When it comes to collecting vintage accessories, silk scarves come in a close second behind jewelry. I remember starting my vintage scarf collection in high school when I was going through a 1960's phase and could not get enough of Emilio Pucci's colorful prints. I quickly fell down the vintage scarf rabbit hole and began hunting for them at vintage stores, and of course... my Mother's closet. Perfect for tying in my hair, around my neck or even on my handbag, I could never have enough!
For my high school graduation, I opted for vintage scarves as grad-gifts instead of the standard monogrammed luggage tag or bath robe. One of my favorites and still most treasured is a powder blue Hermès scarf my Aunt found at an estate sale (shown in the first image), still intact with its original orange box. Today, I have a whole shelf in my closet dedicated to my silk scarf collection, or rather art collection. Straying from jewelry for just a moment, I thought it would be fun to share some tips for buying vintage designer scarves that I have learned over the years.
W H E R E T O L O O K
When we're talking about buying vintage anything, there is always the big debate between online and in stores. I covered a few of the reasons why I love both in my recent blog about buying vintage Chanel. I guess it mostly depends on where you live, and how many re-sale boutiques are in your area. Regardless, online is always a good place to start price comparing! I like to run a search on eBay and Etsy looking for general categories like "Vintage Silk Scarf" or something more specific like "Vintage 90's Chanel Scarf" first.
Since it is more difficult to ensure authenticity online when it comes to designer scarves as opposed to handbags, it is best to use a trustworthy online consignment boutique like Vestiaire Collective and The RealReal. Both have a beautiful selection of Chanel, Gucci, Valentino, Dior scarves and more. As for in-person buying, try looking up high end consignment shops in your area, for me Vintage Martini in Dallas always has a selection of Hermès scarves that I enjoy browsing.
C O N D I T I O N
Depending on how much you want to spend, quality and condition can play a big factor in pricing vintage scarves. Know the difference between what 100% silk and synthetic rayon feels like. Silk will feel buttery and luxe, while a synthetic blend can feel slippery and more like plastic. If the design is eye-catching, I never let the silk factor stop me from buying a scarf. What does it matter once it is all tied up around my neck in a chic bow?
However, if you are in the mood to splurge on a designer scarf, make sure you know what to look and feel for. Most high end scarves will have a small tag sewn on the corner with the designer's name and 100% silk labeled. In the off-chance that there is no tag, be prepared to make that call on your own. Also, be sure to check each scarf for grease stains or dirty spots, price should reflect any wear and tear.
D E S I G N E R S C A R V E S
Be prepared to spend anywhere from $150 to $350 when it comes to a luxury silk scarf. Remember, these are pieces of art! Designers back then and today release scarf collections each season in limited runs, making them quite rare, especially after a few decades have passed by. One of the biggest names in luxury silk scarves, Hermès, is known for their horse and carriage motifs... While Emilio Pucci is recognized for their trademarked geometric prints. If you're looking for a scarf that won't break the bank, my favorite vintage label for a cheap thrill is Vera. Known for their colorful floral and geometric prints, Vera became a popular scarf brand in the 1960's. Look to eBay and Etsy for vintage Vera scarves usually priced between $10 to $30. Happy shopping vintage lovers!