Function – Simply put, scarves do an excellent job of protecting a man’s neck. A thick wool scarf can keep your neck warm on a cold Wisconsin morning, or a lightweight linen scarf can protect your neck from the sun and sand when crossing the Sahara.
Flair – Scarves can add a strong element of style, especially when they introduce color to an otherwise bland outfit. As long as it doesn’t compromise functionality, few will question even a brightly colored piece of cashmere that brightens up a banker’s charcoal overcoat and watch cap. However, in less functional roles (such as wearing a light-weight scarf indoors in lieu of a necktie) the man doing so needs to be very comfortable in his own personal style. It’s also a good rule of thumb to keep the rest of the outfit simple so it isn’t competing with the scarf for attention.