hermes silk scarf

A silk scarf, tied any way, is a great way to recreate the contrast achieved by a suit and tie and keep the neck warm. The sheen of this Hermes silk scarf contrasts particularly nicely with the deep texture of a Shetland sweater. 

It can be worn with a shirt or T-shirt, although with a shirt I prefer it outside the collar. For someone like me with a relatively long neck, it also fills the gap nicely between sweater and chin. 

This is tied in a square knot. There is a myriad of other knotting techniques, however. I wrote about a few of my favourites a while ago, and any search for Hermes scarf tying will bring up dozens of examples – including the Silk Knots app.

Most start with a fold into the centre to create a strip (pli de base), or a simple fold in half to form a triangle. My favourites not mentioned in the older post, and which work better for covering the neck more warmly, are the plait (Hermes calls it a ‘criss-cross’ – it works with any long scarf) and the cowboy. All below – click to enlarge. 

And I’m hoping everyone’s man enough to deal with the fact that these are illustrated for women


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Photo: Luke Carby

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Mark Bailey

Square knot? On seeing the demo I realised, from my Scouting days, that it was my old friend the Reef Knot – or, looked at from another angle, the Figure of Eight.

Knots, eh? Still, if someone can invent a knot for a cravat that stays in place, I’m all ears…


Mark,have a look at the YouTube video by Rhodes Wood.You simply tie the cravat using the same method that you would use for tying a four-in-hand necktie and then bring the long end back under the knot at the neck and let it drape down your front.


Have you guys tried magnets to hold your scarves in place? Maitai has a fabulous blog about Hermes scarves & knots, and here’s a post about using magnets, which has really helped me:

Love your blog, Simon.

Marcus Bergman

Dear Mr. Crompton,

May I ask who made that excellent Shetland?


I love this look but, I have to confess, it’s one I’m still slightly hesitant to try out, chiefly because it’s so rarely seen on men. Any suggestions for a “halfway house” to help get used to the look, e.g. cotton bandana instead of silk Hermes scarf?

Also, is it possible to do this with a pocket square (the large size you get from Drake’s) or does it require a bigger scarf?


Hi Simon, can you help with which shetland it is. Anderson & Sheppard have three different types and I’m struggling to identify which it is.


Thanks for the reply Simon.

Meant to originally reply to thread above where you say it is A&S sorry!


I like this look of the scarf. It seems to work much better than an ascot, which I think is reserved for a shirt rather than a sweater if I’m not mistaken. I’m heading over to Hermes now! I do have a few Prada ascots that are nice to try on once a month and place them back on the tie rack. Scarf seems to be much more plausible.


Sorry Mark, that is neither a reef, square or figure eight knot (how can it be all three?).

The directions lose me after step 3.

Lawrence Gordon

It was worn most elegantly by Cary Grant in Hitchcock’s To Catch A Thief when he knotted a perfect red dotted scarf into his striped pullover.


I am asking if you know of shop in london that sell men trouser that are of color other that the Normal colors. I am looking for a trouser in the color pruple for a special occasion that you in advance for you reply.


thank you for the information


Hello Simon,

Do you agree or disagree that only a silk scarf (or silk-wool blend) can be worn with a suit/tie/overcoat, and that to pair said combo with a cashmere scarf is a poor (i.e. overly casual) choice?

Kind regards


So… Would it be acceptable for a man to wear a Hermès scarf originally intended for women? Given that it’s in a less feminine colourway/motif.


Spelling mistake . Thank you in advance for your reply


I don’t mind the illustrations. My brother and I bought a Hermes scarf for our mother as a Christmas gift and we have been searching for a reliable guide to tying it. Thanks for sharing.


Although some readers may be unused to seeing square silk scarves for men, they have been around for many years. Ken Williams, one of the best past Directors of Turnbull & Asser used to always keep a stock of them at the Jermyn Street store.


simon, where can you buy such scarves/squares to wear in this way, seems as these are increasingly rare for men to wear even traditional haberdashers don’t stock them.

Secondly, the bit of the scarf that you tuck in, doesn’t it cause annoyance as its moving between the skin and whatever clothing you’re wearing?


I find that on my rougher crew neck jumpers a well place silk can help with the rubbing on ones neck and upper chest/lower neck. So if one is confronted with being merely a “Dedicated Follower of Fashion”, one can retort with practical justifications!


Etro also do them.


Simon, this post seems to have attracted a lot of interest from guys who have thought about wearing something around the neck but weren’t sure how .. myself included .. would be v interested to see more on the topic, how to tie, different types of materials, shapes to wear etc.

Also, what size does a neckerchief have to be, I’m thinking about whether I can make a large pocket square work … ?


Hi Simon, going back to older articles. Do you happen to remember the name/model (or size) of this particular scarf? It seems hard to find a similar muted ones!
Thanks in advance,