A scarf is one of the accessories that soccer players can bring into the stadium without getting into trouble with the authorities. But, how did scarves find their way into the heart of soccer fans?
According to records from Manchester’s National Football Museum, the practice goes back to the 1900s. It was one of the first clothing accessories created to help fans show support for their favorite team.
Prior to the use of scarves, soccer fans used to express support for their team using hats, lapels, or ribbons. However, the evolution into scarves was inspired by necessity.
The first generation of soccer fans that used scarves did so to protect themselves from cold during the winter. In those days, scarves mostly came in one color.
However, as it started becoming popular—followed by the better design of soccer jerseys with more distinct colors to distinguish between teams—manufacturers of scarves started upgrading their designs too.
The first documented use of a scarf with alternating bands was in the late 1920s in a game involving Arsenal. These sets of scarves were mostly hand-knitted by mothers and grandmothers which earned them the moniker ‘Granny-Scarves’.
Fast forward to the 1960s when color photography became popular, fans could be pictured in the stadium raising their beautifully-patterned scarves above their heads.
American soccer fans are not left out in this trend. With the emergence of Major League Soccer in 1994, American soccer fans tried to replicate the atmosphere that was already in vogue in Europe.
Eventually, this led to the domestication of the scarf in American soccer culture. Soccer scarf has added to the growing list of soccer collectibles as there is now an endless design opportunity for the accessory.
Also, it is easier for many soccer fans to pile scarves in their collectibles archive rather than jerseys considering the huge price of the latter.
Interestingly, many soccer fans still wear scarves for different reasons. Usually, the reason why a soccer fan is donning a scarf is evident in the way they wear it.
Today, we are going to go through all the different ways you can wear a soccer scarf as well as tell you the reason behind some of the styles.
How to wear a soccer scarf?
The early designs of the soccer scarves were simply a long strip of fabric with stripes of the club’s dominant colors. However, the advancement in technology made it possible to produce scarves with more sophisticated designs including having the faces of soccer players or the team’s emblem on the scarf.
Soccer fans that cannot afford soccer jerseys can easily get a scarf and use it to identify with their team. Since the stadium is always packed full, it is easier to don your favorite team’s scarf or wave it in the air rather than trying to explain who you support to the person next to you—because he or she may not hear you.
Since soccer is a very emotional and passion-filled sport, wearing a scarf makes it easier for others to tell your team. Consequently, fans from the opposition team can easily avoid you—especially when your team is losing—to prevent messy scuffles or heated verbal exchanges.
While scarves are majorly used as a symbol of recognition, some soccer fans still use them as a survival essential. Below are all the popular ways soccer fans wear their scarves
1. The standard drape method
This is by far the most popular way that soccer fans wear their scarves—and it is understandably so. It is famous among diehard soccer fans that can rarely keep quiet throughout the duration of the game.
The standard drape method allows you to easily reach for your scarf to raise it above your shoulder during the team’s anthem, when your team scores a goal, when the camera pans towards you, or just whenever you feel like.
- In this method, all you have to do is to hang the scarf around your neck
- Adjust the scarf so that they hang at equal length on both sides of your shoulder
- Double-check to make sure that your team logo is visibly displayed
- Ensure the scarf is flattened across your shoulder rather than bunched
- Hold the scarf by the two ends and raise it when needed
- Replace afterward
The reverse drape is a more secure version of the simple drape technique. Just like the drape, it is easy to accomplish through the following steps.
- Start with your standard drape technique making sure that both halves of the scarf are equal
- Flip the right half of the scarf across the left shoulder and balance it on your back
- Do the same for the left half of the scarf
2. Half wrap method
Soccer fans that are fashionable always choose the half wrap because of how cool it looks. This method of wearing the soccer scarf has even made it to the runway of some designer’s collections and feels adorable when worn over a coat.
It is often a way of saying that you are just a partial soccer fan. People who wear their scarves this way are rarely loud in the stadium—they are just there to enjoy themselves. You can achieve this method in the following easy steps.
- Drape the scarf over your shoulder like the standard drape method, making sure they are of equal length on both sides of your shoulder
- Hold one end of the scarf and wrap it over the other shoulder
- The scarf now drops down on the front and back of one shoulder
- People can now see your team’s logo at the front and back
- When wearing for fashion, match it with the color of your coat
3. Full wrap method
Poor weather can make match officials reschedule the game. However, most matches still go ahead in freezing temperatures.
In such matches, you will find soccer fans using the full wrap method of wearing a scarf to keep warm. While this is more of a survival way of wearing the scarf, soccer fans still make sure that their team’s logo is clearly visible
- To achieve the full wrap method, start with the standard drape
- Flip one end of the scarf over the other shoulder
- Repeat for the other end
- The ends of the scarf will now fall on your back
- Adjust them to lie flat on the back so that your team’s logo will be clearly visible
4. Hook method
While the full wrap and the hook method are both used by soccer fans to shield themselves from cold, the latter makes the scarf stay in position and is usually preferred where fans predict that the environment would be rowdy.
The full wrap method can easily come undone during jubilation and you will find yourself adjusting all the time.
With the hook method, you are less focused on displaying the team’s logo on your scarf and more focused on keeping your neck warm. To achieve this method, follow the steps below.
