The trusty scarf was used to indicate a soldier’s rank in the Chinese military way back when.

Yet the type of scarf you wear nowadays is more likely to indicate just how cold it is outside. 

Transition from slick, lightweight scarves in autumn to thick woolly knitted numbers in the winter.

Although a scarf isn’t just a practical winterwear item. If chosen well, it can, as well as keeping you snug, add pizzazz to an otherwise lacklustre outfit. 

But first make sure the material isn’t itchy (nobody wants an irritated neck).

Cashmere is a solid option because it’s soft, durable and suave-looking, while cotton is cheaper and let’s some air through.

To make sure you’re wrapped up in style this winter, we’ve picked out the best men’s scarves on the market – from sustainably-made streetwear items to high-street tartan classics and high-end designer statement pieces.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

Tommy Hilfiger navy cotton ribbed scarf: from £54.99, Jules B

Cotton is a strong choice material-wise for scarves. Why? Well, it’s affordable, soft and breathable, which means no sweaty neck. This navy, ribbed designer scarf by Tommy Hilfiger, made from 100 per cent cotton, is not the most exciting to look at, but it’s high-quality, easy to pair and it’ll keep you warm. We reckon it would also make a cracking Christmas gift too – and not just because it comes in a dandy little box.

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Burton red tartan scarf: £12, Burton

You’ve got your well-groomed hipster beard; your indigo Levi jeans, and your chunky Dr. Marten boots, now you just need a cool scarf to finish off your hairy-lumberjack-lost-in-Peckham look. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with this red and green tartan piece by menswear high-street store, Burton. At just over a tenner, it’s a steal and it looks the part too.

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Mango men’s herringbone scarf: £29.99, Mango

For the polished, understated gentleman, this pick by Mango is a no-brainer. The high-street retailer continues to knock out sophisticated, quality winterwear for affordable prices, and this scarf is no exception. We’re a big fan of the neat Herringbone navy and white zig-zag design. And it doesn’t matter if you’ve got a pea coat, duffle or trench coat – it’ll go with just about anything.

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WAWWA reversible scarf: £29.99, WAWWA

Beat the bitter wind chill at your next football outing with this sporty-looking green and white men’s scarf by sustainable streetwear clothing brand WAWWA. This forward-thinking brands makes hip, ethical clothing from 100 per cent recycled material, like plastic that would otherwise be floating around our oceans. Not only that, for every scarf bought, the brand donates another to someone less fortunate which is part of is 1+1 collection. All of its products are vegan-friendly and packaged in fully compostable shipping bags – a smart choice in every sense of the word.

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Asos men’s scarf in rust:  £30, Asos

Rather than limit yourself to bland colours to match the equally bland weather? Why not get a scarf that’s a bit sunnier? Not only that, this over-sized rusty orange scarf by Asos is so big, you could probably double it up as a throw for your sofa. It’s made from 100 per cent cotton brushed, so it’s super-easy on your skin. 

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Zara houndstooth men’s scarf:  £19.99, Zara

If you like to think of yourself as understated and gracious, but you’ve got a personality and want to show it off a little, then this woven houndstooth scarf with neatly-frayed edges is for you. Although it looks a bit country gent in the city, it’s a versatile option so you can wear it to work, gigs or to walk the dog in the park.

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Ami white men’s scarf: £185, Liberty London

It’s snowing out. You love snow. You want a scarf that reflects your love of snow. This scarf is your way of doing exactly that. It’s white, like snow, and has a love heart on it. It’s also comfortable, warm and easy-on-the-eye. Perfect for a wintry day. We admit it’s far from a budget option, but if you’ve got a few quid in the bank, it’s a statement piece you’re unlikely to tire of.

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Ralph Lauren men’s scarf in green: £65, John Lewis & Partners

Think of yourself as a well-dressed, modest man? We think we’ve found your next scarf. This dark green piece, by renowned fashion house Ralph Lauren, is humble, classic and preppy. Available in five different colours, it comes with the recognisable embroidered pony logo – that we know you’ll try your best to keep on display at all times.

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Burberry men’s scarf: £350, Selfridges

Perhaps the most recognisable print in the fashion world, the Burberry check has been in and out of favour more times than we can count over recent years. Kate Moss made it classy, but copious amounts of copy cat prints devalued the brand slightly. Alas, Burberry is now very much in vogue. This classic, cashmere scarf is not cheap but it’s a standout wardrobe piece that you can cherish forever.

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Knightsbridge Neckwear paisley aviator scarf: £31.95, Woods of Shropshire

Now we couldn’t put together a list of men’s scarves without including a bright, patterned paisley option. This yellow silk aviator scarf is a fine example of how you can elevate your look by incorporating a sophisticated piece of neckwear. Nice on the skin, bold and vintage-looking, it’s a solid option for a fancy dinner party or a theatre date night with your partner.

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The verdict: Men’s scarves

For a simple, practical scarf you can’t fall off with the ribbed, navy classic Tommy Hilfiger navy cotton scarf pick. Although if you want something a little more dynamic, then we like the herringbone option by Mango men's herringbone scarf.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.