The first recorded scarf was from Ancient Egypt in 1350 BC. Queen Nefertiti was said to have worn a “tightly woven scarf topped with a conical headdress.” Hermes, the high fashion, luxury French designer brand designer the first ready to wear graphic silk scarf in 1837. That same year, silk scarves were embraced by Europe and America after Queen Victoria popularized them by frequently wearing graphic printed cravats.
The origin of this fashion accessory may seem irrelevant to some of you, however, my intention isn’t to give a history lesson. It’s to evoke the symbolism and in turn, the power that can be taken from a seeming humble item of clothing.
This was not the original angle I was planning to take for this post. I strive to provide light-heartedness and entertainment with a side of information in the hope that it might benefit someone in the world of fashion. However, my heart is slightly heavier today as a result of some harsh realities I have had to face. (This post will still talk about some ways to wear scarves so please bear with me.)
If you didn’t know, my full time job is a crane operator and forklift driver. As you can safely assume, I work in a predominately male dominated environment. In my current place of work (I have been there for approximately 3 months) I am the only female on site with the exception of the office staff.
When I entered the industry a little over 2 years ago, I did so with respect and understanding to the men that had it a certain way their whole lives. I was sympathetic to the jarring transition of females into their domain and was predominantly met with kindness and supportive attitude from the majority of my fellow male employees.
However, this week my eyes were opened to the level of tolerance I have had for the disrespect, belittling and work place bullying I have endured as a result of my gender.
I draw your attention to the Queens that wore these scarves as a reminder to you, whenever you wear them, that you are indeed a Queen yourself. Whether it be a hard hat like myself, a head scarf or a hair accessory like we will be discussing today or an actual jewel encrusted crown, I wish for it to always serve as a reminder of the powerful women that ruled before us, the incredible women who raised us and the strong women we are today. And let no man make you feel unworthy of the success you have earned just because your genitals don’t match their ignorant perception of what deserves respect. Can I get a “Yass Qween!”
I do wish to clarify that it’s not all men. I work with some incredibly, kind, caring and respectful men in the industry and it’s just a few bad apples that I have encountered and I’m sure many of you have had to deal with as well unfortunately.
Now, back to those crowns…I mean scarves *wink*. They are incredibly versatile as a hair accessory and have been well documented as such this past year. I am no hairstylist, so you can find plenty of informative, step by step tutorials online, demonstrating countless unique and beautiful ways to incorporate silk scarves into your hairstyles.
The easiest way is to just tie one of your scarves around your hair tie. Whether it be a pony tail, a bun or a half up- half down style (or a water spout as we called it when I was six). It doesn’t matter the size of the scarf, it just depends on how prominent you want it to be. You can match it to your outfit by using a scarf with complementing colours or you can make it the focal point of the look by choosing something contrasting.
I love to wear it how a crown would typically be adorned. Wrapping it around your head like a head band is a great way of keeping your hair out of your face. If it’s long enough, you can try what I did in these photos and find the middle of the scarf. Place that at the nape of your neck and bring the ends around to the center of your forehead, or even a little askew. Then twist the ends around each other and go back to the nape of your neck and join them with a knot or if it wont reach, just tuck them under and secure with bobby pins. That was harder to explain without visuals, but I hope it made sense to you and you haven’t ended up with your arms crossed and your scarf in a mess on your head.
Thank you for listening to my current work place situation. It is my way of using this platform to turn a negative, harmful experience into one that can foster strength for you and for myself. Clothes are a physical representation of our differences as men and women. As a final comment, I wish to say that what we wear as women can allow men to define us, categories us and even pray on us. I encourage you to instead take strength from it. Wear your style as a kind of armour to give you confidence and strength to stand up for your rightful, equal place in society. And always wear your scarf with your head held high so your crown and your Queendom is on display for all to see.
Love Hayley xo
Photography: Rose Newland from Velvet Wings Media and Jacob Brookfield