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Faux Pas for Petites – How Not to Wear Your Silk Scarf or Shawl

Updated on August 21, 2015

While “the best things come in small packages,” many petite women remain unconvinced. They want to be taller, more statuesque. To do so, some will go to great lengths. While some styles of clothing and certain accessories do result in the illusion of greater height, others, or the misuse of their application do not. In fact, the misapplication of some items can actually make a petite person look shorter and dumpy. This is even true with the most versatile accessory of them all: silk scarves.

Provided below is a style guide of how not to wear this accessory:


The illusion of height can come if you wear a v-neck, leaving your throat and neck exposed. You can heighten (pun intended) the look if you hang a scarf at the back of the neck and allow the ends to hang. If, however, you wrap the scarf around your neck and let the ends dangle down the front of your ensemble, or toss them to the back, you will destroy the vertical look and appear shorter. The placement and use of the scarf will create a horizontal line from shoulder-to-shoulder.


If you like to wear scarves around your neck, avoid rolling it into a cylinder shape and tying it tight to your neck and at one side. It works against the lengthening effect in two possible ways: by making a short neck look fatter and shorter; and stops people from gazing downwards, snared by the positioning of the scarf.


Another fashion faux pas to petites to avoid is the knotting of a scarf draped from the back to tie at the front. Let the ends flow freely instead. The illusion of verticality vanishes, as does the singular effect as soon as you tie the beautifully hand painted and artfully designed silk scarf or shawl in this fashion.


While it has become popular among those who seek to look young to fold the silk scarf in triangular-shape, put the central component of the material to the front of the neck, then placing the cross over the ends at the rear before fastening with a loose knot, this is NOT for the vertically challenged. This fashion hides the throat, making the individual appear shorter – and even neckless, while concealing the chest region.

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    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Beautiful absolutely beautiful.