Scarves: Essential survival tools of a Seattleite

Scarves that keep the neck warmWritten by: Marina Ignatyeva

As another rainy autumn hits Seattle, with the promise of a cold winter after it, most fashion-conscious Seattleites are frantically trying to balance insulation with beauty. How does one manage such a colossal task, especially since the neck area loses the most heat? Most people prefer not to sacrifice their pretty and comfortable clothes and wear turtlenecks. Thankfully, retailers in every major mall have stepped up and delivered only the greatest and most essential invention of any cold season: scarves.

Now, my own recollections of scarves from my childhood had not been positive. They were ugly, bulky, had to always be retied, and worst of all were scratchy. Yes, they kept me warm during the very cold winters in Moscow, Russia, and in the Midwest. That does not mean I appreciated them.

So why do I now approve of these formerly-disliked articles of clothing? Simple: redesign. The scarves sold in my favorite retail stores, such as Nordstrom, are gorgeous, warm and made of the softest materials imaginable. There are wool scarves, cashmere scarves and simple cloth ones. They come in a myriad of colors, from cream and white to bright colors such as turquoise to dark ones like black. The scarves come in solid colors, designs, and multicolor bundles of joy.

The designs of the scarves are made to fit every taste. There are intricately knit scarves that look like a beautiful mesh; there are scarves that are knit so tightly that there are no gaps. Some scarves are sewn together from different patches; some are sewn from one cloth.

Best of all, there are different types of scarves. I, for the life of me, cannot wrap a scarf around my neck and keep it from either falling off or strangling me. That is why the discovery of a scarf that does not need to be tied was so essential to me. This season, I have a beautiful scarf that is sewn together at the ends, forming a giant scarf-y hoop. The scarf can be then wrapped around the neck again, similarly to a giant strand of pearls, forming two fluffy halos around one’s chest and neck. Asphyxiation and heat loss are no longer a concern!

Recap: Scarves are an essential part of any ensemble. They look good with hoodies, trench coats, sweaters and windbreakers, or whatever else people decide to throw on themselves before braving the rain and cold. Scarves can be worn by both genders, making them versatile. Most importantly, they are fluffy, gorgeous pieces of heaven that keep people warm. Use them.

P.S. – Scarves are not just for Seattleites.

Three Summer Hairstyles

Wavy Hairstyle

Summer Waves

Written by:Brittany Bluford

Summer is right around the corner, so bring on the chilled drinks, maxi dresses, and a new summer hairdo. Although I embrace change, the search for a new hairstyle has proved to be as hard as finding the perfect outfit. Once upon a time, when I wanted a new look, I turned to color to add some spunk to my style. These days my hair isn’t so forgiving, so I’ve had to find alternate ways to switch up my look. If you want to break away from your comfort zone this summer, I have three new hairstyles for your tresses.

1. Accessories aren’t just for your neck, wrist and arm, so give your hair some glam by adding a scarf. This simple addition is great if you want to mix it up without completely changing your style. I have a variety of scarves from Target; they have patterns, lace and solids. Whether your hair is up or down, just add a scarf. With the summer heat, this is a fashionable way to keep hair out of your face. Also, it can cover up a bad hair day and make it appear as if you spent a lot of time on your hair. Naptural 85 has a great video on 10 ways to tie a silk headscarf. http://www.naptural85.com/blog-content/2012/5/13/10-ways-to-tie-a-silk-head-scarf.html.

2. While you’re enjoying the waves at the beach, try putting some waves or curls in your hair. The braid out has been around for a while, but I’m a slow adopter to new trends. I’ve never worn my hair curly, but I’m in love with the braid out results. After washing and moisturizing your hair, let the cornrows do the rest of the work. The next morning unravel your hair and it will be full of defined curls. To add a cherry to the sundae, the braid out lasts for days and can easily transition into a wavy up-do. There are many different ways you can achieve a wavy hairstyle. Check out the hair gallery at Essence http://www.essence.com/hair/.

3. This next style gave me a complete step out of the box. The braided bun has grown to be one of my favorite low maintenance styles. There’s no dryer, flat iron or list of products required. It was inspired by MsVcharles’ You Tube video. Make sure you check out her easy, detailed step-by-step video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dNZWgyO5WE). All you need is a pack of braid hair and a few braid ties. If your hair length permits, you may not need any braiding hair. After twisting and securing your faux hair, attach it to your head with the option of a top, middle or low bun. What I love about this style is it’s protective, and it really makes a statement. Feel free to add a scarf to this look!

Summer is the perfect season to try something daring, bold and different. Why not start with your hair? A braided bun, curls, and a scarf are great ways to make a change to your look.