HOW TO WEAR A SHAWL WITHOUT FEELING LIKE A PEASANT….

 

Unless that’s what you’re shooting for, of course :)

Shawlettes are year-round versions of a shawl that can be worn like a scarf or a kerchief.  Great for air conditioning, evening wear, and waking up a T-shirt and jeans (imagine a supermodel on her day off…)

First, how NOT to wear a shawl.  Think of our forebears at Ellis Island, clutching all of their wordly goods, babies, valises…. think of their black shawl over their head, spilling over the shoulders, maybe pinned in front.  This woman is probably 28, but we think of her as an old crone…  She didn’t have much choice.  We do!

 

Ellis Island mother and four girls

ONE BOLT= 4 DRESSES! THIS POOR MOMMY LOOKS TIRED! It's never too early to get the girls to wear their Training Shawls...

 

A shawl is a great idea, though. It can be a blanket, a baby sling, a hat, a baby wrap.  It’s handy to have in an aggressively air-conditioned restaurant or theater.  Now that we have artisanal yarns that are heaven to cuddle with, shawls seem much more appealing.

One trend to watch and learn from is the Pashmina Craze, which shows no signs of going away, even after at least five years of popularity.  A long foot-wide (or slightly wider) rectangle  of draping softness just begs to be wrapped around and around our neck. We have been doing the same with lace shawls, whether they are rectangular, triangular, a curved “slice”, or a long, shallow curve, like a skinny moon.   All of these shapes can be artfully draped.  Think “French”.  French women often look chic without seeming to try because they have a good haircut and a cool scarf/Pashmina.  Just wear a black T-shirt, black pants, and an awesome neck wrap and you’re good to go.  Cool earrings are optional.

Here is my current favorite: the Kerchief Wrap.  This works for most triangular shawls, especially if they have extended “wings” with which to wrap them.  This one is an enormous crocheted shawl, very traditional. But look at this:

The long corners are hanging down in back.   

 

The next shawlette is my “Reichenbach, Texas” salute to the waterfall where Sherlock Holmes was “killed” by Moriarty.  It has a curved lower edge that I modified from the traditional “Old Shale” stitch pattern.  The  point is less obvious, but the drape still works fine.  We just center the “waterfall” of beads and they give it enough counterweight to make it stay put.  It brings attention to the face, too.

 

Finally, lets look at a dramatic splash of chartreuse and wine purple, which will wake up any foggy afternoon:

This is Haruni, which is in my blog archives. I wear it this way much more often than I do with the point in the back.  People try to buy this one off of my back, but I love it too much to part with it.

So I hope you consider turning your shawl backwards and loosely draping it as if you just grabbed it as you were running out to the Ferrari.  An evening at La Scala and a bit of La Boheme….                                                                                                                               Next addition to this page: more on wearing shawls! How to decorate your hips without looking like a hippie; how to keep the dang shawl on…. how to drape artfully… how to tie long wings like a peasant girl does, but more “Wuthering Heights” than Soviet Russia.

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