Don't Waste Your Money is supported by our readers. When you purchase an item through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The Best Plaid Scarf | 2023

Last updated on December 13, 2022

Why Trust The DWYM Score?

DWYM is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to.Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in a category.

Our Picks For The Top Plaid Scarves

Show Contents
Our Take
  Top Pick

American Trends Tassel Edge Plaid Scarf

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

Tassel Edge Plaid Scarf

Overall Take

Great For LayeringStay warm (and in fashion) with this accessory.

  Runner Up

Wander Agio Woolen Yarn Plaid Scarf

Wander Agio

Woolen Yarn Plaid Scarf

Overall Take

Built For WarmthHere's your go-to scarf for snowy mornings.

  We Also Like

Achillea Lightweight Viscose Plaid Scarf

Achillea

Lightweight Viscose Plaid Scarf

Overall Take

Easy to WrapShow your neck a little love with this classic design.

  Strong Contender

Veronz Fringe Ends Viscose Plaid Scarf

Veronz

Fringe Ends Viscose Plaid Scarf

Overall Take

Plaid and PlushStyle up any top with this warming scarf.

Guide written by Tod Caviness
Last updated on December 13, 2022

Who says you can’t be cool and stay warm at the same time? When it comes to winter accessories that are both fashionable and cozy, the classic plaid scarf is a standout. All you have to do is literally throw a scarf over your shoulder and you’ve completely transformed an outfit — and conserved a lot of body heat to boot.

By definition, a scarf is really any piece of fabric you can wrap around your head or neck. Plaid is by far the most popular pattern for scarves, though, for a lot of reasons. First and foremost, it looks good on everybody, no matter what your style. Simple crisscross squares evoke a certain rustic charm, but plaid scarves work just as well with preppy sweaters as they do on tattered leather jackets.

The first step in choosing the right scarf is deciding how you’re going to wear it. There are three basic configurations for a scarf: Square, triangular or rectangular. Square scarves are usually made of thinner fabric that you can fold multiple times, and they’re usually worn like a bandana or loose ascot. As you can imagine, they’re primarily a fashion accessory. Triangular scarves are more versatile the bigger they get, since you can tie them over your head like a kerchief or make them into a shawl. Rectangular scarves are the most common type, especially when we’re talking about plaid patterns. These are long ribbons of fabric that you can wear loosely around the neck or layer up for maximum warmth.

Exactly how much warmth you want is another key question, especially when it comes to material. The primary practical purpose for a scarf is keeping your neck warm, and wool or angora are some of the best fabrics for that. They have the fuzzy feel that most people associate with a winter scarf, but be careful that you don’t get them too wet since they do hold onto moisture. Cashmere scarves are a more fashionable alternative to wool — and probably a more expensive one. Cashmere is basically wool with a finer weave, giving you the same warmth without all those stray threads.

None of those fabrics are great options in sunny weather, though. For more formal scarves, there’s nothing quite like silk. This material feels and looks great, though it may require a little more care. Linen or synthetic scarves can be a good budget option, though linen especially won’t feel as cozy. Cotton is a good middle-of-the-road option: It’s easy to wash, keeps you warm when layered and it very breathable when worn loose in the summer months.

The Best Plaid Scarves

1
  Top Pick

This patterned scarf is surprisingly light, considering how much material it gives you. You can wear it loose and fashionable or wrap it tight in the winter for extra warmth. Washing takes a bit of care, but you can expect it to last.

Features


Specifications

Brand
American Trends
Model
2
  Runner Up

Wander Agio Woolen Yarn Plaid Scarf

The cashmere feel on this one invites you to snuggle in. It's especially effective in cold weather but not so thick that you can't wear it for a bit of style. There are plenty of patterns to choose from and each is expertly woven.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Wander Agio
Model
3
  We Also Like

Achillea Lightweight Viscose Plaid Scarf

This is the classic rectangular neck scarf, which makes it easy to throw on and go. The iconic tartan pattern makes it a match for most any outfit - especially leather or wool coats. The soft feel holds up, even after multiple washes.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Achillea
Model
4
  Strong Contender

