I’ve recently discovered the wonders of what is perhaps fashion’s best-kept secret—the scarf. I’d always dismissed the scarf as a ridiculous gesture toward high fashion, or perhaps an errant nod in the direction of political activism. But this winter, I had the delightful opportunity to wear a scarf for the first time, and I have to admit, there’s actually something there.
Now, I’m not a scientist, though I do sometimes wear lab coats when all my t-shirts are in the wash. I’m not quite sure why scarves have made such a difference in tempering me for the harsh Victorian winters. My suspicions would be that somehow the combination of upward air of the flatulogical type and the insulating nature of the wool has created a perfect storm of warmth and comfort. A corporeal vortex, if you will. A warm front moving up from the south-southeast with a variable chance of drizzle but a steady and improving scattering of light fog.
I remember when I first noticed people around me wearing scarves. Just a few here and there initially, but eventually more. I remember one shocking moment in particular, when I started university and was given a campus tour by a six-person team of cheery, bubbly, irritating school spirit. Every single of one of them wore a scarf, even though it was quite a mild September. It seemed like some kind of school uniform. That was when I first started wondering if the University of Victoria was going to be the school for me. And though I quickly became convinced that the University of Victoria was without a doubt one of the top 10 universities in Canada established after 1950 for undergraduate experiences in the humanities located on islands west of the Rocky Mountains, my skepticism about scarves remained.
Then a dear friend of mine lent me one of hers. Well, lent is a strong word. A dear friend put her scarf down on the table and turned her back on me momentarily. And since that time, I’ve barely spent a moment scarfless. I’ve started wearing one to sleep. My girlfriend was confused at first, but now I think she’s come to enjoy the extra barrier between us. In a way, the scarf has become more than just an article of clothing: it’s a metaphor for life. It’s warm, it’s comforting, it hugs me when I need support. And, like life, it only exists at the expense of others. Some poor brave sheep gave his life so that his wool might warm me. They’re the real heroes.
Looking forward, I really think scarves have helped to open my mind and change my outlook on the world. I’ve begun experimenting with new things, things I’d never thought were possible before. I’m reading new books, going to new places, and trying new drugs. I’m even branching out sartorially. If scarves have turned out this well, what about other articles of clothing I’d previously cast a skeptical eye on, like capes, or pants? I might have to give those a try now too.