Etsy is a terrific resource, but you still have to sift through a vast virtual pile. The blurry abstract motifs shown on luxury-scarf sites are not as deftly executed on Etsy; there's a lot of earnest handpainting. But some of those high-end pieces on sites like Lilogi will date faster than a timeless ikat or geometric.
You could also go the jumble sale, consignment or thrift route, but I'm showing scarves that do not depend on serendipity to meet your lovely neck.
Let's window shop in the Passage!
Essence of spring, in silk
Cinne Worthington makes what I call Composed Scarves, mixing different luxe fabrics; shown, a Cavalli print with a botanical. Most of her scarves are narrow and long, 4 in. x 72 in., so can also be worn as belts or a head wrap, which I admired ardently in a photo. This piece is $69.
Ethereal natural dyes
Hiroko Inuma of Tokyo works with natural dyes; often these pieces are expensive because of the labour in creating the infusions. HiRoKoJapan has made a linen scarf with soft apricot/coral loquat. The balance, the weight— the scarf blisses me out. Price, $82.
Hip photo print
A South Beach surf hut on wafty silk chiffon from London-based artists LifeandLibertyCo; price $69, and big enough (100cmx200cm) to wear as a sarong.
A soft cotton scarf travels well, you can crumple-twist or wear it pressed. Handblock prints are among my favourite textiles, and the grey and ochre is fresh and versatile. The "Calvi" scarf is half the price of a similar one I saw in an upscale boutique last weekend and every bit as insouciant. From Etsy seller graymarket; price $45.
A happy striped linen scarf would make a cool gift; price, $28 from DokumaAtelier, a Turkish shop. It would be hard to choose just one!
Claire Gaudion is a UK designer whose palettes draw me in; her colours breathe. The "Pleinmont" is a silk/wool neckerchief, 65cm square, ideal 'tucker' size. Price, $42.
I bought a few of these in India and think they're fantastic buys: light, warm, vibrant and washable (in a lingerie bag.) The recycled sari silk scarf is hand-quilted in "kantha" style, with a straight running stitch in contrast thread. From Delhi, two spring palettes, leaf green and pink. Price, $12 from Handcraftsvilla.
Japanese fabrics feature breathtaking palettes, and an infinity scarf stays around your neck without tying. Japanese silk vintage kimono scarf from BrauvalStock; price, $60.
Step lightly; listen to the birds singing, don't forget your umbrella and enjoy every scarf in your drawer, new or old. Few items of apparel add so much pleasure for a relatively modest investment.