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How to Wear a Triangular Shawl

Updated on August 23, 2017

Easy Ways to Wear a Shawl

Even if you wear scarves, you may find shawls a bit intimidating - particularly triangular shawls. I started buying lightweight triangular shawls as a hip accent when I was in belly dance classes ... and then I found myself with a large collection of shawls. It seemed a shame to not wear these lovely accessories, but beside covering my shoulders (or wrapping one around my hips), a triangular shawl seemed a more limited fashion option than say a rectangular shawl, which is really just an oversized scarf.

So, I kept playing with the shape and the fabric and found that there were some creative, unexpected ways to wear a triangular shawl. Some of the looks would be appropriate for the office, others for the weekend, and others for evening.

The material of your triangular shawl will suggest when a particular wrap would be the most appropriate accent for an outfit. The other consideration is what you'll be doing and if the way you are wearing the shawl will get in your way. If you are giving a presentation or walking around a cocktail party with a drink in your hand, some of the more unusual wraps will add a stunning accent. On the other hand, if you are a schoolteacher moving around the classroom or you are out and about running errands, you want to keep the way you wear your shawl to a simpler wrap pattern.

One key thing I've discovered to adding to the number of ways you can wear a triangular shawl is to break from thinking that you have to look like you are wearing a triangular shawl. If you roll the fabric into a long cylinder, with bits of the fringe poking out, you get a unique look that will leave people wonder what you are wearing. Have fun folding your shawl; start out playing with some of the looks I show here.

Distressed Women's Triangular Scarf Bandana Colorful Shawl Wild Colors
Distressed Women's Triangular Scarf Bandana Colorful Shawl Wild Colors

This smaller triangle comes in a variety of bright patterns, which means each shawl will go with numerous items in your wardrobe.


Add to Your Shawl Wardrobe

If you are a fan of neutral color clothing (black, brown, navy), then you should look for accessories in bright colors so that you add an accent that will show up against your clothing.

If you want to maximize the ways you can wear a shawl, look for lightweight fabrics, that won't add bulk when you fold and roll the material.

A heavier fabric is great if you are looking for warmth alone and you aren't concerned with intricate ways of wrapping the material stylishly.

Before buying a shawl, think about when and where you plan on wearing it - are you looking for something to wear at work? Then you want something that won't get in your way as you do your job. A casual shawl to drape around your shoulders as you go shopping or out to lunch shouldn't be something that you have to keep fussing with to keep it in place. At evening events, you don't move much, so it is easier to keep that shawl slipping from place.

Work that Shawl

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What is Easier to Wear?

If you've ever worn a shawl (or admired someone who is wearing one) do you prefer the look of a triangular shawl or a rectangular shawl?

Which Shawl Results in the Most Attractive Looks?

Easy Look

Drape the shawl over your shoulders so the points hang down your sides. Super easy!

The Flip

Start with the shawl over your shoulders, with the points hanging along your sides. Casually flip one point of the shawl over the opposite shoulder.

The Crisscross

Start with The Flip and then toss the other point over the opposite shoulder. If the shawl is made from a smooth, slippery fabric, both points may not stay in place up over your shoulders. Look for a shawl with a bit of texture that will grip and stay in place. This is an elegant look to wear if you are walking around a cocktail party.

The Fringed "Scarf"

Roll the triangular shawl into a soft cylinder. When you wear this around your neck, you can treat the material like a long scarf and wear the ends hanging in front or flip one end around your neck. The fringe of the shawl will show, creating a casual Boho look.

Gypsy Hips

Wearing a flowing skirt? Add a triangular shawl around your hips for a extra sassy bit of swaying action.

1 World Sarongs Womens Sheer Swimsuit Cover-Up Sarong in Black
1 World Sarongs Womens Sheer Swimsuit Cover-Up Sarong in Black

Tuck this into your suitcase and you can use it as a cover-up at the beach and a shawl when you go out to dinner later in the day.


The Sassy Cowgirl

Make a dramatic statement by putting on the shawl backwards, so the point is in front. Pull up the fabric so the point hangs as high (or as low) as you want. Wrap the ends around to the front. You'll look like you are wearing a fringe-y, feminine bandana.

3 More Ideas

Do you see how you don't have to treat a triangular shawl as a limiting fashion accessory? Here are more ideas for wearing a shawl.

  • Roll the triangle into a soft cylinder. Drape around your neck. Loop one end around the other, as you could do with a long scarf. The fringe of the shawl, will give this a wilder, more dramatic look.
  • Drape the triangle over a single shoulder. Perfect if you don't have to move that arm a lot; say, at a cocktail party holding a drink.
  • Roll the triangle into a soft cylinder. Fold in half and bring behind your neck so you have a loop at one side. Slide the ends through the loop.

Do you wear shawls? Do you know someone who does? What is your favorite way to wrap a shawl?

Do You Wear Shawls?

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