Stylish Silk Scarves That Are Warmer Than They Look

Lindsey Lanquist
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Stylish Silk Scarves That Are Warmer Than They Look
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Photo: Melodie Jeng/Getty Images.

As the weather grows colder, my priorities shift from aesthetics to practicality. Cute shoes are great—until they leave you slipping on icy New York City sidewalks (and inevitably falling to the ground, at least once or twice). Avoiding hats is smart as far as hairstyle preservation goes, but misguided when it comes to keeping your head at a remotely reasonable temperature. And knits, though chunky and often completely shapeless, become increasingly vital as the calendar year reaches its end.

In times like these, it often feels like sacrifice is imminent; you can either dress comfortably or dress well. But a few choice items offer an olive branch between these two seemingly mutually exclusive camps: Chelsea rain boots on blustery days, transparent tops in the overwhelming summer heat and silk scarves during the coldest fall and winter months.

MORE: Vibrant Knits Are the Funnest Way to Transition from Season to Season

If you’ve ever seen someone wearing a silk scarf, you know they look pretty small and delicate. But if you’ve ever worn one, you know they’re deceptively large. I own a silk scarf that’s about two feet in length and width—tied on my neck, it resembles a mere bandana.

Once you’ve learned silk scarves aren’t as dainty as they appear, you mightn’t be so surprised to learn they’re incredibly warm. Seriously, I used to swear by chunky knit scarves (and only chunky knit scarves), but my silky go-to has done more in the way of temperature regulation than any of my bulky knits have.

Why? For one thing, all that fabric does a lot for insulation—plus, since it’s wrapped around your neck (one of your body’s quickest-cooling points), it’s pretty efficient, too.

MORE: 31 Fast-Fashion and Designer Sweaters that Look like Thrift Shop Finds

And the best part is: Silk scarves are cute. You can stay warm while looking pretty damn trendy—and you don’t have to weigh yourself down with outfit-obscuring layer after outfit-obscuring layer. Silk scarves are the perfect solution to particularly breezy fall days, and they’re just as effective on snowy winter ones.

Ahead, you’ll find 27 silk scarves to shop as the temperatures begin to drop further and further. Some are designer, others are fast-fashion, but all would look excellent tied around your neck this season.

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STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
Large Silky Square Scarf

A dainty floral print in all your favorite jewel tones.

Large silky square scarf, $18 at Urban Outfitters

Photo: Urban Outfitters.
STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
Gucci Tiger Face Silk Scarf

The scarf equivalent of Katy Perry's hit "Roar."

Gucci tiger face silk scarf, $470 at Neiman Marcus

Photo: Neiman Marcus.
STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
Large Silky Square Scarf

For the shopper who definitely plans to wear white after Labor Day.

Large silky square scarf, $18 at Urban Outfitters

Photo: Urban Outfitters.
STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
Leopard Print Neck Scarf

An animal print with a pop of color—just how we like it.

Leopard print neck scarf, $39 at & Other Stories

Photo: & Other Stories.
STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
Gucci Square Logo Shawl

Logomania done subtly. (Remember, the logo will turn into a pattern when your scarf is rolled up and on your neck.)

Gucci square logo shawl, $445 at Neiman Marcus

Photo: Neiman Marcus.
STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
Art Baby Girl Square Scarf

Fashion, baby.

Art Baby Girl square scarf, $10 at Urban Outfitters

Photo: Urban Outfitters.
STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
Large Silky Square Scarf

Because the pink and green color combo never really goes out of style.

Large silky square scarf, $18 at Urban Outfitters

Photo: Urban Outfitters.
STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
Gucci Silk Hypnotism Stamp Scarf

Um, can someone teach us to tie our scarves like that?

Gucci silk hypnotism stamp scarf, $495 at Neiman Marcus

Photo: Neiman Marcus.
STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
Gucci Forcats Silk Scarf

Need this now.

Gucci Forcats silk scarf, $495 at Neiman Marcus

Photo: Neiman Marcus.
STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
Gucci Noodle Takeout Print Scarf

Hard to resist anything Gucci does_especially when it comes to silk scarves.

Gucci noodle takeout print scarf, $470 at Neiman Marcus

Photo: Neiman Marcus.
STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
Gucci Floral Print Silk Scarf

An entire garden reduced to one piece of silk.

