retro woman in scarf


4 On-Trend Ways to Tie a Scarf

April 25, 2019 By

Today, I’ll be shining the spotlight on a major Hollywood icon and trendsetter…

And I’ll show you four ways you can recreate her timeless Spring-ready look later in this blog post.

You may know her from her Academy Award-winning performance in The Country Girl.

You may have seen the luxurious Hermès bag named after her…

Or maybe you know her as a real-life princess.

She’s beauty and she’s grace… Grace Kelly, that is.

Grace Kelly (1929-1982)

Black and white Grace Kelly portrait from 1963

Grace Kelly developed her passion for the performing arts at an early age, seeking out roles in school plays and community productions whenever possible.

After high school, she enrolled at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts despite her parents’ disapproval.

At 19, she graduated with dreams of becoming a Broadway star but, sadly, didn’t have much luck on stage.

In fact, Kelly didn’t find great success until she finally got her big break in 1953…

And from there, she launched to international fame almost overnight.

“Grace Kelly” became a household name after she appeared in the romantic drama Mogambo alongside Clark Gable and Ava Gardner.

The role earned her a Golden Globe, landed her a contract with MGM studios, and helped her become one of the highest-paid and most desired actresses in the world.

From there, she captivated several big Hollywood names with her cool elegance and worked with the likes of Gary Cooper and John Ford.

She even starred in three consecutive Hitchcock thrillers!

Grace Kelly is considered one of the biggest stars of the classic Hollywood era — yet her career lasted only five years and she appeared in only 11 movies!

I never realized she rocketed to superstardom so quickly and gave up acting just as fast.

But she didn’t step out of the limelight when her film career ended. In fact, quite the opposite happened…

In 1956, Grace Kelly became Princess Consort of Monaco when she married Prince Rainier III.

Becoming a movie star is already one-in-a-million, but who gets to become a real princess?

Sounds like a page right out of my childhood storybooks!

Kelly had to leave acting behind to move to Monaco, start a family with the prince, and devote her time to motherhood.

Although many considered it a giant sacrifice, Kelly considered her new life a great gift, saying:

“I did enjoy and take pride in my work as an actress, yet I’m bemused by suppositions that my life since has somehow been less fulfilling. That certainly is not the case. Rather the reverse.”

Grace Kelly wedding dress portrait from 1956.
Grace Kelly in 1956.

But sadly, Princess Grace’s fairy tale life ended too soon…

In 1982, tragedy struck when she suffered a stroke while driving through the winding roads of southern France. With her daughter Stéphanie in the passenger seat, the vehicle careened over the edge of a steep hillside.

Medics arrived quickly and rushed mother and daughter to the hospital for immediate treatment.

Thankfully, Stéphanie survived the crash…

But the entire world felt deep heartache over the devastating loss of Princess Grace of Monaco, just 52 when she died.

Even after her death, however, Grace Kelly remains a major influence on beauty and fashion…

And, to this day, many try to imitate her classic style.

She even was inducted into the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1960 and museum exhibitions have showcased her famous wardrobe.

Not many other celebrities can say the same.

You see, Kelly never stepped out in wild or flashy trends like many stars do today…

Instead, she favored simple and sophisticated glamour.

That’s why her look is considered so timeless and elegant.

Despite her minimalist approach, however, Kelly loved adding one special touch to her outfits once in a while.

This simple accessory became a staple in the princess’ wardrobe and is the perfect “cherry on top” to dress up an everyday outfit.

You probably even have one in your closet already…

What is it?

A statement scarf.

Yes, they’re not just for keeping your neck warm in the winter.

Just one scarf — no matter the color or print — instantly adds interest to an otherwise basic outfit.

And since it’s such a versatile accessory, there are many ways to wear a scarf.

In fact, Grace Kelly was such a fan of them she once used a Hermès scarf as a sling when she broke her arm.

Grace Kelly wearing an arm sling

Kelly would even use scarves to protect a good hair day… or hide a bad one.

Today, I’m going to show you my favorite scarf styles, inspired by the Princess of Monaco herself.

The best part? These looks are so easy to tie together…

Which means you can add a fun, fresh touch to any Spring or Summer outfit.

We’ll work with two basic scarf shapes: rectangular and square.

And I’ll show you two ways to wear each of those scarves — four styles total! — that’ll make you look and feel like a Hollywood star.

Rectangular Scarf: Two Styles

The Elegant Shawl

Grace Kelly wearing a scarf shawl.

For this style, I recommend a long cotton scarf.

Start by opening your scarf completely. No need to fold!

Simply wrap it around your shoulders, allowing the ends of the scarf to hang over your chest.

