As soon as the crisp autumn air arrives, it’s time to break out one of the most sophisticated and timeless cold weather accessories – the wool scarf.
A high quality wool scarf is the perfect way to add warmth and style to any outfit once the temperatures start to dip. Wrapped around your neck, a wool scarf will keep you toasty and protected from the elements. But it also serves as a versatile finishing touch that instantly elevates your look. Whether you prefer a solid colored classic or a bold plaid or check, wool scarves for men are a wardrobe staple every guy should own.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about choosing the ideal wool scarf. You’ll learn about different types of wool, what to look for in terms of size, patterns, and fringe, plus care tips to make your scarf last. We’ve also rounded up the top 5 highest rated and most stylish men’s wool scarves on the market right now.
And to help you make the most informed buying decision, we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions about these cozy cold weather accessories. So read on to learn how to pick out the perfect wool scarf to keep you looking sharp and feeling nice and toasty!
Key Factors to Consider When Picking Out a Wool Scarf
When shopping for a wool scarf, there are a few key features to keep in mind to ensure you choose one that combines both style and comfort:
The wool material itself is important – you’ll typically see scarves made from either 100% wool or wool-blend fabrics.
100% wool scarves will be the highest quality and most durable, but also the most expensive. They’ll provide you with excellent insulation and be ultra soft and comfortable against your skin. Merino wool is a popular choice as it’s fine and lightweight while still being nicely warm.
Wool-blend fabrics like wool-cashmere, wool-silk, or wool-alpaca can also make wonderful scarves. The blended fabrics help reduce costs while still providing great warmth and feel.
No matter what the blend, always inspect the quality. High end wool will feel soft and tightly woven but durable. If it seems scratchy or loosely knit, that’s a red flag for poor quality.
Men’s wool scarves typically come in two standard sizes:
- Regular – around 180-200 cm long (about 70-78 inches) and 25-30 cm wide (about 10-12 inches). This is the most common men’s scarf size.
- Oversized – around 220-250 cm long (about 86-98 inches) and 38-45 cm wide (about 15-18 inches). The extra large size provides more fabric to wrap and layer.
Consider your height and style preferences when choosing between regular and oversized scarves. If you’re on the shorter side, an oversized scarf may overwhelm your frame. But if you’re tall, the longer look can be great. Oversized scarves also suit men who like to loop the scarf a few extra times for a bundled up look.
Solid colored scarves are classic and versatile – they’ll pair effortlessly with any outfit from casual to formal. Charcoal, navy and other neutrals are easy to match, but don’t be afraid to choose a bold solid hue that makes a statement.
If you want to change things up, plaids, checks, and stripes offer eye-catching patterns that work for more casual wear. Choose them in versatile dark color palettes.
For something truly unique, look for Fair Isle knit patterns featuring Nordic motifs. Or pick a novelty scarf with an allover print like animals, nature scenes, or geometric shapes. Just avoid overly loud patterns if you want longevity.
Fringed or Unfringed
Fringed scarves have decorative tassels or knotted ends. This style offers a classic, casual look that works well for layered outfit. The fringe also helps secure the scarf.
Unfringed or handrolled ends give a more polished, elegant appearance. This style drapes nicely and pairs well with dressy coats and suits.
Consider your personal style and how you plan to wear the scarf to decide between fringed or unfringed. Both look great, so choose what appeals to you most.
When it comes to high quality, long lasting wool scarves, these brands stand out:
- Burberry – Iconic luxury British brand known for their classic plaid scarves
- J.Crew – Offers fine Italian wool and cashmere blend scarves with timeless style
- Brooks Brothers – Time-honored American brand making soft lambswool and merino scarves
- Paul Smith – Known for bold patterns and vivid colors executed beautifully
- Madewell – Carries unfussy, affordable merino wool scarves in modern solids and stripes
Be prepared to invest a little to get a scarf that will last. Most quality wool scarves range from $50 to $250. Factors like the brand, materials, country of origin, and any special details affect the price.
Merino wool scarves start around the $50 to $150 mark depending on size and quality. Cashmere-blend scarves run $150 to $250+ because of the luxury cashmere. And designer brand names like Burberry can run over $500.
No matter your budget, focus on finding a well-made scarf from natural fabrics that will withstand years of wear. With some savvy shopping, you can find high quality wool scarves that look far pricier than their tag.
Caring for Your Wool Scarf
Wool’s natural fibers make it warm and durable, but also require some care to prevent shrinkage or damage over time.
Hand washing with cold water and wool-safe soap allows you to gently clean while avoiding agitation. Let the scarf air dry flat to maintain its shape.
If machine washing, use the delicate cycle and wool setting. Lay flat or hang to dry – avoid the heat of the dryer.
