What do you do?
When people ask what I do, I tell them I'm a journalist – but I think I'm more of a writer. Writing is my comfort zone. Journalism is how I've turned it into a job.
Where do you do it?
I'm the London correspondent for New York magazine’s fashion website, The Cut – which means that I cover events like London Fashion Week, and I interview Brits who are doing fascinating work in fashion and photography. I have also written for The Debrief, Vulture, Fashionista, Woman & Home and Never Underdressed, among others.
Why do you it?
There’s nothing that gives me more satisfaction than playing with words and meaning, whether that comes in the form of reporting on style and art, or tweeting a silly one-liner. If I couldn't earn a living from it, I’d be very sad, but I’d be a prolific diary and letter writer.
Which Begg & Co scarf must be yours?
I've got my eye on the Wispy Superfine Cashmere Scarf in Poppy.
How will you wear it?
I’ll wear it with a dramatic, black winter coat, for a shock of colour (it will stand out against my skin, which always disappoints me by fading to deathly pale during the winter). But the scarf will be equally useful when I take my coat off, acting as an extra layer in a cocktail bar – I’ll sling it around my neck over a sleeveless silk top, to keep me warm without need for a sweater. I've always preferred a scarf to a necklace – but I might go in for a statement piece of jewellery on one wrist. A beautiful bangle or a refined, masculine watch would make a pleasing contrast with the softness of the cashmere.
A good handbag can be a trophy for your arm, and a pair of shoes can inspire devotion – but I've never experienced a wardrobe love affair quite like I have with the scarf.
By Hattie Crisell
It’s got to be a certain kind, of course: wide, cashmere and light as a feather. Get it right and the scarf pulls off the magical trick of combining maximum impact with minimal effort. Just as red lipstick provides instant glamour, a cashmere scarf, looped quickly around me on the way out of the door, transforms me from chaotic to polished – from running-late to fashionably-late. A scarf, to me, is the ultimate in elegance.
Of course I'm not the first to fall in love with this irresistible accessory; it’s been a staple for some of the world’s most stylish and admired women. Grace Kelly was a fan of a glamorous headscarf, wrapped regally over her hair and tied jauntily at the throat. Kate Moss has a vast collection of trailing, printed scarves to ward off the London chill, and Diane Keaton uses scarves as part of her signature, layered-up look – helping her to remain one of the most distinctive dressers in Hollywood, almost four decades after Annie Hall.
Perhaps part of the scarf’s appeal is that it’s so versatile – both lightweight and luxuriously soft. You might use it to ward off the air conditioning on a long flight, but it’s smart enough to wear to a party when you arrive. Cashmere is breathable and almost weightless, so you can cover up with it on the beach – yet when the evening turns chilly, it’s the perfect warming wrap. The humble scarf does it all.
How to shop it
Of course, the scarf-lover always faces a style dilemma: should it be patterned or plain? Each has its advantages. Pattern makes it easy to be chic; keep your outfit neutral and the scarf becomes a focal point. Loop a luxurious polka-dot scarf over a muted dress, for example, and the effect is like hanging a piece of pop art on a plain wall.
But then, there’s something powerful about a single, vibrant colour. Think of Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face, running down the steps of the Louvre, letting her pillarbox-red scarf billow out like a sail. No wonder Fred Astaire was smitten. That’s the image that springs to mind when I look at the Wispy Superfine Cashmere Scarf, for which I have my own little weakness. Like Audrey, I’d choose it in Poppy – the most vibrant of reds, to turn every head on the street.
Paramount Pictures via Dr Marco
Finally there’s the size issue, and on this I feel quite firm. Some women suit a dainty silk square, but for me a scarf is at its best when it engulfs you. I like layers of scarf worn nonchalantly around a woman’s neck and shoulders, or tucked into a coat – an abundance of fabric that makes it as cosy and simple as a blanket. To me there’s something chic in that easy comfort – because as the great iconic women all know, effortlessness is eternally in style.