Gucci floral print silk scarf, $495 at Neiman Marcus

Photo: Neiman Marcus.
STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
Plant Mom Kerchief Scarf

The frayed edges make this scarf even cuter than the plant-covered fabric does.

Plant Mom kerchief scarf, $195 at Anthropologie

Photo: Anthropologie.
STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
Oversized Patchwork Bandana Scarf

Because prints don't have to be graphic.

Oversized patchwork bandana scarf, $28 at Anthropologie

Photo: Anthropologie.
STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
Salvatore Ferragamo Hollywood Silk Scarf

There's so much going on in this Ferragamo print, but we're sure it looks even cooler rolled up.

Salvatore Ferragamo Hollywood silk scarf, $230 at Neiman Marcus

Photo: Neiman Marcus.
STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
Roberto Cavalli Square Silk Scarf

The only thing we love more than this scarf is the way it's tied in this photo.

Roberto Cavalli square silk scarf, $250 at Neiman Marcus

Photo: Neiman Marcus.
STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
Roberto Cavalli Silk Snakeskin Pattern Scarf

A whole new way to incorporate animal prints into your wardrobe.

Roberto Cavalli silk snakeskin pattern scarf, $250 at Neiman Marcus

Photo: Neiman Marcus.
STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
Evening Blooms Bandana

Perfect for Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and any other day you feel like rocking a patriotic palette.

Evening Blooms bandana, $38 at Anthropologie

Photo: Anthropologie.
STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
Colloquial Kerchief Scarf

For the cat lover who can't get enough black.

Colloquial kerchief scarf, $28 at Anthropologie

Photo: Anthropologie.
STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
Gucci Silk Twill Floral Degrade Scarf

Why put your favorite wildflowers in a vase when you could wear them, instead?

Gucci silk twill Floral Degrade scarf, $495 at Neiman Marcus

Photo: Neiman Marcus.
STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
Madewell Washed Bandana

Because we'd be remiss not to include a bandana in this roundup.

Madewell washed bandana, $12 at Shopbop

Photo: Shopbop.
STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
Versace Collection Tartan Patchwork Silk Scarf

Technicolor plaid is it this season.

Versace Collection tartan patchwork silk scarf, $495 at Neiman Marcus

Photo: Neiman Marcus.
STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
Valentino Silk Logo Waves Scarf

Another not-so-obvious way to approach the logomania trend.

Valentino silk logo waves scarf, $445 at Neiman Marcus

Photo: Neiman Marcus.
STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
Gucci Rainbow Feline Silk Shawl

Get a scarf that's as fierce as you are.

Gucci rainbow feline silk shawl, $445 at Neiman Marcus

Photo: Neiman Marcus.
STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
Evening Blooms Bandana

A lower-key print for the shopper who wants to make a subtle statement.

Evening Blooms bandana, $38 at Anthropologie

Photo: Anthropologie.
STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
Versace Collection Clash-Print Square Scarf

This Versace print is everywhere this season—might as well put it on your neck, too.

Versace Collection clash-print square scarf, $550 at Neiman Marcus

Photo: Neiman Marcus.
STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
Burberry Twill Silk Scribble Check Scarf

Plaid and scribbles sound like they'd be so wrong together, but on this scarf, they're pure maximalist magic.

Burberry twill silk scribble check scarf, $420 at Neiman Marcus

Photo: Neiman Marcus.
STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
Flecked Mini Silk Scarf

Who knew bumblebees could make for such cute polka dots?

Flecked mini silk scarf, $14 at Urban Outfitters

Photo: Urban Outfitters.

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  • STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
  • STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
  • STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
  • STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
  • STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
  • STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
  • STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
  • STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
  • STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
  • STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
  • STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
  • STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
  • STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
  • STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
  • STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
  • STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
  • STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
  • STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
  • STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
  • STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
  • STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
  • STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
  • STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
  • STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
  • STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
  • STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs
  • STYLECASTER | Silk Scarves Are the Dainty-Yet-Surprisingly-Warm Accessory Your Cold Weather Wardrobe Needs

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