Over dinner, your partner says: “Oh, is that a new watch?”
You: “What? THIS? NO! I’ve had this for years!”
(You’ve been had. What do you do next?)
a) Create a diversion by pulling the table cloth off of the table, dinner and all – then RUN!
b) Express concern for a newfound mole on your partner’s neck. Invite her to the bathroom (where the light is better) to “examine” it – then RUN!
c) RUN to Hermes and buy a silk scarf to pull your buns out of the fire!
You just couldn’t stop yourself, could you? No problem! I’m not here to judge – just to help. Allow me to introduce you to a sure-fire gift idea for the next time you bring home another little friend.
The house of Hermes is a fascinating one indeed. Initially begun to sell leather goods to the ‘horse and pony’ crowd in Europe in 1837. Starting with bridles and harnesses they expanded into saddles and saddlebags. Less than a century later they were offering handbags (want to talk about exclusive: Hermes staff are not allowed to discuss any detail of their most famous – the Birkin (named for actress Jane Birkin) – over the phone. They cannot and will not divulge anything about the bag! And when they arrive in the stores is anyone’s guess. And they WILL sell out – that day.) It was not until 100 years of operating that the company decided to offer silken scarves as accessories. (It was around this time that they began selling watches. But that’s how you got yourself into this trouble! So PAY ATTENTION!)
First let’s tackle the very basics. Hermes scarves are usually made out of silk. Some of the scarves in their line are made of cashmere mixed with silk. Let’s stop to think about how strange silk is. The silkworm feasts on a meal of mulberry leaves. The worm commences to build a cocoon to go through it’s metamorphosis into a moth. NOT SO FAST! The cocoon is woven out of one continuous fiber of thread (silk). Sadly for the moth, he or she never really get’s a chance at life because their cocoon is UNWOUND around them to harvest between 1,000 and 3,000 feet of thread! The thread is then cleaned, dried and woven into cloth. Patterns are printed ONTO the woven silk cloth. All of this takes time. That translates into why good quality silk products are very expensive.
Hermes produces scarves in three sizes: 140(cm), 90(cm) and 70(cm). This is not to say that they are Large, Medium and Small in accordance with the size of the wearer. The size of the scarf that you purchase has more to do with how it will be worn than anything else.
The traditional way to wear a scarf is looped around the neck and knotted to cover up from the cold in winter or the sun in summer. A scarf can be worn draped over the head to protect a delicate hairstyle from the wind or the elements. It can be worn as a hat. It can also be draped over the shoulders like a shawl. A scarf can be rolled or folded repeatedly to form a thin band, and worn as a belt, knotted at the waistline. I’ve seen ladies wear scarves like a cravat, that is to say, around the neck and then looped through and down into the neckline of the lady’s blouse. I’ve even seen ladies who wear their scarves wrapped around their bust as a casual top, fastened with a knot behind the neck or back. A scarf can be wrapped around their waist as a sarong.
(Ok, I’ve looked online; there appear to be a zillion different patterns and colors! Which do I chose?)
Good question! The first things you’ll need to know: what color are your wife or girlfriend’s eyes? What is her skin tone? What colors does she like to wear? Does she have a navy blue coat that she loves? (Then maybe try something in red.) Does she have a tan or beige colored mac? (…er – I mean Mackintosh; that’s Brit-speak for a raincoat) perhaps a something in blue? What season is it? What season will she wear it? Hermes produces scarves for each season. Again – that’s not to say that they differ in weight or warmth – that IS to say that they differ in color palettes that they employ for their screens. Are you still stumped? No worries. Part of the reason why you will want to restrict your scarf purchasing to Hermes is because when you go to an Hermes boutique or even an Hermes concession in a large department store, the folks that work there will know how to guide you. In the age of the Smartphone it’s even easier. No, there’s not an APP that helps you pick one out – per se. Just show the associate at the silk counter a picture of your partner, they will be able to figure out which colors work best!
I can assure you – when you flash the gleam of a new watch in the context of presenting an Hermes scarf – in their famous orange box with a brown ribbon – you will not encounter the same level of inquisition. Other than, perhaps, to ask how you knew which to buy. (Tell her that it’s a secret!) And, hey! You’ll have something to cover-up that mole!
To Err is Human – to Hermès is Divine!
This article is written by Mario Squillacioti, contributing writer for Monochrome Watches.