It's that time of year again. Spurred on by the memory of the first cold snap each autumn when every pink-cheeked child is taken by their equally glowing mother to buy gloves on a string, every grown woman could be forgiven for thinking she needs a new scarf. And this, despite the fact that she has a drawer full of them already and doesn't inhabit a world baring even a passing resemblance to A Christmas Carol, post-Ebenezer Scrooge's epiphany.

In my rather more pedestrian dreams, I would this week be buying an Yves Saint Laurent leopard-print wool scarf that, not insignificantly, weighs in at over £600. And that is why it must remain a fantasy. It is, for the record and those with deeper pockets than mine, reassuringly large and is very dark grey with black spots.

There's nothing more irritating in a woman's – or indeed man's – wardrobe than a half-hearted scarf. A thin scarf is a waste of time, money and space and makes its wearer seem not only mean financially but in spirit also.

A snood is too gimmicky, not to mention too two years ago. Having said that, it is good to have a scarf so large it can be wrapped around your head and used like a shawl in a blizzard – and while channelling Julie Christie in Dr Zhivago (below) perhaps.

I am currently in possession of one of the biggest, fluffiest one of these in the world, I believe, courtesy of Rick Owens, and the colour of dust. I love things that are the colour of dust. In fact, the only thing not to love about my scarf is that, like any large furry creature, it moults.

And so I stumble across a more lightweight alternative, perfect for the months before the frost really sets in and I'm past caring about such things, at Bodas. Yes, I know that Bodas is an underwear label and that's originally why I went there. But the 1.2 x 2 metre, 100 per cent merino wool scarf on the counter – as gauzy and fine as it is soft – ultimately proved too much to resist.

Susannah Frankel is Fashion Editor of The Independent

s.frankel@independent.co.uk

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