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May 12, 2021
AN INTERVIEW WITH ANKE MCKERNAN
How to wear colour in a scarf - and match your outfit
Scarves aren’t just a way to keep yourself warm in winter - they’re a great way to add some colour and personality to your outfit!
From a casual autumn outfit to a professional look for the office, a scarf can really elevate your look, and there are an infinite number of styles and options. However sometimes people are unsure how to wear a bright or patterned scarf or want to know if they need to match their scarf to their coat or their complexion or both. Anke McKernan, one half of the brains behind McKernan Woollen Mills, designs and makes unique and colourful winter and summer scarves for both men and women. Here she shares her advice.
Should you match your scarf to your coat? I think what’s really nice about a scarf is that it can bring your complexion and your coat together. Say you have red hair and a black coat - if you put a colourful scarf in between them, it can bring the whole thing together. When you are young, I think you can wear clashing colours and it looks cool. The older you get, it looks better to wear colours that are more harmonious.
I really enjoy making scarves because you can almost over-design! You probably wouldn’t wear a jumper with bicycles on it, or fish, or something that’s bright lime green. With scarves, you can really do anything! It’s only a small item and it can really lift a black or grey coat. I really enjoy being able to do outrageous designs and people still wear them, it brings a smile to their face! You could also take some colours from the scarf and match them to your accessories, like your bag or jewellery.
Would you recommend different colour scarves for different hair colours and complexions? It is hard to answer that without seeing someone because they might have blonde hair and a pale complexion, or blonde hair and an olive complexion...I just have a feel for it when someone comes into the shop and I can help them pick something that suits them. I will say that blues and greens often suit people with a light complexion and a warm undertone, especially if they have red hair. If you have pale skin and a cool undertone, jewel tones like emerald and amethyst, and berry tones like strawberry red, will suit you.
Olive skin tones will look good in most shades of green, from lime to emerald, as well as bright pink, orange and red. Meanwhile darker skin can pop in contrast with rich purple colours like eggplant, sunny yellow, oranges and reds.
Of course, a plain black scarf will suit most complexions and go with most outfits, unless you are very pale - but we tend to go for brighter colours and patterns with our designs, because they are more fun and you can get a plain black scarf anywhere!
Are there any colours you should avoid in a scarf? Yellow doesn’t tend to suit many people with lighter skin tones, although it can look great against darker skin. Because we work mainly with wool, bleached white wool doesn’t look good, so we don’t use it. Also bear in mind that the same colour looks different in different yarns. Silk is brighter and shinier, colours on wool are more subdued and on cotton they are duller.
Any colours you think work well in a scarf?
Our scarves are hardly ever just one colour, but I love working with blue. It’s so versatile and goes with so many other colours. I read a quote once that said - “When in doubt, use blue.”
May 12, 2021