How to Wear a Shawl

You Need This Cozy Accessory

Close up of woman in belted yellow shawl

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Have you noticed that the shawl is back? This drapey, soft, and versatile accessory is suddenly everywhere in street style. Fashion girls are layering them in plenty of different colors and fabrics, to create outfits that look effortlessly chic. But do you know how to wear a shawl to achieve a memorable effect? We share the best ways to wear this comfortable dressing piece, so you can step out in style.

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The Loose Drape

Woman in jeans and fringed shawl

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A long, fringed shawl is perfect for draping over your casual outfits, to take them to the next level. Try adding a neutral colored shawl, such as the classic camel version pictured here, to all your weekend outfits in jeans and leggings, as a cozy top layer that can take the place of a jacket. Just pull it around your shoulders, and wear it as you would a long cardigan for a soft, approachable, and effortlessly cute vibe that works for everything from coffee dates, to picking up the kids, and brunch or shopping with friends.

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The Bohemian Wrap

Woman in long black and white shawl and fedora hat

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Whether you're going to spending the day at an outdoor music festival in uncertain weather, or you just want to strike a bohemian look for shopping and running errands around town, a pretty batik print shawl is a great way to add flair to your outfits. A lightweight shawl, such as the one worn by this fashion influencer, adds plenty of visual interest to your outfit, and you won't feel suffocated in the way you might by a heavy coat. If the weather warms up, you can always fold your shawl into a long vertical strip of fabric and drape it over your shoulder, or tie it around your purse strap, depending on its size.

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The Belted Shawl

Woman in belted shawl over a business outfit

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Belting a shawl over your outfit is a genius level fashion move that transforms this unstructured accessory into a wrap-style coat, for a memorable look that is worthy of your favorite street style icons. You can pull this trick with any fabric or color of shawl, and it's a particularly great way to upgrade all your outfits for work. It's also a great way to make sure your shape doesn't get lost, when you wear oversized trends, particularly if you have a curvy body shape. A skinny belt works belt to cinch in the fabric, without adding extra bulk.

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The Haute Shawl

Woman in checked blazer for work and fringed shawl

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Shawls come in tons of fabrics, from cotton to wool, but keep your eyes open for those special shawls that can really make your outfit. As pictured here, a beautifully woven or hand-knit fabric, and fine detailing at the edges, makes this fashion accessory look more expensive, and worthy of layering over your most polished outfits for work. Opt for a neural colored style for the office, which is most versatile for wearing over all your outfits, and conveys a professional vibe.

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The Oversized Shawl

Woman in shawl coat and white jeans with fedora hat

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Slouchy silhouettes are a big thing in fashion right now. You can create an of-the-minute outfit that looks great, and is crazy easy to wear, by throwing a huge wool shawl over your fall and winter outfits as a cold weather coat, as shown here. You'll find reversible options in stores, too, so you can get two layering pieces in one, a great investment that can stretch your fashion dollar further.

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The Shock of Color Shawl

Woman in red shawl and polka dot dress

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Does your cold weather wardrobe consist of mostly muted tones and neutrals? You can easily add a pop of color to your minimalist outfits, by adding a big, colorful shawl. We love the way this fashion blogger has pulled hers over her shoulders, wearing it like a blanket coat, for cheery winter style, over a long-sleeved, dark colored dress and trendy leopard print shoes.

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Loose Knit Shawl for Warm Weather

Woman in green shawl and summer mini skirt outfit

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Are you heading out on vacation this winter, or scoping summer fashion ideas? A loose-knit wrap is super versatile for wearing in warmer months, when it can provide you coverage on windy days, when the temperature dips by evening or if you need to cover up sunburned shoulders. You can pull on a lightweight shawl to add coziness, or a fun pop of color, to just about any warm weather outfit, from denim shorts, to sundresses, jumpsuits, and even your bathing suit.