Named for the famous American actress-turned-Princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly, this method of wearing a scarf was used to protect the hair-style and still look glamorous while traveling. But why is it named the “Kelly”? Wikipedia tells us that “The classic head cover of a silk scarf crossed under the chin and knotted at the side or nape of the neck is universally known as the ‘Grace Kelly'” and that the look is “…still copied by many female Hollywood stars when they wish to retain a degree of anonymity in the public eye. Famous users include: Sharon Stone, Madonna, and Annette Benning.”
The Kelly head wrap is probably the one most associated with glamor and elegance. It certainly looks great, and curiously is the easiest to tie: just put it over the head, cross the ends under the chin, wrap around the throat and tie at the nape of the neck. It’s also one of the scarf accessories that less likely to need adjusting and retying, since it’s securing both by the knot and the loop around the neck.
Grace Kelly was the ultimate jetsetter and she used this method of wearing a scarf to protect her hair style and still look fabulously glam! She definitely didn’t invent the style though. The head wrap was already in use in the 1950s, and even before. In some instances it has been referred to as the “O” wrap. Audrey Hepburn made the look even more popular, wearing it both on screen and in life. So, why not call it the “Audrey Hepburn”? Well, it is occasionally to as an “Audrey style”, but not to us fashion divas! Let’s face it not only was Ms. Kelly a famous actress but she was the ultimate dive and being royalty certainly didn’t hurt either! Besides Audrey Hepburn has our hearts for her timeless allure and modest elegance. So, I am giving credit to Grace Kelly with this scarf style.
Check out these lovely ladies…SEXY!!!
The Kelly wrap is often used by famous actresses and celebs for a chic disguise paired along with an oversized pair of glasses. In movies, it is sometimes used for comic effect to have the actress go unnoticed. In my opinion, it does the opposite…YOU GET NOTICED!
Scarf Style Needed: Square Scarf (Note: The Kelly can also be performed using the rectangular (or oblong) scarf for those times when you want to add more flair to the look.)
Tying the Scarf:
Step 1: Take the square scarf and fold it diagonally from one corner to its opposite.
Step 2: Place the scarf over the head with the folded edge facing forward.
Step 3: Bring the folded corners down under the chin and cross them, pushing the points back around the neck on each side.
Step 4: In the back of the neck, gather the folded corners and tie them together, making sure to catch the loose corners of the scarf under the knot being formed. Leave the ends loose, or tuck them under as you prefer. Add a pair of tortoise-shell sunglasses and you’ll be ready to slip past the paparazzi.
Apart from the elegant look, the Kelly headwrap protects the hair, the ears, the cheeks and the throat from the suns harmful UV rays. The tail and the ends fluttering in the wind behind the head are quite a sight in a convertible or even offroading!
There are a few variations. I don’t want to list these separate and cheat you on another scarf style.
Variation 1: One of the most popular variants is to have the knot at the side of the neck instead of behind. This head wrap is also looser and pulled forward. The side-tied knot makes the ends fall over the shoulder instead of on the back, which results in a nice look, even if a little less practical than the regular Kelly scarf : one of the reasons the Kelly is practical when traveling, especially riding in a convertible, is that the ends are out of the way and fluttering behind the head.
Variation 2: Leave the scarf wrap pulled back to leave the ears uncovered. There would seem to be not much point in this scarf wear, because it leaves the ears, the cheeks and much of the hair uncovered, and it tends to slide a lot, but it allows a woman to wear her earrings! So, if you own a fabulpous pair of sparkly, dangling earrings this will get you noticed!
Variation 3: Sarah Strange in the Sliders episode Greatfellas. This is one of those “headscarf and sunglasses” scene where our heroine tries to sneak without being recognized, but with a Kelly head wrap like that she’s bound to get noticed! At first sight it looks like a loose classic, but look closely and you’ll see the ends are crossed at her throat and tied behind the head, with the tail falling over the knot instead of being caught under it as in a regular Kelly. The image to the right shows it more clearly…Of course, it would need to be tied a little bit tighter around the head, and secured with a proper knot.