Veronz Fringe Ends Viscose Plaid Scarf

If you're looking for a soft, cozy scarf, this one will go anywhere with you. The viscose material has a nice silky feel that isn't hard to maintain. Hand washing is recommended, but with a little TLC this can last for years.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Veronz
Model
5
  Also Great

Century Star Oversized Acrylic Plaid Scarf

Thanks to the larger size, this scarf is extremely versatile. You can wrap it into any number of configurations or even use it as a blanket in a pinch. The material is fine for machine washing and the frayed edges create a cozy, casual vibe.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Century Star
Model

Our Plaid Scarf Buying Guide

Who says you can’t be cool and stay warm at the same time? When it comes to winter accessories that are both fashionable and cozy, the classic plaid scarf is a standout. All you have to do is literally throw a scarf over your shoulder and you’ve completely transformed an outfit — and conserved a lot of body heat to boot.

By definition, a scarf is really any piece of fabric you can wrap around your head or neck. Plaid is by far the most popular pattern for scarves, though, for a lot of reasons. First and foremost, it looks good on everybody, no matter what your style. Simple crisscross squares evoke a certain rustic charm, but plaid scarves work just as well with preppy sweaters as they do on tattered leather jackets.

The first step in choosing the right scarf is deciding how you’re going to wear it. There are three basic configurations for a scarf: Square, triangular or rectangular. Square scarves are usually made of thinner fabric that you can fold multiple times, and they’re usually worn like a bandana or loose ascot. As you can imagine, they’re primarily a fashion accessory. Triangular scarves are more versatile the bigger they get, since you can tie them over your head like a kerchief or make them into a shawl. Rectangular scarves are the most common type, especially when we’re talking about plaid patterns. These are long ribbons of fabric that you can wear loosely around the neck or layer up for maximum warmth.

Exactly how much warmth you want is another key question, especially when it comes to material. The primary practical purpose for a scarf is keeping your neck warm, and wool or angora are some of the best fabrics for that. They have the fuzzy feel that most people associate with a winter scarf, but be careful that you don’t get them too wet since they do hold onto moisture. Cashmere scarves are a more fashionable alternative to wool — and probably a more expensive one. Cashmere is basically wool with a finer weave, giving you the same warmth without all those stray threads.

None of those fabrics are great options in sunny weather, though. For more formal scarves, there’s nothing quite like silk. This material feels and looks great, though it may require a little more care. Linen or synthetic scarves can be a good budget option, though linen especially won’t feel as cozy. Cotton is a good middle-of-the-road option: It’s easy to wash, keeps you warm when layered and it very breathable when worn loose in the summer months.

DWYM Fun Fact

There’s nothing quite like a cozy scarf that’s been knitted at home. But there’s really nothing like the one knitted by Helge Johansen of Oslo, Norway. At nearly 15,000 feet, it’s the longest scarf knitted by a single individual. According to Guinness World Records, Johansen’s titanic neckwear took him 30 years to finish and is so big it could wrap around Manhattan’s Central Park unfurled.

The Plaid Scarf Tips and Advice

As easy as scarves are to wear, let’s face it: They’re not so easy to wash. The good news is, you shouldn’t have to do it that often, even with ones you wear every day. When you finally do start detecting a stain (or worse, a smell) you’ll have to hand wash. That goes for scarves of any kind of material, since even the sturdy ones are just too long and prone to get tangled up.

If you’ve got a wool or silk scarf, you’ll want to add some detergent to a tub of cold water, drop it in and gently work out any stains. For cashmere, you can get the water up to lukewarm status. Make sure your detergent is a mild one, and definitely don’t use bleach. Once you’re done, pat the scarf down with a towel and find a place to let it dry flat. Hangers will cause it to stretch out unevenly.


About The Author

Tod Caviness 

Tod Caviness has been a features journalist and writer in Central Florida for the past 20 years. His stories covered everything from indie fashion to nightlife, but they have only slightly improved his taste in clothes or the quality of his homemade Manhattans. Luckily, he still looks good in black.