A shawl is a stylish addition to your outfit, ideal for cooler days and evenings. Wearing a shawl can really spice up the look of a simple dress or add elegance to a more formal gown. You can wrap a shawl in a number of different ways, giving you nearly endless fashion possibilities. With a few simple techniques, you’ll be ready to go out looking wonderful.

Shawl draping techniques

Hold a rectangular shawl lengthwise. Drape the shawl across your chest, and throw the ends backward over your shoulders, allowing them to dangle down your back. This is known as a “front accent drape.” It’s an elegant, modern look, perfect for dresses with little or no adornment on the front.

Fold a square shawl on the diagonal to create a triangle. Drape the triangle over your shoulders so the tip of the triangle points down between your shoulder blades. The other two ends of the shawl should hang forward over your shoulders and onto your chest. Tie these two ends in a simple knot. This technique is known as the “two-shoulder drape” and works well with low-cut dresses.

Drape a rectangular shawl lengthwise across the back of your shoulders. Pull the ends forward over your upper arms and allow the ends to gather in the inner crooks of your elbows. This is one of the simplest ways to wear a shawl. It’s a good look for warmer weather, as it does not cover much of your body.

Fold a shawl lengthwise. Fold it lengthwise a second time. Drape the shawl over your neck as you would a scarf, with the ends dangling over your chest. This is called the “scarf” look. It’s a simple, elegant look, but won’t do much to keep you warm.


  • Add a sparkly broach to your shawl for a touch of glamor. Pin the broach on a part of the shawl where it will be visible, like the part that falls over your upper chest.