The 18 Fall Scarves No Outfit Is Complete Without

The easiest and coziest combos—just in time for sweata weatha.

Woman wearing scarf
(Image credit: Julia Gall)

I will forever proclaim that fall is the best time to get dressed. Fight me on it! After a summer of dressing in rags, fall reignites a creativity but also a seriousness in putting clothes together. (opens in new tab) Basically, the daydream is over, and now it’s time to get back to business and get into all of the autumnal colors (opens in new tab) that look incredible with sun-kissed skin. The outfit combinations are limitless (bare legs in skirt with a sweater (opens in new tab), jeans and a light trench, (opens in new tab) just a sweater dress with a tall boot, etc., etc.) and basically every type of footwear is game. However, a fall outfit without a scarf is like—did you even dress for fall at all?!

Below, I try on several cool-weather scarf staples and super easy outfit ideas for each. And the real kicker is this: They will all look just as good with jeans as they do with leggings, sweats and flats, 'cause let’s not kid ourselves, we’re still in a pandemic, people. Let's keep it simple. Now, onward to the scarves you need now!

The Puffer Scarf

Women wearing puffer scarf

(Image credit: JULIA GALL)

I immediately gravitated to this super long quilted nylon number from Daily Paper. This isn’t the first puffer scarf I’ve tried, and I can guarantee it won’t be the last. The scarf is basically a cooler version of a puffer vest. It offers the same kind of coverage on both sides of the body, plus covers your neck. I would highly recommend this on a cooler day for that reason. I took down the sportiness of the scarf with my go-to tweed blazer and a graphic tee. (opens in new tab)

The Classic Plaid Scarf

Woman wearing a plaid scarf

(Image credit: Julia Gall)

It doesn’t get more “autumnal” than a classic Burberry scarf. I opted for one in a more tonal colorway, but paired it with a trench nonetheless. I’ve never tried a belted scarf look but thought, well, shitit’s 2020, I have nothing to lose. And was I ever right! I immediately caught a Kate Middleton vibe, so I’d recommend adding a little edge to the look. A studded belt or a pair of creepers could play into a more of a rebellious Brit angle.

The Snazzy Neckerchief

Woman wearing a snazzy neckerchief

(Image credit: Julia Gall)

A silk bandana with extra glam details, like the beads on this Tory Burch one, is a fresher answer to the statement necklace. Paired with a military shirt dress, it feels a little cooler and more casual since it already has a lot of jazz.

The Knit Poncho

Woman wearing a knitted poncho

(Image credit: Julia Gall)

Okay, I know what you’re thinking—a ponchoC’mon lady. I know, but hear me out. This Missoni one veers a little less “kooky art teacher” and I like the hood. To play off the rainbow stripes, I paired it with a nautical Saint James sweater that I thought would be quirky but somehow grounds the look. Not for nothing, a neutral sweater or turtleneck (opens in new tab) would also look great with this too, if that’s better for your comfort zone.

The Oversized Neutral Scarf

Woman wearing a Oversized Neutral Scarf

(Image credit: Julia Gall)

Monochrome dressing is the easiest way to look pulled together. The only effort required is to find the right tones in your wardrobe. This taupe looks great with camel and I liked that the texture of this faux-leather shirt pops the contrast of the wool scarf ever so slightly.

The Large Silk Scarf

Woman wearing a Large Silk Scarf

(Image credit: Julia Gall)

Now, silk scarves can be a little tricky to maneuver without feeling a little grand-ma-ma but I like a large one simply tied leaving some room for it to drape. I liked the juxtaposition of an elegant printed silk with a graphic vintage sweatshirt, bringing it down just a smidge more casual. I’m picking up a fancy mom at “Parent’s Day” on campus vibe, which I’m not mad at!

Julia Gall is the former Style Director at Marie Claire, covering all things fashion, as well as styling tips, wardrobe upkeep and sustainability. Check her out at @juliasgall.