try me: snow scarf

Is it a scarf? Is it a hat? Or is it a handkerchief? Actually, it's an astonishingly versatile piece of cloth from the sporty new German label Bording. As the nights lengthen and the days get frosty, style junkies like me seek out new ways of keeping toasty while staying chic. So listen up, snowbunnies: I've come across a triangular piece of fabric that could easily be mistaken for an old rag. But dishcloth it is not. In fact, it's a cunningly designed and highly functional garment. Workers at the ice- cold Bording studio near Frankfurt claim to have created this accessory from spare offcuts lying around the factory floor.

The snowscarf is made from the softest microfleece, usually used to line waterproofs. The only problem with the Boarding scarf is knowing which way to wear it. I've counted four but there are sure to be more. The recommended way is as a powder mask, worn combat-style over the face as protection against the cold white stuff when snowboarding. Be careful in the city, though. In the wrong surroundings you risk looking like an urban guerrilla. As a hat, headband pulled down to the eyebrows and tied behind like a bandana, it's best worn with a fresh-from-the-piste tan and a full set of sun-kissed dreads. Failing that, it serves as a scarf around the neck or can be worn as headscarf Chanel-style.

The Bording scarf comes in a variety of bright colours, so choose one to match your Seventies retro ski jumper and you'll be the talk of the slopes. If none of our suggestions appeals, keep it in your pocket and when that nasty winter cold takes hold use it to blow your nose.

The Bording scarf costs pounds 20 and is available at Jones, 15 Floral Street, London WC2. Geese, 12 Barton Arcade, Manchester. Hip, 14 Thornton's Arcade, Leeds. Inquiries: 0171 488 3203.