I'm a bit of a fascist when it comes to my scarves - like hoodies, I like them to have a story behind them. My three favourites for Winter came from Prague, India and Hong Kong. Having said that, I can still be tempted by a great scarf in my hometown or in a high street store, make no mistake about it.
My three favourite scarves this winter; (L-R) navy and gold patterned from Pražský hrad, neutral combination from a market in India, and florals from Hong Kong.
It would take me forever to recommend you all the nice scarves I've seen about, so instead here are some general pointers for buying that great all-round scarf.
1. Neutral colours - or colours that you know you wear a lot. Like a handbag, you want a scarf to be a cohesive part of your outfit, not look randomly plonked on as an afterthought. Therefore, make sure it also co-ordinates (not necessarily matches exactly) with your favourite coats/jackets, gloves and hats. One idea is to have a few 'sets' of scarves/gloves/hats that go great together. Makes Winter mornings (the kind where you dress under your covers because it's so cold) that bit easier, giving you time for a nice hot cuppa before you brave the outdoors.
2. Patterns - I honestly believe scarves look a bit better with pattern to them. Block colours don't tend to 'gel' with your outfit quite so well. Bold patterns can be difficult to match, but a nice subtle, 'swirly' pattern is normally just the ticket. Look at the famous (admittedly not exactly Winter-some) scarves of Fendi andHermes; pattern, pattern, pattern!
3. Size/Weight/Thickness - if you're really, really little, maybe a massive scarf isn't best. Everyone wraps their scarves differently (I'm a graduate of the put-it-on-backwards-wrap-it-and-bring-the-ends-forward school) so it's hard to give set-in-stone rules on this but always try scarves on and figure out how you would wear them. You want them to be warm enough, flattering to your face and figure, and practical - if it keeps coming unwrapped you might want to re-think how you've tied it.
Keep your throat warm; it's the best way to avoid a sore throat.
Ciao for now,