Alright I’m about to give you the true secret to achieving a European look, it’s all about the scarves and wraps.

If you don’t wear a scarf in Europe you will feel absolutely naked, because EVERYONE wears them, seriously EVERYONE.

On my first trip to Paris, the first day I had to go buy a scarf because nobody gave me the memo that they were de rigeur. I had to figure it out the hard way. Don’t make this same mistake.

I think there is some sort of law that forbids Europeans from leaving the house without a scarf somewhere on their person, even if it’s in the form of a turban (which I’ve seen work on really cute French girls).

The ways in which they tie them have to be some sort of family secret. The scarves are tied in a deceptively simple manner. While I cannot profess to having cracked the code of European scarf tying, a few basic looks will carry you far. Check out my videos on how to tie scarves.
Since we aim to blend in with our European counterparts a scarf or wrap become necessary accessories. Fortunately there is much function to be found in them.

Scarves can really help you fight the “blahs” of wearing the same set of clothes for the duration of your trip.

A thin weave pashmina style wrap can be used as a shawl or scarf and can be worn several ways. Large wraps can be used as blankets on planes and trains as well.

Thin and lightweight silky scarves take up little packing space so please splurge and bring several. Scarves can introduce color and pattern into your neutral travel wardrobe and of course add that little je ne sais quoi that we’re all after. Different styles and sizes can be worn different ways. An oblong scarf can work around the neck, as a belt, or even a headband. Scarves combat “couchette head” after an all night train trip by working as a babushka or headband. Even just tying a scarf to your handbag adds an elemet of nonchalant chic.

On a more practical note, scarves can help you keep track of your travel mates. In crowded streets surrounded by a sea of dark clothing it’s difficult to find someone. There were several times on a trip with my mom that we would lose track of each other in the course of window shopping. The only way I could find her was to look for the flash of pink and white on her vintage Dior scarf. Thank goodness otherwise I might still be wandering the streets of Sienna asking people if they had seen my mommy, embarrassing if you’re over 30.