Where is the best man's scarf?
December 11, 2013 10:04 AM   Subscribe

I don't want to find a good men's scarf. I want to find the best men's scarf. It should be non-wooly/scratchy, smooth to the touch, long enough and thick enough to be wrapped around the neck and draped over the front to create an insulation layer while waiting on cold train platforms and be in a "masculine" pattern/color that would suit most coats. It should also be durable and long lasting, I want a scarf you could wear without comment for 20 years and then be buried with it. Where is this scarf?
posted by The Whelk to Shopping (30 answers total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
Land's End.

Cashmere Scarf.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:07 AM on December 11, 2013

exactly what RB said. cashmere, in a neutral or a classic plaid is the perfect thing.
posted by supermedusa at 10:09 AM on December 11, 2013 [2 favorites]

I came to recommend a similar scarf from Ralph Lauren. The Land's End one is on sale, but I'd want to compare them in a store (ideally side-by-side) to determine whether the wool quality suffered as a result.
posted by gauche at 10:12 AM on December 11, 2013

The Classic Burberry.....
posted by pamspanda at 10:14 AM on December 11, 2013 [5 favorites]

Paul Smith.

Cashmere, vertical stripe or check. If you don't want to pay Paul Smith prices, then you can probably find a similar pattern in cashmere or perhaps even alpaca wool, which is fantastic for scarves.
posted by holgate at 10:19 AM on December 11, 2013

Drake's of London and A Suitable Wardrobe will probably be close to the top of the list.

Also, Put This On did a post about Fall/Winter Scarves that has several companies listed. Plus, you can browse there on the tag 'scarves' to see other options.
posted by Maecenas at 10:23 AM on December 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you're looking for the best cashmere scarf, you don't want an LE scarf - their cashmere is cheaper and tends to pill. Not to say that I'd turn down an LE scarf, just that if you're really buying for long-term use, that's not what I'd buy.

You might consider a Begg scarf. (I can vouch for this vendor.)

This lambswool and angora muffler also from Begg is much cheaper.

Sierra Trading Post has some Fairibault Woolens scarves on sale today. They also have some Johnsons of Elgin scarves which come well-recommended.

Actually, though, I'd probably buy this wool-blend Japanese fabric scarf from The Hillside if I were in the market for this kind of thing and didn't want cashmere.

Or no, wait, you should buy a cashmere scarf from Eric Bompard - cheaper than Begg, but I have a shawl from them that is really, really nice. I would probably choose this option - there are tons of colors, they're quite wide for thick woven cashmere and if they're at all as good as the scarves they will last and last. I have ordered from them and it's perfectly safe even though it's international.

posted by Frowner at 10:24 AM on December 11, 2013 [5 favorites]

Wingtip carry a decent selection of men's scarves that might suit.
posted by evoque at 10:30 AM on December 11, 2013

I would look for that scarf at Alfred Dunhill, on Madison and 55th.

That's my philosophy toward men's fashion: spend money once, get something in the vein of best, and keep it forever. I have a couple standby brands. For rustic, it's Filson. For gentlemanly, it's Dunhill.
posted by cribcage at 10:33 AM on December 11, 2013

Oh boy do I have the scarf for you. The Acne Canada scarf. I have this in grey melange. It's extra wide but so soft and with such wonderful drape that you can wear it any way you want--make a big cocoon around your neck with it if it's tied loosely, or wrap it more tightly and it compresses down. I'm a woman but this is definitely a manly man scarf. I can think of nothing nicer to be buried in.
posted by HotToddy at 10:58 AM on December 11, 2013 [2 favorites]

Even better than buying, find a nice knitter you know to look at ravelry patterns with you. A brief search for "men's scarf" turned up at least a gazillion that would fit your needs, and by having it handmade by said nice knitter, you could be far more particular about your desires than when buying.

You could even pick the material directly.

The best scarfs are most definitely the hand made ones.
posted by zizzle at 10:59 AM on December 11, 2013 [6 favorites]

If budget isn't an issue, I'd go to Loro Piana. Their stuff is truly fantastic. But, it's really expensive. You have been warned.
posted by primethyme at 11:01 AM on December 11, 2013 [2 favorites]

Here you go.
posted by 256 at 11:34 AM on December 11, 2013

Sherlock (Cumberbatch version) Holmes' scarf is from Paul Smith so I concur with holgate.
posted by pointystick at 11:44 AM on December 11, 2013

Johnston's of Elgin (which is made in Scotland), especially this check scarf with windowpane reverse. Or this Aquascutum scarf.
posted by peripathetic at 11:56 AM on December 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

As a knitter, I'd recommend against a handknit in this situation where you want something with a texture that is "smooth to the touch". Even stockinette has a texture, and to avoid it the knitter would have to work laceweight at a tight gauge, which is a hell I wouldn't wish on any fellow knitter.

