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Understand the difference between the scarf v/s shawl v/s stoles

More often than not, the terms ‘scarf’, ‘shawl’ and ‘stole’ are used synonymously in the fashion world. Even the most fashion-savvy people get confused about the difference between these three accessories. Each of them represents a piece of fabric that is created either with a single material or a blend of materials like silk, cotton, wool, etc. Let us understand what are the differences in these items.


Traditionally known as a muffler, a scarf is a long and thin piece of clothing that is typically worn for warmth or as a fashion accessory. Usually, it is bigger in length and smaller in width than a stole or shawl.

Scarves are made to be wrapped around the head or neck and can provide a casual or sophisticated look depending upon their design and fabric. Originally, people used to wear it as a sweat cloth to clean away their sweat but with time, it was used to keep oneself warm and also turned into a fashionable clothing accessory.

While a basic scarf can be 50 to 80 inches in length and 4 to 16 inches in width, a long scarf can be as long as 2 meters. Woolen knit and fleece scarfs are apt for the cooler months while luxury fabric scarfs made from silk or satin are generally worn in summer. Nowadays, these lightweight scarves are very much in trend due to the large variety of fabrics, prints, and designs. They are versatile enough to go with an array of attires and outfits. Women and men both can adorn these exquisite pieces to elevate their style quotient.

You can find a wide selection of scarves in the market like infinity scarves, fuzzy crocheted scarves, or luxury silk scarves that can be worn just about anywhere. They are also available in giant square cuts that appear more like a shawl.


Shawls are a winter wardrobe staple for most of the Indian women. This fine piece of fabric is larger than a stole or scarf and can be found in a variety of shapes (oval, triangle, square, or rectangle). Usually woven with heavy materials, they can go up to 3 feet wide and 7 feet in length. A typical shawl should be big enough to be wrapped around the shoulders several times.

Formal Shawls are woven with luxurious fabrics like silk, Pashmina, or Cashmere and are perfect to be adorned with a formal dress or outfit. The difference in fabrication determines the texture of the shawl and its weather appropriateness. Shawls made from linen and cotton are suitable to be worn in summers while woolen shawls are adequate for winters.

Like scarfs, shawls are also popular among both men and women. People are wearing these clothing accessories to accentuate their traditional attires for ages. Not only are they an exceptional decorative piece but will also provide you immense comfort in freezing winter nights.


The word ‘stole’ is derived from a Roman word ‘stola’ which means a woman’s version of men’s toga. Stoles and shawls are very closely related to each other. A stole can be considered a lighter and a more formal version of a shawl. It is generally narrower and made from fancier materials so that it can be worn with formal attires. While it is not as wide as a shawl, it is long enough to be wrapped around the body. Its size ranges between 2-4 feet wide and 5-6 feet long.

The materials used to create a stole are usually lighter like chiffon, satin, or silk. Many female movie stars have adorned this accessory on the red carpets of award shows along with their magnificent gowns and dresses. They can be casually draped over the shoulder or arm to accentuate your look.

Now add a touch of style and elegance to all your outfits with the premium range of vibrant Stoles and Shawls from Ahujasons. Handcrafted with rich and luxurious fabrics like Pashmina and silk wool, these exquisite and pristine creations are definite must have in your wardrobe!

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