In Paris, where fashion week recently ended, scarves are de rigueur, and for good reason. Soft and colorful, these cozy accessories hide imperfections in the neck and décolleté — a big plus when you hit your 50s — and they can elevate the most mundane T-shirt into a chic top. The key is nonchalance: Wrap an oblong scarf around your neck in the most casual way possible. (Don't wear it draped over your shoulders like a stole — that adds more than a decade to your appearance.) And, of course, choose a scarf that's stylish and original.
You might consider, for example, Épice, a cult label with a devoted following in Europe. Founded in 1999 by Danish designers Bess Nielsen and Jan Machenhauer, the Paris-based company makes some of the coolest, most exquisite scarves around. They're quite expensive (about $190 and up) and difficult to find outside Europe. If you decide to go for one anyway, you might try Popsugar's ShopStyle or the Churchill website, both of which ship their Epice selections in the U.S. Or look to Épice site for inspiration before shopping elsewhere — there are scores of brands that make beautiful scarves. You may end up wearing them the way French do, even when you don't need one to keep warm. — Lola Ehrlich and John Birmingham