The Scarf Top Is Back – And It’s Much Easier To Wear Than You Might Think

From Y2K classic to the spring/summer 2024 runway...

best scarf tops

by Hannah Banks-Walker |
Updated on

The year was 2000, June. The Millennium Bug had not, in fact, destroyed us all and I was celebrating just being alive by spending my 10th birthday in a scarf top from Tammy Girl. It was, I felt, my sartorial peak, the height of sophistication. It was black, embroidered with tiny mirrors encircled by different colours. I wore it with wedge sandals and an attitude. My best friend fell out with me as I went to blow out the candles on my sugary cake and I assumed she was just jealous of my incredible style prowess. In 2024, however, it is I who is jealous of my pre-pubescent self, as the scarf top has made a triumphant return.

Sydney Sweeney in Miu Miu
Sydney Sweeney in Miu Miu

Sadly, a Tammy Girl special isn't going to cut it. Instead, Miu Miu has given the scarf top something of a glow up in Nappa leather, mohair and denim. On the catwalk, these tops were paired with low-rise trousers, a look recently recreated on streets of New York by Sydney Sweeney, Miu Miu muse and wearer of not one but two different iterations of said top over the last week.

Sydney Sweeney in Miu Miu
Sydney Sweeney in Miu Miu

While a lot of exposed midriff is a vaguely terrifying – and impractical – prospect for many of us, that does not render the scarf top unwearable. In fact, many street stylers have been showing us how to incorporate it into our wardrobes for some time now and, as it turns out, it's the perfect solution to warm weather dressing.

scarf top
You can create the look by using a silk scarf

The last scarf top renaissance occurred in 2021, when Rihanna wore a Harley Davidson scarf top by Connor Ives, another designer who has revived this Y2K classic. His latest take on the trend? Floral-embroidered silk tops trimmed with dramatic fringing – perfect with jeans for a fresh take on a tried-and-tested combination.

Paola Locatelli in another Miu Miu ensemble
Paola Locatelli in another Miu Miu ensemble

It's not just designers banking on scarf tops, though. From Free People to River Island, there are many styles on the high street which are ready to pair with high-waisted trousers or midi skirts right now. Even better? Any silk scarf (of a suitable size) can be fashioned into one of these tops – simply fold in half and knot at the back. So, chances are that you already have this in your wardrobe, and I'm not talking about the Tammy Girl version.

Shop: The Best Scarf Tops for 2024

connor ives scarf top
Price: £253 (was £505)

Made of silk with floral embroidery, this fringed top will look great with flared jeans and heels for your fresh take on evening dressing.

Team with high-waisted palazzo pants on holiday for a low-maintenance but chic ensemble.

Rixo's top is actually a silk scarf, meaning you can style it in many different ways. Try with jeans during the summer and then use to conceal lazy hair days when it's cooler outside.

This crochet top will look super-polished paired with white denim and flat sandals for an easy heatwave outfit.

The shirred detail on this bandeau top means it will stay in place all day, so you won't need to worry about it going out of place. Wear with wide leg trousers and trainers for relaxed weekends.

100% silk and made in England, wear this printed top with tailored shorts when it gets really hot or team with long skirts in the meantime.

Available in no fewer than 17 different colour and print combinations, Free People's bandana will quickly become your summer staple. Wear on its own, layer over crisp white shirts or try under lightweight knits when it's not quite sunny enough outside.

Pucci's silk top will be a real show-stopper teamed with simple trousers, pointed pumps and gold jewellery. Consider this your luxe take on summer garden parties.

Wear with a slip skirt to really emphasise the Y2K vibes (the entirety of TikTok will want your outfit). Or try with linen trousers to keep cool when it's too hot.

Certainly an investment, Miu Miu's bandeau is part of the brand's upcycled limited edition collection, which aims to give new life to vintage pieces. Want to channel the catwalk? Wear with low-rise jeans. See? I told you the noughties were back.

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