It wouldn’t be a week in New York without a Katie Holmes sighting. The actress has become a tastemaker thanks to her winning street style. Like many, Holmes is practicing social distancing, but this morning she stretched her legs with a solo stroll through Central Park. The Manhattan landmark offered the star a moment of outdoor seclusion while allowing her the chance to bring back a retro styling trick. In a classic tweed overcoat, oversized sunglasses and an outsized Khaite tote, Holmes was casual, but the addition of a silk scarf knotted around her neck elevated the entire look.

While silk scarves have never truly fallen out of style, the way we wear them has changed drastically. Once a mandatory accessory for men and women adding a decorative flair to outfits, they’re now most often looped around bag handles or tied into the hair. Longer pieces in fabrics like cotton and cashmere are the default, while classic kerchiefs have become less common. These days you’re more likely to see the look on refined women of a certain age—think Lauren Hutton or the brand muse Jane Birkin—or those headed to a dressier occasion.

Holmes’s look brings back the all-purpose scarf, an elegant final touch that can work with any outfit. In a moment when many are looking to be covered from head to toe, a resurgence of protective accessories makes sense, and scarves serve multiple purposes. Whether they’re decorative, used to cover one’s face or to dry your hands in a pinch, they always come in handy.

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