When football manager Pep Guardiola starts pacing the touchline up to his ears in wool, it's usually a good indicator that you should start looking for your new winter accessory. If you haven't been watching the footy, that time is now.
Though Guardiola is usually well ahead of the game, the cold weather is well and truly here. Miserable as it is to admit, it's not going anywhere for at least another four or five months.
Rather than moan about how baltic it is outside, like we do every year, why not do as the Scandis do and get prepared? That means investing in cold weather gear, including the most shunned piece of winter kit of all: the humble scarf.
It's thought Queen Nefertiti, one of Ancient Egypt's most famous icons, was one the first adopters of the scarf. Before Ludwig van Beethoven, the world-renowned German composer, began rocking a silk number as a fashion accessory to impress the ladies in the 19th century. Since then, however, it’s become a signature staple of modern day style legends, like Paul Weller and Jeff Goldblum.
Unfortunately, in the mainstream it is still the middle child of winter accessories, sandwiched between hats and gloves despite being just as vital in keeping you warm during winter – nobody likes when the bitter wind creeps down your neckline.
But how do you go about choosing a scarf? Don't overthink it, go for something soft, well-insulated and easy on the eye.
To save you the trouble of bouncing from website to website, we've put a range of the best men's scarves through their paces.
We took into consideration softness, price and aesthetic appeal when we tried them out on cold autumn mornings. Our selection features everything from simple cashmere classics to bold scarves that'll cheer you up on the darkest days.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
Charles Tyrwhitt printed silk scarf
We reckon Paul Weller would look the bee's knees in this patterned navy scarf by Charles Tyrwhitt. The menswear designer, established in 1986, specialises in stripped-back, classy clothing, from suits and coats to knitwear and accessories. This classic British men's scarf looks the part under a navy peacoat, Harrington jacket or mac. It's double-faced too so that you can switch from skin-friendly silk to soft woven wool. A versatile accessory for men who like a mod look.
Uniqlo heattech scarf
For affordable, high-quality wardrobe essentials, you can't beat Uniqlo – and it hasn’t let us down here. This modest men's scarf, available in nine colours, is silky smooth, warming and easy to wear. Made from an innovative heattech thread that's packed with fine insulating fibres, this men's scarf is just the ticket for those after a subtle piece of neckwear that doesn't cost the earth – and isn't too bulky. We think that this will be a hit for those that like to keep it simple.
Fred Perry authentic crest branded tartan scarf
We might not be able to go to sporting events, but we can still celebrate them through our winter accessories. Fred Perry is a quintessential British sportswear brand that's been doing the rounds since 1952. The fashion house has since become a symbol of the uber-cool Britpop era after the likes of Blur's Damon Albarn and Oasis's lairy frontman Liam Gallagher rocked its polo shirts in the Nineties. We're big fans of this thick, tassel-trimmed scarf that comes with a classic football-style embroidered logo.
Glencroft lambswool tartan scarf
Traditionalists will love this classic tartan scarf by family-run Yorkshire outerwear company, Glencroft. Yorkshire folk endure longer, colder winters than most, so know the importance of a good bit of neckwear to see them through. This small company makes its scarves from 100 per cent lambswool, which isn't the softest but is undoubtedly the highest quality wool on the market – so you'll know it'll last you many winters to come. All Glencroft products are spun in an authentic, woollen mill in the Yorkshire Dales and come in a neat, branded box, so they make cracking Christmas presents.
Savile Row Company grey cashmere scarf
In the market for an understated, premium scarf that won't irritate your neck and doesn't crease when you pull it out of your coat pocket? Savile Row has you covered. Cashmere is known to be one of the softest fibres on the market, so often comes with a hefty price tag. But it's also one of the most insulating because it's from goats that live in temperatures well into the minuses. That means you needn't worry about bitter winds penetrating your delicate skin. A lightweight, luxury investment you're unlikely to regret.
Columbia unisex fleece gaiter
A reliable option for the outdoorsy gents among us, Columbia has used all of its 83 years of outwear knowledge to make this unisex fleece neck gaiter – designed to keep you toasty in frosty temperatures. We particularly like the retro black, blue and plum contrast colourway, which is a throwback to a more colourful era. The outer, made from a cosy fleece, will stop rogue snowflakes from sliding down your jacket. It's on the chunky side, so it will be a blessing if you're planning a ski trip. A scarf alternative fit for the slopes or the streets.
Acne Studios multi check scarf
If you want to go big, then why splurge on this chunky, colourful checked scarf by Acne Studios? The Stockholm-based fashion house is known for its quirky, bold clothing and hasn't disappointed with this checked block scarf. It's super-soft, ridiculously cosy and will brighten up the greyest of days. Not the cheapest pick on the list but sometimes you've got to push the boat out to look good when the mercury plummets.
Wawwa green reversible scarf
Vegan, earth-conscious streetwear brand Wawwa is one to keep an eye on. Not only is its range responsibly-made from 100 per cent recycled materials but it looks spot on too. We like the sporty aesthetic to this chunky, reversible men's scarf made in Manchester (where the company is based) from 100 per cent acrylic yarn. What's more impressive is for every scarf bought another is donated to someone less fortunate – a commitment we can get on board with.
Penfield Haida fleece scarf
If softness is your top priority for a scarf, and you don't want to break the bank, you could do a lot worse than this snuggly number by Penfield. The hip outdoor clothing brand knows a thing or two about keeping us warm. It's made from a luxury sherpa fleece that makes you feel like your neck is swaddled in cotton wool. Easy on the neck, wallet and eye.
Topman red paisley bandana
Alright, this one's not technically a scarf, but you wear it around your neck, so it might as well be. Though it's unlikely to protect you from inclement weather, this canny, little neckerchief will elevate a denim jacket and while tee polo combo from a bog-standard outfit to something appropriately stylish. We would also happily rock it under a formal shirt to a special occasion. Worth a punt for under a tenner.
The verdict: Men’s scarves
As fans of elegant neckwear, our favourite scarf is the silk, sophisticated Charles Tyrwhitt number. Although, the Columbia thick fleece gaiter comes a very close second and is probably more practical for colder days.
Add a subtle statement to any outfit with our round-up of the best men’s socks
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.
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