In these troubled times, I would like to take a moment out of our busy days to sit down with everyone and discuss something close to my heart: the scarf. A relic left over from the old days, when people didn’t have zippers or jackets and were forced to slap errant pieces of cloth over their faces in lieu of an actual solution, I think it is high time we abandon this “garment” in favor of literally anything else. While the scarf may purport to solve all of your winter problems, I guarantee by the time I am done, you will have thought more about scarves than you ever wanted to.
First off, we must start with a definition. When I say scarf, I do not mean a decorative scarf, or a cravat if you will, nor do I mean a headscarf or a silk covering thereof. I am referring to a winter scarf, the kind that your over-ambitious friend makes for you when she realizes that socks are actually really hard for knitting novices, or the kind that your mom buys you for Christmas every year even though you tell her that you don’t like scarves to a degree that other people would call “alienating.” The kind that consists of several layers of wool/cotton/other material. That kind.
Scarves were originally invented by the Ancient Romans (who also invented crucifixion and the papacy) and were used primarily by men as a facecloth to wipe away the dirt and grime that would collect on their faces because even though they invented concrete, they never thought to apply it to a road and instead walked around in sandals on dirt. Once scarves insidiously spread to women, they began to take on more of a fashion role, as the Romans lived in Italy, where a cold breeze is nonexistent. The fashion also began to emerge in Ancient China, where scarves were first made of silk. Here we can see that even from its inception, scarves were never meant to serve the purpose that we today abuse them for.
The simple fact of the matter is that the slight warmth that may be provided by a scarf is far outweighed by the many inconveniences of wearing a scarf, such as the constant need for readjustments or the dampness from your hot breath on the scarf. I haven’t even mentioned the notorious scarf-hairs, and I bet you’re already dreading the return of any weather below 50 degrees with a wind speed above mild.
They also fail to serve their allotted purpose. One possible use is to protect your neck from the cold; however, this is obviously a job for your coat. If fully zipping up your winter coat does not cover your neck, then you are not wearing a winter coat, but more likely a fleece jacket, or a heavy windbreaker, neither of which is suited for the cold weather. The second use is to protect your lower face, in which case it is clearly more efficient to simply tuck your face into your coat, which already (as we have established) covers your neck and thus is prepared to take on the further job of covering your face. You would be surprised at the admirable job a coat/hood will do in protecting your face from the wind and cold, and all without having to lug around a superfluous piece of clothing that is, for some reason, twice the length of your wingspan, and yet so easily lost.
All in all, the only thing that makes you think that scarves are worth the effort and struggle is the absurd narrative that the notorious Scarf Industry (aka Big Scarf) is trying to push in, making you feel insecure about your face warmth in an effort to drive up sales. No doubt their paid shills will bombard this fine publication with “letters to the editor,” following the scripts laid out by the lobbyists in D.C., arguing that this is “opinion” and “unreasonable” and that “you don’t understand fashion” and “do you really not have anything better to do,” but I hope the people of Eastern and the world at large will see past these petty instigators and respond to my call to action. Let this past scarf season be the last. Let the scarf rest in peace.