Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Stylin' In A Hermès Scarf

Photo courtesy of Hermes
Hermès silk scarf is a thing of beauty. Touching and playing with the scraves at the retailer's flagship Madison Avenue store feels so gooood! It's a practical, not to mention, ultra expensive accessory in a fashionable wardrobe. Queen Elizabeth II and Catherine Denuve wear a collection of Hermès scarves, as did Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly and Jacqueline Onassis.

Genuine Hermès scarves are made in France of Jacquard silk. If the scarf is manufactured anywhere else, or made of other silk, it is a fake. The standard size is 36'' by 36,'' and a real Hermès scarf is nearly always hand stitched towards the front. It is never, ever machine stitched. That's one reason why they're so darn expensive ... and oh yeah, there's the French aspect. The French like to keep their merchandise exclusive, so that we'll all want one. In the case of these luxury silk scarves, who won't want one?

There are a myriad of vivid colors and clever designs. According to the UK's Daily Mail, each scarf is "painstakingly screen-painted." The designers are commissioned from all over the world -- most are not famous. Hermès prefers to hire artists as designers with no prior fashion experience. As the company likes to say, every scarf tells a story.

Understand that owning a Hermès scarf might complicate our lives. It could introduce fearSince normally I don't spend $400 - $766 for a status scarf, I'd be terrified of losing it. Just imagine: What if $400+ slipped right off your neck, and in a hustle and bustle, you failed to notice!? That would feel terrible, wouldn't it?

It might entail more work: Consider, how you would clean it: Reportedly, dry cleaning thins the silk; therefore, hand washing is recommended by some experts. However, you need a special silk cleaning solvent to hand wash a Hermès scarf. Plus, you have to be mindful of the temperature of the water, least the silk shrivel up, or the dyes bleed. So with scarf ownership, see how complicated life becomes? Holy moly, the additional stress!

Sooo, do we still want a Hermès scarf? Mull it o-v-e-r carefully ... 

Hell yes!!! Plumb crazy to think otherwise! Doesn't mean I'll buy one soon though. Right now, looking is so much cheaper. How about you?

Meanwhile, I shall soldier on with my $16 silk scraves from TJ Maxx. Frankly, I feel alarmed when I misplace one of those!


  1. Back when the US $ was almost at parity with the GBP, I used to buy these scarfs in London at Hermes store around Regent Street. But these days, you can get knock-offs on Canal Street, and most people can't tell the difference. For the guys, Hermes used to do excellent nautical ties, but not now.

    1. Personally, I won't buy counterfiet goods for many reasons. It's illegal, the goods are inferior, but the mark-up is great. You would still be charged plenty for what costs a fraction to make. And, probably there's a factory somewhere producing the counterfiet goods where the employees are being under paid and mistreated.

      Instead of buying a counterfeit scarf, I'd find something legally sold that is Hermes inspired. Appreciate beautiful things, but at the end of the day, they are only things.

  2. We will have to agree to disagree on this one. "Knock-off" is not the same as counterfeit- indeed an imitation (without the logo) is just like the phrase, a sincere form of flattery. Now that I've read this, I see numerous ladies wearing designer looking scarves around midtown Manhattan.

    1. Knock offs aren't bad. They aren't sold as the geniune articles.

      You mentioned the goods in Chinatown -- those are counterfeit ... they are sold with designer labels in back rooms, but aren't designer goods.

    2. I don't want to split too many hairs here re what constitutes counterfeit. To me, it's the actual logo or trademark, where legal protections exist. Admittedly, my expertise is in mens neckwear (a first cousin of ladies scarves that you feature in the blog this week). But I have got Hermes look-a-likes that have a little square same size but missing the distinctive logo. This is on the smaller part of tie. with some two-sided tape, the tie stays straight and nobody can see the back. And I've gotten kudo's on the ties. Sort of related- one particularly obnoxious piece-of-work Eurotrash guy I used to deal with complimented me one time on my "Rolex" watch, as I chucked to myself "In your dreams, dude".

    3. Barry, as long as it doesn't have the logo or infringe upon the designer's trademark, you're in the clear. Not sure if you know, but down in Chinatown there is a whole illegal industry that sells counterfeit purses. Everybody knows it's illegel to buy the purses, but tourists, who are otherwise honest, come to NYC, go into the back rooms and do it anyway. The purses do have the designer logos, so it's definitely not something people should be doing. The purses are presented as the real deal, though everyone knows they are not.

      Designer inspired ties and goods, I think, are fine. Knock-off products like printer ink or sunglasses I think can be done without infringing upon a trademark or logo are fine too. Know-offs are legal when they're not being passed off as the geniune article.

      But when you're going into a back room to buy something, you know it's not legal.

    4. Oop, I think I missed the Hermes post! They are so beautiful, and I bought my one and only Hermes last year at Paris airport. It cost a bomb, and it was the tiniest size they have. And it needs washing - I just have to find the special silk cleaner now, don't I. I was thinking of doing it with old-fashioned bar soap, which is gentle on wool and silk. But I sure don't want the colours to run!

    5. Hi Tricia,

      It's never too late to comment on a post. I think you did right by buying a Hermes scarf! I hope to see you model it in the future on your blog. What a nice classic piece to own! You will enjoy it for many years to come!