Vera Scarf Tying Art

Back in October I ran across the little booklet above, Vera scarf tying art.  It’s one I’d been looking for so was glad to buy it when it came up at a fund-raising silent auction for the Costume Society.

There is no date on the booklet, but it is later 1960s or early 70s as far as I can tell.  The illustrations remind me of the ones done for small features in Glamour magazine in the same period.

One thing I’ve heard women say over and over through the years is that they love scarves, but don’t know what to do with them.  The Vera Company must have been very aware of this problem, and they wisely set out to do something about it.  The booklet covers the basics (“the triangle fold”) but also shows how to wear a scarf as a top (“halter ties are body art”) and how to hang a scarf on the wall.

Turbans seem to be having a bit of a fashion moment, and so here are four ways to join that trend.  I like the demi-Leia look, number 4.

The dog collar reminds me of that old scary story about the girl who always wore a scarf (or in some versions, a ribbon) tied around her neck.  Turns out it was holding her head on her neck.

I can remember when young women were doing the scarf-as-top trick, but I was too afraid that it would lead to over-exposure.  Sometimes a little fear is a good thing!

10 Comments

Filed under Designers

10 responses to “Vera Scarf Tying Art

  1. Phyl D

    I love Vera’s designs and happily inherited several of her scarves from my stylish grandmother. Thank you so much, Lizzie, for sharing this – your blog entries are so entertaining and this one definitely struck a note of nostalgia for me. I’m always learning something new!

    I laughed when I saw the phrase “urban turban”.

    The side swirl turban looks like something Ali MacGraw would have rocked back in ’70 or ’71. I was 10 at the time and loved her sense of style, still do.

    Never did the scarf as halter look for the same reason as you, but do remember sewing several halter tops as one of my first sewing projects. And wearing them during the summer with shorts (hot pants!) and a pair of wooden Dr. Scholl sandals while riding my cherry red Schwinn around the neighborhood…accompanied by the early 70s pop hits resonating from my pocket-sized Realistic brand “Blueberry” transistor radio whose strap dangled off the handlebar….that beloved radio was also a gift from my stylish grandmother, bless her heart.

    As a teen, I had mad sewing skills…sigh. Wish I could resurrect my former self…

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  2. Grand point about remembering our young sewing skills, Phyl! I was remembering those Dr. Scholl’s just lately. Don’t know that I was ever brave enough to do the scarf-as-top either, Lizzie, at least not out in public! Grand booklet and thank you so much for sharing! Will try some of these as occasions permit.

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  3. So fun! These days it is easy to find scarf tying tutorials in magazines and of course on line. But I bet that this little booklet was a real help to people when it was published.

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  4. I’m the target audience for this pamphlet. I’m the worst at accessorizing because it usually takes me so long just to settle on what to wear that I don’t bother with jewelry or figuring out how to wear a scarf. Great find, Lizzie!

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  5. Nice find! I remember my fashion office(Garfinckels and Woodward Lothrop) days- we booked the vendor reps to visit for a “Designer Appearance” show- I think Vera was one of the invited and they would give a demonstration on “how to” Perhaps this little booklet was one that accompanied them as the product gift/give away. Tie frame fits 70s. Speaking of scarves- no one more memorable than Grace Kelley with hers classically tied over her hair! I think it was Hermes or Chanel.

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  6. Scarves ah. And especially Vera scarves, they were the “it” department store brand. Can you do a story on Dr Scholl’s sandals. i too had them, starting with a navy blue pair I bought at a Boot’s in London in 1970. Was I ever pleased to be the first girl in my school to have them in navy. My aunt used to complain that we sounded like horses clopping up and down the wooden stairs in her 1870s beach cottage! And I am pretty sure they are partly to blame for foot problems I have today. They were anything but healthy!

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  7. Kathy Todd

    Glad to see a blog on Vera Neumann and her prolific scarfs and household linens. Have a large collection of scarf as well as table cloths, bed linens, dishes, and curtains. Also have a booklet in scarf tying produced by Vera.
    There’s a book written by a mother and daughter about Vera art scarfs.

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