I am the girl in the red scarf.
The ambition that the protagonist Rebecca Bloomwood of the “Shopaholic” series in the very first book was nothing more than to be known as “the girl in the green scarf” after she finds an expensive, designer scarf that she can’t afford. She convinces herself that despite a mountain of shopping related debt, this green scarf will change her life.
While I don’t have much that’s good to say about the rest of the “Shopaholic” series, the idea of the girl in the green scarf has stuck with me. There’s something about a signature piece, whether it cost $8 or $800, which strikes a powerful note with me.
My red scarf is my fashion security blanket. Purchased at a vintage store in London for the equivalent of about 12 dollars, I’d like to think that it found me more than I found it. The store, Pop Boutique, was bursting with colorful and unique pieces. I had hoped to find a quintessential British satchel. But my red scarf is much, much better.
I was drawn in by the striking red color of the background along with the rich ochre, olive and white details of the pattern. The pattern itself was special: beautifully ornate, something that looked like it would decorate an Eastern European folk tale. The fringe around the border of the scarf allured me that much more. It didn’t take long to convince myself that the scarf would come back to the States with me.
Without a doubt, I liked the scarf when I bought it. But it didn’t complete me. It didn’t hug my sartorial soul until a few weeks later. I’m surprised I considered my wardrobe complete until the red scarf into my life.
Like any great love story, ours took some time. I wouldn’t be dramatic about this sort of thing.
Now most of my outfits are pretty much blank canvases so I have an excuse to throw on my favorite piece of neckwear. I wear it at least three times a week. While I’m hopeful for the possibility of finding similar scarves to throw into the rotation, I doubt anything will be just as perfect. However, considering I leave a trail of red fringes wherever I go when donning the scarf, I’m not sure of its longevity. It’s better to have loved and lost, right?
The red scarf is, on the base level, just another material good. Perhaps a more sane person would even say that the meaning of the scarf comes from being a souvenir from a trip abroad.
But when I wrap my scarf securely around my neck, everything just feels right. I wouldn’t call it a good luck charm: the red scarf is more than that to me.
It’s an illustration of just how powerful fashion can be.