Scarves”Stoles” were a major ‘fashion story’ in the 18th century, with all kinds of styles worn in innovative and interesting ways.
As bodices were cut lower and lower, silk and lace scarves were much used to preserve modesty (while at the same time, of course, drawing attention to a lady’s assets). Frothy muslin buffon scarves were often pinned about the breast, sometimes layered as high as the chin in an attempt to enhance the area’s perceived shape and size.
Scarves were worn loosely around the shoulders and pinned at the front, the ends tucked into the bodice, or left to hang elegantly. Gauze stoles were worn across the lower back and over the arms. For cooler days silk and velvet ‘wraps’ were favoured.
Another popular style was for very long scarves worn wide over one shoulder, then wrapped around the waist, with the ends (often elaborately fringed) left to hang lose down the side of the skirts.
Scarves were also used to secure fashionable large hats to the head – the scarf laid over the crown of the hat and tied under the wearer’s chin.

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