If you wanted to go the handmade route though, I would look for your friends who are hand weavers, as you'll notice that most of the scarves been suggested are in fact, woven.
posted by sparklemotion at 1:44 PM on December 11, 2013 [5 favorites]

Pashmania is the best grade of cashmere. Expect to pay at least $100, and the sky's the limit.

There's much fake Pashmania. Look on the back for small flaws, which indicate genuine hand-weaving.

In the "if you have to ask the price you can't afford it" territory, vicuña is the drug of choice.
posted by KRS at 2:14 PM on December 11, 2013

Depending on budget, Land's End and LL Bean do have pretty good guarantees so if you turn out not to be happy with the quality there are some options there. I agree that a knit doesn't sound like what you're looking for, they tend to look much more casual.

(Get navy, a little curl cream, bonus Sherlock cosplay.)
posted by Sequence at 2:36 PM on December 11, 2013

m0851. I put mine on in September and haven't really taken it off since.
posted by suprenant at 2:57 PM on December 11, 2013

Silk if not wanting wool includes cashmere.
posted by brujita at 3:30 PM on December 11, 2013

If I can do a little bit of classic Ask Metafilter not-answering-the-question-as-stated, you don't want only one scarf, unless you're the kind of guy who has a closet full of twenty identical shirts, ten identical jackets and three identical coats. You want several nice scarves, and maybe dozens. Scarves:winter coats::ties:suits.

And, the good news: thrift stores (at least in Chicago--I'm not sure about New York) are absolutely lousy with nice scarves, because scarves, especially for men, were a much bigger deal in the past. There is a certain element of randomness to the selection, but I find at least one nice (i.e. Scottish rather than Chinese) cashmere scarf and one mohair scarf per week. This fall alone I've found one Drake's/Drakes lambswool scarf and one super-nice (Begg-quality) cashmere scarf. I've reached the point where I have so many scarves that I routinely pass them up if they're in a pattern or color I already have (Black Stewart, I'm looking at you) and I worry about clothing moths/my girlfriend secretly disposing of neglected scarf caches in the back of the closet.
posted by pullayup at 3:40 PM on December 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

You find better scarves in the stores. I don't think a well dressed man can get away with a single scarf. One for business, one for evening. I have 3.
posted by Ironmouth at 4:37 PM on December 11, 2013

Nothing but merino and/or cashmere.
posted by oceanjesse at 5:03 PM on December 11, 2013

Please consider getting one in cream or white, depending on your coloring. It's very nice for sophisticated outings (think Fred Astaire.)
posted by mightshould at 5:09 PM on December 11, 2013

If money is no object, Hugo Boss makes some great scarves - warm, sturdy, not itchy, good coverage, and good colors. My favorites are the virgin wool scarves. Example, another example, another. I love these men's scarves so much that I, a woman, own two of them, and when I occasionally run into someone else who owns one, we always bond over how great they are.
posted by gudrun at 7:30 PM on December 11, 2013

I was in a Brooks Brothers store the other day and touched this Brooks Brothers Cashmere Scarf... and I think I just about melted! It was so soft and nicely made. I knew the price would be high but was surprised it was even higher than I expected, $298 (which to us regular humans should be read as $300). But if you're looking for a perfect men's scarf everyone else is right that it likely would have to be cashmere. For me, though, I can't do anything that isn't an infinity style scarf (a loop rather than one long piece). Loose scarf ends are not my thing.
posted by belau at 7:38 PM on December 11, 2013

The absolute best men's scarf, the kill yourself if you lose it scarf, exists at Brunello Cucinelli. It is outrageously expensive and incredibly soft cashmere. It is classic and durable and you won't want to take it off indoors. I would get one of the solid ones or the greenish gray with dark silk side decoration if I were you.
Ps don't lose it.
posted by rmless at 6:16 AM on December 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

Seconding KRS- if you want THE BEST scarf, you're looking for vicuna or qiviut. Beware- these are the fibers that are cut with cashmere to make them cheaper. Prices are comparable (but slightly lower if I recall), per weight, to gold for the yarn.
posted by JMOZ at 6:54 AM on December 12, 2013

And checking current numbers, I've exaggerated. Vicuna is only ~1/4 the price of gold.....
posted by JMOZ at 7:10 AM on December 12, 2013

Response by poster: I went with Drakes Of London out of misplaced Anglophila ( plus I got in touch with someone who was moving to a warmer clime and gave me a very good deal)

Thanks AskMe!
posted by The Whelk at 7:11 AM on December 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

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