Proper storage is also key. Folding may seem practical but can crease the wool. Instead, neatly drape on a wide hanger or roll up loosely. Keeping in a breathable garment bag is ideal for protection from moths or other pests.
With the right care, a quality wool scarf can last for many winter seasons of stylish wear.
Top 5 Men’s Wool Scarves
Now that you know how to select the ideal wool scarf, here are our picks for the top 5 men’s options on the market right now:
1. Minus33 Merino Wool Midweight Scarf
Description: A versatile merino wool scarf in classic plaid patterns featuring blue, gray, and tan. Made from soft, 100% extra-fine merino wool. Measures 72 x 12 inches. Provides lightweight warmth and comfort. Made in the USA.
Details: Crafted from 16-18 micron merino wool ideal for next-to-skin softness. Naturally odor and wrinkle resistant. Hypoallergenic and itch-free. Interlocking stitching prevents unraveling.
Style recommendation: Pairs well with jeans, boots, peacoats, and casual looks. Use a simple drape knot. Sizing and fit: Good standard scarf size. Drapes nicely without restricting movement. Pros
- 100% premium extra-fine merino wool
- Lightweight but provides cozy warmth
- Attractive plaid pattern works with many outfits
- High quality material and construction Cons
- Needs delicate washing and drying
- Pilling can occur over time with rough use
- Only one plaid pattern available Price: Around $40, making it very affordable for 100% merino wool
2. Cashmere Central Two-Tone Fringed Cashmere Feel Scarf
Description: A timeless two tone fringe scarf blending black with either gray, brown, or tan. Made from a soft cashmere-feel acrylic blend. Measures 78 x 12 inches. Provides warmth with flexibility and fluid drape. Details: Acrylic and modal fabric provides a touchable cashmere-like feel. Subtle colored tips on the fringe ends. Standard men’s scarf length and width. Style recommendation: The two-tone look elevates casual ensembles like flannel, canvas jackets, and chunky knit sweaters. Sizing and fit: Drapes nicely around the neck and shoulders. Fringe adds fullness. Good for average height. Pros
- Soft cashmere-like combination of fabrics
- Stylish two tone look
- Fringe detail adds flair
- Budget-friendly price point Cons
- Acrylic and modal not as warm or luxe as real cashmere
- Hand wash only and air dry
- Fringe can fray over time Price: Very reasonable around $25 given the quality look.
3. Rails Hunter Plaid Scarf
Description: A classic men’s scarf in a black, gray, and white large plaid pattern. Made from a soft merino wool and alpaca blend. Measures 78 x 12 inches. Provides lightweight warmth ideal for fall and spring. Made in China.
Details: The blend of merino wool and alpaca offers softness with thermal insulation. Nice oversized plaid pattern. Contrasting fringe on the ends.
Style recommendation: Pairs well with casual looks like denim, canvas jackets, sweatshirts, and knit beanies. Use a simple knot or drape. Sizing and fit: Good standard men’s scarf size. Drapes comfortably around the neck. Pros
- Light, warm merino wool-alpaca blend
- Handsome large plaid pattern
- Contrast fringe ends add visual interest
- Attractive quality and feel Cons
- Dry clean or hand wash only
- Some reports of inconsistent sizing
- Can be itchy for those sensitive to wool Price: Around $88, reflecting the merino-alpaca blend
4. Infinity Men’s Striped Cashmere Feel Winter Scarf
Description: A striped cashmere-feel winter scarf accented with contrasting fringe. Available in versatile color combos like navy with burgundy stripe, camel stripes, black stripes and more. Measures 68 x 11 inches.
Details: Made from soft 100% acrylic with a lush cashmere-like texture. Contrast stripe runs the length of the scarf. Standard men’s scarf proportions. Style recommendation: The stripes paired with leather jackets, peacoats, and overcoats project a polished, but cool vibe. Sizing and fit: Good medium size that works for different heights and frames. Drapes effortlessly.
- Soft, quality cashmere-like acrylic
- Classic stripes in versatile color combos
- Contrast fringe adds visual pop
- Budget-friendly cost Cons
- Not as warm as real wool or cashmere
- Acrylic can pill with frequent use
- Hand wash and lay flat to dry Price: Very affordable around $15-$20 considering the quality look. Great value buy.
5. HAUS OF JR Stone Washed Fringed Scarf
Description: A unique stone washed fringe scarf available in shades like camel brown, navy, gray, and red. Made from a soft, woven viscose and polyester blend. Measures 78 x 27 inches.
Details: Stone washed fabric has texture similar to soft leather. Lower weight material provides light warmth. Contrast woven fringe along bottom for flair. Oversized scarf with extra fabric to wrap and style.
