Accessorize With A Shawl

Shawls are showing up everywhere - night or day, dressy or casual. Here's a guide to using this fashion accessory to give your wardrobe a lift.

Shawls used to be regarded as something to be worn by little old ladies.No more!Today, smart, fashionable women know that this simple accessory can help perk up a tired work outfit or make an evening dress even more stylish.

Most people think of shawls in terms of evening wear, and certainly, tossing a brightly colored shawl over one's shoulders can give an ordinary evening dress a whole new look.Shawls for evening should be chosen either to contrast the color of the dress, or to pick up one of the colors in the pattern.

To make sure that you get a perfect match, take your dress with you when you shop.Most department stores sells shawls in their accessory department along with belts, scarves, gloves, purses and hats.For evening, look for something in a silk fabric.There is nothing more luxurious than a soft, silk fabric.It feels like a caress on bare skin and has a rich appearance.Pastel floral silk is particularly good for eveningwear.

Another option is a fine, crocheted shawl.These can also be purchased, or if you are handy, you can even crochet your own.Most craft and fabric stores have lots of patterns for crochet that include lovely shawls in intricate patterns.Shawls are relatively simple to crochet in that they can be made in one piece and require no shaping.Filet crochet where a pattern is worked into the actual stitches is rich looking and perfect for evening.

Evening shawls can also be sewn from fine fabrics at home, and if you are also making your gown, you can fashion a matching shawl from the same fabric.This is a nice look for a wedding or other formal occasion, and guarantees that you will not end up looking at your dress on someone else!

Shawls are not just for evening anymore, however.Look at any fashion magazine, and you will find them being worn with both casual and work attire. A shawl really is today's answer to thescarf for business wear and can be either fabric, crocheted or knitted.The shawl should pick up one of the other colors that you are wearing, and can be fastened with a pin or tied to secure.

A knitted shawl is the perfect answer to uneven office temperatures - worn in a cool area or taken off if another area is warmer.In the summer, a shawl can be worn over a sleeveless blouse to ward off the chill in an overly air conditioned office and removed when going outside.There is something very polished about accessorizing with a colorful, silky shawl.

While shawls have long been worn for evening, they have only recently begun to appear for casual wear. Runways have featured models in jeans with a shawl tied around their waists in place of a belt.This look has taken off, and women of all shapes and sizes have adopted this fashion statement.Shawls are also worn wrapped around the neck, leaving the "V"' in front creating a cowl neckline.This look, over a turtle neck sweater can really jazz up a pair of jeans.

When choosing a shawl to wear around the waist, make sure the fabric is light and not at all bulky.A bulky material will bunch up and add pounds to the hips, detracting from the overall look.Pick a light crochet or silky shawl, perhaps one with an interesting beaded fringe.

Shawls are even making it to the beach this season.Crochet a cool summer shawl in lightweight cotton yarn in a bright, fun color to contrast your suit.You can tie it around you waist as a cover-up or wear it around your shoulders to ward off a chill.

Shawls have certainly evolved over the years and are a fashion must for any season or occasion.Whether they are handmade or purchased at a designer boutique, they go everywhere easily, and are fun to wear.No, shawls are not just for grandma anymore!

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