When I started knitting my first shawl, I wondered why in the world I was doing it. Now here I am ten or so shawls later and wearing one nearly every day when it’s chilly out.
The first shawl I knit was huge, 1000 or so yards. While I love it, and it is so cozy and warm, I don’t wear it very often because it isn’t as practical as some of my later shawls. Although I do love to snuggle up in it when I’m reading or watching television in my chair.
As I became more skilled at knitting and realized I enjoyed knitting shawls, I started to consider how exactly to wear my shawls, and I began to really think about what I was knitting instead of being dazzled by the yarn. I really love shawls for their warmth and for their ability to pull together an outfit. I tend to be a warmer person, so I like that I can throw on a shawl on a chilly day, and while it takes off the chill, I don’t get overheated like I would in a sweater or jacket. I also feel like I’m actually dressed, even in a t-shirt and jeans, if I wear some sort of neck wear. My students would frequently comment on how cute an outfit was because of the shawl I wore with it. (And if teenager girls compliment you, you know you’re doing something right.)
I frequently see people ask on Ravelry how to wear shawls, and I found myself doing the same thing. Finally, I grabbed several of my own shawls in several different shapes and just starting futzing in front of the mirror. In doing so, I definitely figured out my preferred method of wearing shawls and also my preferred shawl shape, not that I don’t deviate from that, but it has to be an amazing pattern.
Because I’m a shawl-lover and wish I could convince the world that these are the accessory to wear, I grabbed my resident photog (Chris) and two different shawl shapes and did a photo shoot to model different ways I wear a shawl.
I find crescent shapes a little more difficult to wear, as I sometimes feel like they look like a bib when worn around the neck. I tend to wear them off to one side or the other.
Sometimes that gets too warm, so I just drape it over my shoulders; in fact, this is how I wore it at knit night on Tuesday. The AC was on in Panera, so there was a little chill; I just draped this guy over my shoulders, and I could knit and talk with my hands and not freeze.
The great thing about longer, shallower shawls is that you could wrap them over your head and around your neck if you forget a hat. My husband thought I was crazy when I did this last night, but there have been some windy winter days where I needed something on my head.
Triangle-ish shawls are typically my favorite shape. They just seem to be easier for me to wear.
I’ve seen people wear them tied around in back so the shawl almost looks like a shrug in front, but while this looks cute in front, on me, the back looks lumpy. Other people pull off this look, and it makes me jealous. I’m afraid the problem is my body, not the shawl.
If someone has the secret to making this work, please let me know!! (And I made this picture small intentionally; no one needs to see this one in large-size.)
This is a more traditional way to wear a shawl. I know some people think it looks granny-ish, but if the shawl style or colors are modern enough, I don’t see a problem. (Disclaimer: I am not the pinnacle of style.)
My personal favorite way to wear a shawl is kerchief-style. It’s really easy, just a little wrap and twist, and really low-maintenance. I wear nearly all my triangle shawls this way since it is so easy to do. I also don’t find myself tugging and pulling and rearranging like I do when I wear them other ways.
Like I said, I’m not the pinnacle of style, but I do think I might have some cred in this whole thing since my students did frequently tell me how cute my shawls looked. (Ok, maybe I don’t since I just used the word “cred”.) It took me a while to get comfortable wearing a shawl, but I really do think that’s the key to pulling it, and any style, off. My thinking is that I like it…who cares if anyone else does? However, I do love when someone compliments me on what I’m wearing, and I get to tell them I made it.
Even my husband can look good in my shawls because of his ability to rock it.
Title quote by Coco Chanel