striped turtleneck. Compare what appears to be the same model to the far left, wearing a scarf around her neck on top of a collared jacket. There’s a lot of fabric happening right at the neck. This look does not lend itself well to necklaces or any manner of drop or dangling earrings. 


Here’s another example of the no-neck look from a current Ralph Lauren ad. Notice the pearl stud earrings, watch and pinky ring. And this look isn’t limited to separates. In the August 2008 issue of Allure magazine, you’ll find the below-pictured Proenza Schouler dress of silk twill. 



How best to adorn the no-neck look with jewelry? Along with short earrings, bracelets and rings remain good choices, and don’t overlook the potential of brooches. A brooch can anchor a scarf into place, serving a utilitarian purpose as well as adding a bit of flair to an ensemble.

The no-neck look works least well on those of us who already have short necks. The solution is a lower neckline and a narrower scarf, as seen in the below-pictured ad from DKNY. 


The model pictured has a long neck, but even if her neck was not especially long, you can see that there is more room here for the additional of earrings. Bracelet-length sleeves continue to allow for adornment at the wrist, at least until the weather gets so cold that gloves are needed to cover up that bit of flesh as well.