The white silk aviator scarf! Not very many apparel have gained the legendary status of the white silk aviator scarf. While most people are aware that the first use of this type of scarf originated during the early days of aviation when open cockpit planes were common, few people are familiar with the fact that this apparel was greatly used throughout the world wars and since then by people in all kinds of profession.
Another little known fact about this type of scarf, which was thought to have been crafted from the strongest and finest silk designed to make parachutes, was that it was later used by army units in other colors like black and red. Moreover, the aviator scarf was not exclusively without design for some military groups were known to have worn these scarves with their insignias on them.
For instance, the well-known group of military pilots called Flying Tigers who became famous in Burma and the famous Marine Corp flying group called Black Sheep wore their own aviator scarves designed with the emblems of their units. Such use of the aviator scarf survived the Vietnam War to continue until today.
In general, the white silk aviator scarf, just like leather flight jackets, became a necessary accessory for early-day aviators, including the most popular ones like Amelia Earhart and Howard Hughes. But this scarf also became a must-have for motorcycle riders and sports car owners.
Indeed, the white silk aviator scarf became so popular that it eventually invaded Hollywood and not only celebrities started using it but the A-list crowd as well, including businessmen, intellectuals and artists. What made this scarf very attractive to the rich and famous is the fact that back in those days, silk is a rare and very expensive commodity so donning a silk scarf is seen as a sign of status and wealth.
This was, of course, long before there were synthetic fabrics with characteristics similar to silk. Although, even today, the white silk aviator scarf has kept its appeal perhaps because the characteristics of silk such as its utter softness and lightness cannot entirely be duplicated in other fabrics, whether natural or synthetic.
Throughout the years, silk scarves have become available in various sizes and colors. You can choose to wear aviator scarves in the color you want but nothing can match the original white if you are after a classy and elegant look. When it comes to the size of the scarf, what is crucial to consider is the length.
You may have seen images of pilots flying their open cockpit planes with their long scarves fluttering in the wind. This is an incredibly inaccurate and dangerous depiction for no aviator in his right mind would let the ends of his scarf loose and risk his safety. A loose scarf will get blown by the wind most likely in front of the pilot or over his face, obscuring his sight.
The ideal length of an aviator scarf is six feet, which would allow the pilot to comfortably wrap the scarf around his neck several times for protection against the cold wind and, more importantly, to allow him to tie the scarf properly and hold it in place. Securing the ends of the scarf is a must even if you’re just going out for a ride in your sports car.
Today, despite some variations to it, the white silk aviator scarf is still very much appreciated for the same old qualities of comfort and style that made it a favorite accessory among early flyers. The great thing today is that these scarves are available for much less so you can enjoy wearing them in the current fashion.