- Fold the scarf into two slightly uneven halves
- Drape the folded scarf around your neck
- Hold the loose end and pass it through the loop created on the other end
- Pull down the loose end to complete the knot making sure that one of the loose ends is longer than the other
5. Scarf tie
Another creative way of turning up in the stadium to support your team is by wearing your scarves like a tie over a clean t-shirt or coat. This technique is both fashionable and a way of protecting yourself from the cold.
This method of wearing a scarf prioritizes staying warm and fashionable over displaying your team’s logo—although the logo will still be clearly visible in the end.
Those who wear their scarf this way assume that the color is enough to tell anyone that cares to know the club they support. To pull this off, you need a long scarf so that you will have a reasonable tie length when you are done
- Start by draping the scarf around your shoulder but this time make sure that one of the lengths is longer than the other by about a third
- Take the longer end and wrap it around the neck once. It should go from the front of the neck around the back and back to the front
- Now the two halves should be of equal length
- Wrap one of the halves around the other to create a loop
- Pass it through the loop and tighten it
- Ensure that one end is longer than the other just like in your regular office tie
- Flatten the ends and align the longer half over the other to form a tie that exposes your club logo at the ends of the tie
6. Simple knot method
A lot of soccer fans lose their scarf in the stadium when they simply drape it around their shoulder. During goal jubilation, you wouldn’t even know when they fall from your shoulder.
The simple knot technique can help to prevent this scenario. Interestingly, it is not as complex as the hook or tie methods.
- To start this technique, drape the scarf around your shoulder making sure that they are of equal length
- Cross the two halves to form an X just below your neck
- Turn one of the ends around the other and pass it through the opening under your neck
- Tighten the knot to a comfortable level
- Adjust both halves of the scarf so that one half is slightly longer than the other
- Flatten the halves at the center of your body and properly display your team’s logo
7. Tuck-in method
The full wrap, hook, and tie technique of wearing a scarf may not adequately provide warmth for your neck. In that case, you will need the tuck-in method.
Also, the tuck-in method will come in handy if you have any form of neck pain and want to prevent your neck from moving around—something similar to a neck brace. The steps below will guide you on how to perform the tuck-in method.
- Drape the scarf around the neck but this time one end should be far longer than the other (about 80 to 20)
- Wrap the longer end around the neck twice. The length should be nearly the same as the shorter end now
- Cross the two ends to form an X under the neck
- Tuck the ends under the wrap around your neck
8. Half tuck-in method
No doubt the tuck-in method is not fashionable. If you hate the uninspiring look of the tuck-in method, you can add a little touch of fashion to it by performing the half tuck-in.
It is a lot similar to the tuck-in method except that some steps are omitted in the half tuck-in which makes it a lot simpler than the full tuck-in.
- Drape the scarf around your shoulder with one end slightly longer than the other
- Take the longer half and wrap it around the neck twice
- Tuck whatever is left under the wrap around your neck
- Adjust the other half that is hanging loose so that it lies flat and properly displays your club’s logo
- Holland soccer double-sided knit scarf; both sides are identical
- Very soft to touch and fashionable
- Contemporary design featuring "Nederland" inscriptions
Last update on 2023-11-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
9. Mouth shield method
Your soccer scarf can also serve as a mouth and nose cover. Since the soccer stadium can really get tight and packed, this technique of wearing the soccer scarf helps to filter the air.
If you have any form of respiratory problem that gets worse in cold weather or smoke, this technique can help you to improve your breathing by cutting out your triggers. Thus, it is another survival technique for wearing a scarf.
- For this technique, you will need a puffy jacket or coat with a high collar to keep the scarf in position
- Drape the scarf over your shoulder so that it rests on the collar of your jacket
- Adjust the scarf so that one half is twice the length of the other half
- Take the longer half and wrap it around your face once
- Make sure that it is not too tight so that you can pull it up to cover the nose or down to cover only the mouth
- Flatten the free ends so that your team’s logo will be clearly visible
10. Braid method
The braid technique of wearing the scarf is simply another technique for fashionable soccer fans. It appears a little complex when you look at it but it is actually easy to achieve in a few easy steps.
- Start by folding the scarf into two halves like in the hook method
- Drape the folded scarf around your neck
- Pass one of the open ends of the scarf through the loop on the other end
- Twist the loop and pass the second end of the scarf through the new loop created by your twist
- Adjust the scarf to balance on the center of your chest
In 2015, a new type of commemorative scarf that bears the logo, colors, and dates of important fixtures gained massive popularity. The half-and-half scarves—as they were popularly known—allowed soccer fans to keep the memories of big fixtures or to simply prove that they experienced the match.
While some soccer fans easily embraced this idea, diehard fans kicked against the idea of having their team’s color or emblem mashed with that of a rival. Regardless of what fans thought about them, the half-and-half scarves have come to stay.
Just like soccer players exchange jerseys after a match, fans have also been spotted exchanging scarves. One of the most memorable was in 2017 after the UEFA Champions League round of 16 games between Porto and Juventus.
A Porto fan was caught on camera after he jumped the security fence to exchange scarves with a Juventus fan. The fan received a standing ovation and the video went viral.
Therefore, soccer scarves can also be a tool for uniting rivals, building respect among soccer fans, and creating lasting memories. It allows fans to see soccer for what it is, a game.
Hi there, I’m Jay.
Soccer is everything in my life! My friends and I have created this blog with all our enthusiasm, passion, and understanding after years of playing pro soccer. Hope you will enjoy it!