Pull the ends of the scarf behind you so they’re tucked beneath your arms and tie them together with a double knot.

Then, pull the knot higher up on your back and drape the excess fabric over it, covering the knot.

Once you’ve mastered this look, you’ll have a beautiful alternative to your average Spring cardigan.

The Over-the-Shoulder Toss

Grace Kelly wearing a long scarf.

To get Kelly’s flowing scarf effect, I like using an extra long cotton scarf for this look.

Instead of making crisp folds, gather the fabric together lengthwise, bunching it up loosely.

Place the center of your scarf at the back of your neck and bring the ends forward over your chest. Then, simply tie one loose knot close to the side of your neck.

To create the smooth “waterfall” effect shown in Kelly’s pink outfit, pull one end of the scarf up through the loop around your neck and let it fall over your chest.

Because this style begs to be worn in an open-roof convertible, pull the other end of the scarf behind your shoulder so it can blow freely in the breeze.

Sadly, I don’t have a convertible. But gentle wind at the park works just as nicely!

Square Scarf: Two Styles

Classic French Knot

Photos of Grace Kelly wearing a French Knot

This look works best with a 25-35 inch square scarf. I’d recommend satin fabric in your favorite color or print.

Since this style requires a specific folding technique, I’ll break it down with simple diagrams and photos to show you each step…

Step #1: Place your scarf on a flat surface, colored side down, with one of the points facing you. (It should look like a diamond.)

How to tie a french knot - Step #1

Step #2: Fold the bottom point slightly above the middle of the scarf.

How to tie a french knot - Step #2

Step #3: Then, fold the top point so it almost meets the new folded edge.

How to tie a french knot - Step #3

Step #4: Now, fold the bottom edge to meet the center.

How to tie a french knot - Step #4

Step #5: Again, fold the top edge to meet the new bottom edge.

How to tie a french knot - Step #5

Step #6: Fold your scarf over once again so you’re left with a long piece of fabric. The width should be slightly shorter than the height of your neck.

How to tie a french knot - Step #6

Step #7: After you’ve finished folding, place the center of the scarf at the front of your neck.

How to tie a french knot - Step #7

Step #8: Then, bring the ends behind your neck.

How to tie a french knot - Step #8

Step #9: Cross the ends over each other, keeping the fabric as smooth and flat against your neck as possible.

How to tie a french knot - Step #9

Step #10: Bring the ends back to the front.

How to tie a french knot - Step #10

Step #11: Then, tie off the ends with a knot at the side of your neck and adjust the position to your liking before securing your style with a second knot.

How to tie a french knot - Step #11

This look screams classic Hollywood glamour to me! And I love how a bright, patterned scarf pairs with a basic white top.

“Kelly Wrap” Headscarf

Grace Kelly wearing a headscarf.

This style is so iconically Grace Kelly, it’s actually named after her!

Grab a square scarf again… but this time, I recommend cotton fabric so it won’t slip off your head. However, if you love your satin scarf, feel free to secure your style with bobby pins!

First, fold your scarf in half to create a triangle.

Place the center of the longest edge just slightly behind your hairline, allowing your hair to peek through.

Cross the ends of the scarf loosely under your chin and around to either the back or side of your neck.

Then, tie a loose knot and that’s it!

For this style, you don’t want the scarf too snug around your head. Keep it loose and casual for that cool, effortless feel.

Pair it with oversized sunglasses to complete this classy, elegant look. Or use it as a hair shield like Grace Kelly often did.

I hope you enjoy trying out these playful styles!

After all, fashion is meant to be fun and make you feel good.

And for many people, putting together a beautiful outfit isn’t just a confidence booster…

It’s therapeutic — just like taking time for skincare or reading.

Finding joy in those simple, quiet moments is essential for a healthy life.

I’d like to end on this quote from Grace Kelly to remind you how important “me time” is:

“I love walking in the woods, on the trails, along the beaches. I love being a part of nature. It is therapy. One needs to be alone, to recharge one’s batteries.”

It’s great to look good on the outside, but I hope you always remember to also take care of what’s inside.

Whether it’s a peaceful walk, reading your favorite book by the window, or treating yourself to an at-home spa session — don’t forget to make time to relax and recharge.

P.S. The weather here in LA is just starting to get warm and I’m so excited to finally switch up my wardrobe a bit!

Looking forward to sunny days, what pieces of clothing or accessories are you most excited to pull out from the back of your closet?

What warm-weather outfit instantly makes you feel confident and beautiful?

I’d love some fashion inspiration from you 🙂

So, please comment below with your Spring-Summer favorites! And make sure to share this post with a friend who’d like to add a fresh “pop” to their wardrobe.

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