My Love Affair With the Modern Snood

snood scarfThis fall has been my coziest to date thanks to my favorite new topper — the snood. No, I’m not referring to the hairnet as its been known for most of history, but to the sumptuous tubular scarves that I fell in love with on Prabal Gurung’s Fall 2013 runway (see above). Unlike conventional scarves, the ends are sewn together to form a loop, which means it doesn’t need to be fussed over. It’s more streamlined, and never falls out of place. The snood can be worn one two ways — around the neck like a conventional scarf, or over the head like a hood. And let it be known, snoods are the most insulated muffler in the game.

snood fashionThe term ‘snood’ was first recorded in Old English from sometime around 725. In the Middle Ages it was a netted fabric covering the head like a caul that was used by working women. The snood experienced its biggest revival in Europe during World War II due to the rationing of cloth for garments. While headwear wasn’t rationed, wearing the crocheted hairnets was a demonstration of one’s wartime support.

Beginning in the ’60s, the snood also referred to tubular neck protectors worn by skiers and motorcyclists, and was eventually understood as a style of scarf. Over the past decade, the snood scarf has been reinterpreted by Dior, Versace, and Chanel. In terms of a fashion statement, the snood is not only embraced by women, but men too –  and not just male fashion editors, but European footballers. They become such a phenomenon that in 2011, The International Football Association Board banned their players from sporting their athletic neckwarmer styles as they are for ‘powder puffs’.

Whether they’re an accessory of controversy or not, I throw on a snood and never think twice about it. No matter what kind of cold weather look I’m going for, I top it off with one of the many snoods I’ve acquired over the past few months — most of which are a luxe faux fur or soft chunky knit. Not only are they inherently elegant, they’re insurance against the biting cold.

For a more casual approach to the snood, pair it with a T-shirt and jeans or you can just as easily hit a party in a cocktail dress or evening gown. I wear my snoods around at the nape, but if you want to be a little more daring, or just want to guard your hair from the elements, give the head covering technique a try.

Proving that the demand is rising for the snood, there are more options than ever with every designer taking on the neck accoutrement. Below, I’ve narrowed down a couple of styles that will turns heads while keeping you toasty through winter.

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