Turkish man wearing thobe and Iranian Persian woman wearing hijab headscarf
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Scarves are a garment for women that is both functional and versatile. In India, women wear scarves as head coverings in a show of modesty. These scarves are usually much wider and longer than other varieties so that they cover the head and shoulders. Women may also wear their scarves tied around the waist or wrapped around the neck or shoulders.

Head Scarf

Fold the scarf into a triangle and line up the fold with your hairline. Pull the two corners back under your hair at the nape of your neck. You may tied the corners together or pin them together tightly with a safety pin. Do not use a stick pin; you’ll risk stabbing yourself in the neck or losing the pin. Use one or two bobby pins just above the ears to hold the scarf in place. Pull your hair back, braid it or put it up in a bun before putting on the scarf so all your hair is hidden.

Some scarves come already woven into triangles and have fringe or beads along the edge that goes against your hairline. If you want some kind of decoration, one of these may be a good option. You could also sew a pre-made fringe, with or without beads, onto the fold of a square scarf.

Neck Scarf

Fold a long, rectangular scarf in half lengthwise and drape it over your shoulders with the ends hanging down your back. You may either leave the center of the scarf tight against your neck or pull it forward slightly to mimic a cowl-necked shirt. You may want to pin the folds in place at your shoulders with safety pins. Slide the pin under the shoulder of your sleeve and pin up through your shirt and the scarf to hide the pin. Bunch the scarf onto the pin to keep it from slipping down your shoulders. Pinning is particularly useful for the cowl-neck look.

Hip Scarf

Fold a large square scarf in half to form a triangle. Align the fold low on one hip and tie the ends together against the other hip. Tie it tightly to avoid slipping. For silk or cashmere scarves, or any other scarves made of slippery material, you may want to use a hidden pin as in the Neck Scarf section. You could also use a rhinestone or other decorative brooch to hold the scarf in place. Wear a traditional Indian skirt, harem pants or jeans under a hip scarf. If the scarf is large enough, you could tie a second one around the opposite hip and wear them as a skirt.