Michelle Oliver: Use scarves to spice up your winter attire

Every winter I am faced with answering the same question. What can I do to jazz up my normal warm-weather attire?

I will admit that when I do not know what to wear, I generally end up wearing something black or white. I’m sure you all do as well – why wouldn’t you? They are great staple colors for your wardrobe. However, let’s face it, they can become rather boring.

One way I have proudly ended this boring cycle is to add a colorful scarf to the mix. I have quite the collection of scarves. Some would say it has become an obsession, and they would probably be right.

Most people look at a scarf as a way to keep your neck warm; I look at a scarf and see it as a great accessory to almost any outfit. I own a variety of scarves; some are light and thin, which is perfect for a sunny day and some are heavy and thick, great for cold winter days. Either way, I have a scarf for almost any occasion and you should too.

One of my favorite outfits consists of knee-high boots, dark-wash skinny jeans, a light T-shirt and a bright colored scarf. It is the perfect combination for a day of shopping or a night out on the town.

I must caution you, one thing you want to stay away from is wearing a bright shirt and a bright scarf. The conflicting colors can become an unwanted distraction and will make you stand out like a sore thumb.

If you are wearing a neutral-colored shirt then you should wear a bright-colored scarf or one with a pattern on it. If your shirt is bright and busy, then wear a solid-colored scarf with no patterns. This will help your outfit become more flattering and not too over the top.

Pattern scarves are in right now. Anything with texture or a print on it seems to be flying off the racks.

Now there are probably a couple hundred different ways to wear a scarf. Pinterest is full of different ways to style them and some are pretty creative and cute. I normally default to the more traditional ways wrapped around your neck or in a loose knot.

Another question I get asked a lot is if all the scarves I own are expensive. The answer is no.

I probably own one expensive one and the rest I got for very reasonable prices. At the end of the winter season you can find scarves at almost any department store for 30 percent to 50 percent off.

I highly recommend hitting the sale racks for all the after-season sales. Some of my favorite scarves I paid less than $30 for.