We knit them, and love them, but when it comes to putting them on … it turns out … we don’t wear all of our shawls.
It might be that we just have favourites. Maybe the colour of one of your shawls “goes with everything” so you tend to reach for it day after day?
Perhaps we choose certain shawls because we have more days when a light shawl will work, and less where a large cosy layer is the right one to wear or vice versa?
Or maybe, we don’t reach for certain shawls because they simply seem more awkward to wear than others. We might love making shawls in all different shapes, but the truth is, some of those shawls feel impossible to put on … and keep on.
How do you wear your shawls? Do you chuck ’em on and get on with it? Are you happy with wearing them however they land, or do you arrange them just so?
Most shawls look wonderful worn in a variety of ways: casually draped, wound around, or bandana style, and loads of shawls look fantastic adorned with shawl pins and knots.
But all in all, knowing which shawl shapes suit you and your lifestyle, and learning how to wear them so they feel great, takes a bit of practice and experimenting.
To figure out the shawl puzzle, you could shut your bedroom door and play with shawls to your heart’s content, or maybe, it would be fun to get together with friends (and all of their gorgeous shawls) and have a big “trying-on session” to find out which shawls each of you love most.
Are you all drawn to the same shapes? Do certain shawl shapes suit some of you more than others? Who’s got a knack at tying them up or arranging them just so? Watch for tips and tricks, and try them yourself.
If you’re lucky enough to have some near you, you could also take a day trip and visit yarn shops to have a play with their samples. Yarn shop staff are sure to be a wealth of information about the best ways to wear shawls – and they might also stock accessories to help you secure your shawl!
The most simple shawl shape to wear is probably one with a long rectangular base. The ends might be pointed or angled, but if the general shape is long and narrow they’ll fall into this category.
Worn like scarves and looped around your neck once or twice, long slender shawls are easy to put on and tend to stay put. They also look great flung over one shoulder, and wider versions, worn draped across your back and hanging down your front over both shoulders, give a fabulously chic twist to your outfit.
Crescent shawls are also super wearable. Try wrapping them bandana style around your neck with the middle of the shawl at the front. Symmetrical triangles can also be worn this way, but be prepared for more of a “kerchief” vibe. Some people love it, others, not so much.
Worn in this way, these styles of shawls not only stay on beautifully but also look extra-amazing because they showcase the patterning and colours right at the front where it’s visible.
If you don’t have access to a variety of shawl shapes, perhaps try cutting or folding old sheets, or pieces of fabric, into the shapes you’re dreaming of. Have a go wrapping yourself up in them and see what works for you. Be brave! Experiment with ideas that seem wacky and unusual.
You might find that asymmetrical shawls and unusual shapes are a little more tricky to style. Try twisting them in interesting ways, securing them with shawl pins and cuffs, or tying knots to make sure they don’t slip off.
At the end of the day, I don’t think any shawl shapes are out of bounds. Given a bit of imagination, nearly anything is wearable. The question is: which shapes feel great on you?
You can find all my shawl patterns here. Happy knitting!