I love my floaty scarves. Not only have they been a fashion staple for me for many years, they also act as a sort of grown-up comfort blankie (as my real one, an old white muslin with a yellow trim, has mostly disintegrated and is now kept in a hallowed and secret place to be tenderly stroked in times of great crisis). Plus, teamed with a pair of sunnies you, too, can look like a celeb
Bearing in mind the extensive and punishing use I subject my scarves to, though, I would recommend stocking up on a wide selection and not spending very much money on them. Market stalls, Primark and supermarkets are the ideal scarf-purchasing venues. Happy shopping!
1 – Hides unfortunate stains. Yup, as a mama I quite often have to spend the day with food and sick stains on me (and am usually grateful it’s not worse, to be honest). In fact, if you look at this post you’ll realise that I even leave the house wearing them, rather than just acquiring them over the course of a day. If, like me, you haven’t the time or capacity (whether mental or washing machine) to do something about this then a lovely big floaty scarf is definitely the answer. (here are some tips from the very attractive Wendy, I especially like the Waterfall for cover-ups purposes!)
2 – Sun protection. I’m not a big fan of slathering suncream all over tiny babies. Heck, I even try to avoid doing it to my big boy or myself where possible. As compensation for this I have to work harder with covering up, instead. Hats are both obvious and essential but, especially when you’re a sling mama like me, there are often bits of baby exposed to the sunlight that you’d like to keep shaded without having them in long sleeves, trousers and socks in the heat. Tucking a floaty scarf into a sling over their legs, draping it over them when feeding outdoors or, even in a buggy, if the hood or umbrella doesn’t quite keep them in the shade. Large muslins and sarongs are also good for this.
3 – Modesty. I’m not a huge exponent of the ‘cover yourself when breastfeeding’ philosophy. If anything I tend more towards the #ostentatiousbreastfeeding club and feed whenever (and wherever) my baby needs it. However, I do find it a little uncomfortable when I’m wearing something that requires pulling down, under the breast, as this leaves an awful lot of bare chest exposed above the baby’s head which can feel rather exposed. For situations and outfits like this a lovely drapey scarf is ideal for just making you feel a little less vulnerable, and a scarf is rather prettier and less ‘breastfeeding-y’ than a muslin. Right?
4 – You can fashion impromptu clothes out of it. This sounds a little weird, but bear with me. More than once we have had a series of nappy and/or food and drink incidents in a row (or, eh-hem, may have forgotten to pack a change of clothes. Oops) leaving my child with no clean clothes to wear. Once I even had to pop a bottom-half-nudey boy on his bike seat and tuck his jacket around him to protect his modesty on the way home. If you have a lovely big scarf then it’s no drama to create a quick sarong skirt, dress, or even some MC Hammer style droopy trousers if you’re feeling really creative. It’s better than having to walk home with a wet, cold or naked child! Could also be used as emergency turban type arrangement for hot days when you get caught without a sun hat.
5 – You can fashion impromptu nappies out of it. You thought the clothes thing sounded bad? That’s nothing darlin’. My little girl had only been here 8 weeks before she managed to have a day where she blasted through all the nappies I had with me (perhaps it was 2nd time parent over-confidence that meant I hadn;t packed enough, who knows. She waited till I changed her into her last clean nappy before having the poo blow out to end all poos. Marvellous).
Luckily, as a cloth nappy user, I had a spare wrap (the waterproof bit) with me but no absorbent inserts. I didn’t even have a muslin which I have been known to use in a pinch before. Quick as a flash I grabbed my emergency floaty scarf, folded it into a neat pad and tucked it inside the wrap. Had I been sans wrap it still would have made a decent temporary nappy held together with knots and happy thoughts, although not as waterproof it would have stopped a total flood. Naturally I hotfooted it home once the temporary solution was in place and even made it back before she did anything on the scarf.
6 – Emergency muslin. Yup. My darling husband subjected one of my scarves to this when The Girl executed a spectacular display of digestive pyrotechnics in the backseat of the car. He grabbed the nearest ‘muslin’ to hand which turned out to be a floaty white scarf of mine. I think he was grateful for the extra coverage such a large piece of fabric provided as the sick just kept coming. I was in no position to quibble bearing in mind the use I had put this poor scarf to just a few days previously (see item 5). Oh well. It all washed out!
7 – As mentioned in a previous post, Slutty Mummy – ten ways to save some precious time in your day but still look respectable, scarves are also a handy way to dress up an outfit to look completely different. Take the same t-shirt and jeans, but wear a different colour scarf with it and you could easily make it last several days before it smelt so bad you had flies buzzing around you.