Monday, February 18, 2013

Pashmina Pashmina - Making Ordinary Exotic

Pashmina scarves are those lovely, long, generously proportioned scarfs that we tend to associate with exotic locales and women whose eyes peek mysteriously from behind richly-colored fabric.   

The word Pashmineh refers to the type of fabric - wool or cashmere - that the scarves were made from traditionally, coming from the pashmina goat, a special breed indigenous to the high altitudes of the Himalayas in Nepal, Pakistan, and northern India.

Pashmina Scarves
Over the years I've obtained quite a collection of these and use them mostly for costuming in the summertime for Renaissance Fair outfits.  But they're actually perfect for use year-round  especially those late winter and early spring days that are too warm for a sweater, but too chilly still to go with nothing.  Their versatility and variety are an easy, fast, and inexpensive way to accessorize almost any outfit, so I thought I'd list the ways you can take this gorgeous length of fabric and use it to your advantage!
The most basic option is draped across the shoulders.  I love this look with a dress, just as it's pictured to right, or thrown across one shoulder (left, and how I'm wearing mine today!).

                                                           Center Loop
This is the way you see it most often, worn underneath a jacket or coat in the wintertime, and it's super easy to recreate.  These are amazingly warm and can be work as stated above, on top of a sweater or t-shirt, pretty much anywhere you'd like that little bit of extra warmth.
  1. Fold the scarf in half and place it around your neck.
  2. Pull both fringed ends through the loop made by folding the scarf in half, and adjust to your liking.

Another option is the Wrap-Around.  
  1. Holding the scarf in both hands at about the middle, wrap around the neck once with both loose ends to the front.
  2. Adjust to fit, loose or tight, with the ends hanging loosely down the front of outfit.

Back Tie
This one works best with the larger square pashmina with fringe and is a s simple as tying two of the ends behind your neck, draping those ends around the front and down the shoulders, with one of the v-edges in front.  I like this one best just as Rhianna is wearing it here: with a simple shirt and jeans.

Here Selena Gomez is wearing the same pashmina three different ways.  In the first picture she's tied both ends together and is wearing it as one long loop.

Second picture is wrapped twice around the neck with the ends tucked in.

Third picture is a slightly different take on the second.

Another quick and easy option is the

Single Front Tie as shown below with Lindsay Lohan.  You can change the look by placing the knot at different areas in the front, or putting the scarf off-set with the knot tighter and at the side of the neck.

You can also tie the knot after wrapping the scarf around the neck more than once as seen in the picture on the right.

Another take on this is just draping it around the neck with both loose ends free-flowing, and then belt the entire ensemble around the waist.

Or just leave it open down the front as in the pictures below where Beyonce rocks the animal print.  Not a pashmina in this instance, but I loved the look so went with this picture anyway.

And this is only scratching the surface!  You an use it as a hair accessory, tying it under the back of the hair leaving the ends to hang loose down the back, or one over the shoulder.  Or cover the hair completely with only a few locks of hair peeking out the front a la Greta Garbo!

A quick 'Google' search on how to wear the Pashmina will garner you literally millions of hits with new ideas on how to incorporate these into your every day work ensembles.

Today I paired a black pashmina with a black sequined mini, cream chiffon blouse, and plain black pumps and have gotten more than one compliment on the whole outfit!  Definitely a look I'll be using more as the spring months come into full swing.

Bonus Round