…and I wore it all day. Even to a meeting with an external person, but then he turned up rocking a pocket square so clearly he was on board with my monkey kerchief.
Karen Walker did this awesome monkey print this year, but in an attempt to be sensible I swore I would not spend $500+ on the shirt and instead purchased this kerchief. Do you ever get sick of necklaces? Me neither, but I’m a sucker for a great print and I’ll try pretty much anything (fashion-related) once. I could have absolutely worn one of the vintage scarves I have in my drawer as a kerchief, but the monkeys needed a home. I saved them, you guys.
Once the monkey kerchief was in my possession (shout out to the brisk shipping and immaculate presentation from KW), it was time to let it loose. I could have done this on the weekend, I know. But what is work if not a trying ground for my more ridiculous and potentially not-work-appropriate purchases? It’s a rhetorical question, no need to comment below.
I decided that the kerchief worn at the neck was the way to go, and so I leaned into the retro vibe it was giving me with this dream of a dress from Painted Bird. It might not have seemed like an obvious pairing, but the scarf had just enough hints of green that when I paired it with this dress and the brown shoes, it all coalesced together. The brown felt like a nice soft pairing for daytime with this emerald green. I found my most intense cat-eye sunglasses (now back at the top of my favourites list) and strode out into the world with confidence.
Upon arriving at work I realised the vibe I was feeling wasn’t retro, it was “air hostess”. My mistake was vocalising that to my team: cue jokes about Aer Lingus and the mail trolley we use in our office. My confidence wobbled slightly, but then I remembered I was wearing a piece of fabric around my neck, not rescuing orphans from enemy gun fire, and I got on with it. Also my dress was very tight in the bodice so I didn’t have the lung capacity required to get cross with anyone. At one point I went to the bathroom just so I could unzip it and take a truly deep breath. I looked great though, so a small bit of oxygen deprivation was no worries.
I got exactly zero comments for the rest of the day. This has to be for one of two reasons: my colleagues are used to me and are tired of commenting on my nonsense (but they complimented my gold vinyl blazer on another day so…) or, and I’m afraid this might be the answer, it was so unusual that people felt awkward mentioning it. Either way, I would have entirely forgotten I was wearing it were it not for:
- Having to tighten it from time to time to keep it jaunty
- Having to rotate it from time to time to keep it from looking like I was wearing my Rangers scarf. All I would have needed was my Promise Badge.
It might not have been the Look that the world was searching for, but I bloody loved it. I felt extra jaunty (and I’m generally pretty jaunty as far as human beings go). Looking at these pictures now I still love it, plus it’s perfect as an autumn/winter option because it looks ACE with shirts and over adorable jumpers (both of which I own in abundance). Imagine this with my beloved and precious red leather jacket – sensational.
You can wear kerchiefs in a variety of ways – in your hair, as headbands, around your wrist, tied to your handbag – so if the neck seems a little bit extra for you at first, there’s other ways to ease in. It looks like the KW kerchiefs have already sold out, but it’s always worth checking out your local opshop for great cotton and silk scarves and kerchiefs. You can find Painted Bird here (and tune back in later this month for an interview with Steph from PB).