Style recommendation: Use multiple loops or knots to highlight the fringe. Looks great with casual leather and suede jackets. Sizing and fit: Oversized dimensions make it very versatile for all frames. Pros
- Soft stone washed look and feel
- Lower maintenance blended fabric
- Extra wide size with dramatic fringe
- Budget-friendly cost Cons
- Polyester not as warm as wool options
- Dry clean recommended
- Fringe can discolor over time Price: Around $25 makes this a very wallet-friendly option to try the popular fringe style.
Frequently Asked Questions About Men’s Wool Scarves
Here we’ll tackle some of the most common questions guys have about selecting, caring for, and styling wool scarves:
How should I wash and dry my wool scarf?
To keep wool scarves looking their best, it’s important to wash and dry them with care to avoid shrinkage or damage.
Hand washing in cool water with a gentle soap is ideal. Make sure to use a soap specifically formulated for washing wool, silk and delicates. Allow the scarf to air dry completely laid flat.
If machine washing, set the washer to the most delicate, cold water setting. Wash with similar items and colors. Lay flat or hang to fully air dry – avoid the heat of the dryer to prevent shrinking.
If your scarf is dry clean only, take it to a reputable cleaner to have it professionally cleaned when needed.
With the proper gentle wash and dry methods, you can safely keep your wool scarves pristine.
Should I hang or fold my scarf for storage?
For storing wool scarves, hanging is better than folding to keep the fabric looking its best.
Folding can crease the wool fibers and leave impressions. Instead, gently drape the scarf over a wide clothes hanger covered with a towel or other buffer fabric to avoid creating a hanger bump.
Or loosely roll up the scarf and store in a breathable garment bag. This allows the wool to keep its shape rather than being creased.
If you do fold your scarf, be sure to refold it in a different configuration each time so it doesn’t hold permanent creases. Proper storage helps extend the life of your wool accessories.
What can I do about pilling on my wool scarf?
Pilling – those fuzzy little balls on the material’s surface – happens from wool rubbing against itself or other textiles with wear. It’s annoying but can be remedied.
First try using a sweater stone or fabric shaver. Gently rub these tools against the pills to shear them away without damaging the scarf’s fibers.
If you don’t have those tools, try dragging the edge of a pair of scissors across the scarf’s surface at a 45 degree angle to cleanly cut off any pills.
You can also use a disposable razor blade or pill remover gadget. Carefully shave the pills away using short, gentle strokes. Avoid pressing too hard or you may snip the fibers.
With some periodic depilling maintenance, you can keep your wool scarves looking fuzz-free and fab.
What’s the best way to wear a wool scarf for maximum warmth?
To get the most warmth from your wool scarf, opt for styles that bundle up your neck snugly.
The classic overhand knot works well. Wrap the scarf around your neck until fully covered then knot loosely under one side. Add more loops if needed.
The cross-over style offers full coverage too. Simply crisscross the scarf to fully encircle your neck before tying or tucking the ends.
For ultimate insulation, the loop scarf method is ideal. Loop the scarf around and around your neck, adding as many cozy layers as you need.
Wool scarves worn loosely for style can look great, but won’t provide much warmth. Cocoon your neck fully to lock in heat when cold weather strikes.
How can I stop my wool scarf from sliding around?
To keep your wool scarf securely in place, the key is getting a good knot or drape.
If tying your scarf in a knot, make sure to tie snugly rather than loosely – this helps anchor it. Place the knot slightly off center rather than directly at the nape of your neck.
When looping or draping your scarf, tuck the ends into the loops or folds rather than letting them hang loose. This helps weigh them down to stay put.
You can also slip the ends through the inside of your coat which will keep your scarf in place as you move.
Trying out different tying and draping methods will help you find the most secure way to style your scarf for a slip-free feel.
Will wool scarves make me itch?
Quality wool like Merino is naturally soft and should not cause any itchiness when worn directly on skin. But lower grade wools may trigger irritation.
To minimize itch potential, look for scarves made of extra fine Merino wool specifically. The finer fibers have a lower coarseness that won’t aggravate your skin.
Wool blends that incorporate silk or cashmere also reduce scratchiness. Additionally, wool that’s been washed in lanolin is less prone to feeling itchy.
If you do experience itchiness from a scarf, try wearing a turtleneck underneath to create a breathable barrier next to your skin.
With luxuriously soft Merino wool options now widely available, itch-free wool scarves are thankfully the standard today.
What’s the best way to get stains out of my wool scarf?
Wool’s natural stain resistance makes it less prone to holding onto soils and spills. But accidents still happen – so how do you get wool looking fresh and clean again?
For food, makeup or grease stains, mix a mild dish soap and cold water solution. Use a soft cloth to gently blot and dab at the stain – avoid vigorous scrubbing. Rinse clean and allow to fully air dry.
For tough stains, try a few drops of white vinegar diluted in cold water. Vinegar helps break down stubborn oils and pigments. Rinse any vinegar smell away afterwards.