Hermès s Silk Scarf Shopping Adventure (throwback from 2009)
Here’s how this became mine…
I was at the Hermès store in Beverly Hills on Rodeo Drive awhile back (August 2009)….on a mission to buy a new Hermes scarf. Thought it would be nice to have a classic silk scarf to wear as a belt with black dresses, jeans or black pants. Chic preppy. That was my goal. Black gold and white…or maybe one in that classic Hermes orange. Definitely with an equestrian feel (as I used to ride horses years ago…and love to pretend that I still have the horse woman in me by occasionally incorporating horsey things into my life). I knew what I wanted…I had a clear vision…focus…resolve.
Well, I walked into the store to buy my scarf just as that day’s Birkin bag had arrived. If you haven’t been to Hermès lately, in place of the renowned Birkin waiting list, Hermes has now started the clever practice of only releasing one of these $10,000+ bags a day…in a surprise daily ritual with the manager walking the bag down from a secret storage area at an unknown time. This Birkin bag “practice” creates a very bizarre in-store hysteria on a day-to-day basis with uber shoppers thronging the store in hopes of getting their hands on the leather purse of the day. The bags usually are sold within 10 minutes I was later told by one of the salespeople. Only 10 minutes to sell a purse that costs over $10,000!!! That’s smart…trickery….or magic…you decide?
Well, all I wanted was a Hermes silk scarf.
So as I was standing at the scarf counter speaking with one of the Hermes ladies…the Birkin bag arrived. I was almost shoved aside. A girl and her boyfriend, a middle-aged woman who everyone seemed to know, an older husband and wife, and lady who looked like a tourist (whatever that means) were all there waiting…to see the color, to decide whether they would plunk down the $10,000. All eager, all with bated breath. It was then that I got distracted. Totally distracted (which would be much to my chagrin).
Hermès Birkin Bag Spectacle
Watching this Birkin bag purchasing spectacle made me for one moment think that I needed that day’s Birkin. My heart started to race. My American Express felt like it was burning a hole in my not-so-chic Tod’s bag. If that bag was not taken, I was going to buy it. Lucky for me (and my bank account), the young girl and her boyfriend, who seemed to have been first in line, won the coveted bag that day. I didn’t even have the option to purchase. What? Why not? How did these people know to even be here? How can I get one? This is not fair? Why didn’t I get the memo? Why wasn’t I in the know? These were all things that were running through my mind as the Birkin sailed out of the store and I was left at the war-torn scarf counter.
Bewildered and bemused, I continued my hunt for the perfect silk scarf. I should have left after witnessing that Birkin whirlwind. I had lost all senses. While I had told the sales lady that I definitely and absolutely wanted a more traditional Hermes patterned scarf (you know the kind that oozes classic style), I did feel a bit like a second-class citizen and was very impressionable at that point. Here were all of the ladies ready to fork over $10K and all I wanted was a measly $375 scarf (I know $375 is not cheap…I know…that’s why I’m telling this story…it was crazy…craziness…but the whirlwind of the Birkin made me lose my senses I tell you. It did! Aaaarrggghhhh!!!!)
The Silk Scarf
So when the sales lady said in her best French accent, “Zees eeez za scarf you must geeeet. Eeet is so very very chic….I adorrrhhhee eeet!”, I looked at the scarf and thought to myself, “Really? I don’t know? Is this a joke? Maybe she’s right? I don’t know. I think it is kind of awful. Ooops, I should never even think anything is awful in Hermes. If I do, I may never be in the Hermes know. Well, she just said many of her clients are scarf collectors and this scarf is the one to have this season.
I don’t know? It seems…so…so…I don’t know? Maybe if I buy one of these more daring scarves, I will feel like I am in the know…like the Birkin bag shoppers. I’ll have a collectors Hermes scarf. That’s it yes! Forget staid traditional. I’m going daring. I’m part of the “in” scarf collectors crowd. There…yes…aha!”
The scarf she carefully unfolded in front of me is the scarf you see here. Hmmm….
About The Hermès Scarf
The scarf features a mish-mosh of colors, patterns, themes, eras, a cornucopia of flora, fauna, and half of a Native American man dressed in traditional garb (notice there is only half of this man on the scarf). Oh yes, did I mention, the palm fronds, the tiger, and the medieval times horses?
So the scarf is mine. I’ve worn it once. I’ve tried it on a couple of times and even as a belt it doesn’t seem to work.
Now I leave it to you…is my Hermes silk scarf UGLY OR PRETTY?
Am I missing something here? I think you know where I stand on this…if you don’t by now, I’ll just call a spade a spade…I think it is leaning toward ugly…
To tie this into home decor…maybe I can salvage this in some way. I won’t ever wear it but maybe I could frame it and make it a piece of art? Hang it on a wall? Add style and panache to my home?!#$%^&… I don’t think so.
If all of you see some beauty here…I’ll reconsider my point of view…I’m waiting…weigh in, please!
An update to the story as of 2023: in case any of you wanted to know: I do still own the scarf. And yes, I even wear it on occasion. It looks much better tied. The silk scarf looks great as a belt. I’ll style it with a pair of Veronica Beard jeans and my Chanel slingback shoes.
60 responses to “HOODWINKED BY HERMÈS: My Hermès Silk Scarf – Ugly or Pretty – COCOCOZY Archive Update”
I don’t care for the scarf at all….no matter the price!
Sorry, I don’t find it pretty. 🙁
Sorry, I think you’ve been jipped! :[
sorry hun,its vile!!!Could you resell?
The beauty of Hermes is that you can exchange…today I think. Dont feel bad – if I could show you some of my “fabulous” buys you would be feeling very pleased with yourself…that scarf is nothing compared to my clangers;)xv
i say you MUST keep it. for the story alone. it is so bad, it’s good.
Wondering why you don’t just return it? For $400 I need to LOVE it and clearly NONE of us do, including you! Take it back and tell them it just isn’t you! Or ANYONE ELSE YOU KNOW! LOL!
Not loving it but hope you’ve read the book Bringing Home the Birkin. It’s a quick read, very funny and relates to your experience at Hermes. Maybe after you read the book you’ll decide to sell the scarf on ebay and actually make a profit!
I read that book years ago and I agree it’s a must for luxury shoppers!
Such a funny and relate able read, lol! I agree, maybe you could exchange it? Or have a pillow made and sell online….Regardless of whether or not we like or dislike it, you must like it or you will never wear it and I can think of loads of great things to do with $400. Exchange it if you can;)
For those of you who ask, “why don’t you just return it?”…by the time I snapped out of the Birkin daze, it was too late for me to return (per my perfectly printed Hermes receipt and their return policy). Also, since I have worn it once (or twice, okay I admit it) as a belt, ethically, I didn’t feel like I could just take it back saying I had never worn it (although this scarf’s value and beauty are so questioinable that this might be the time where a breach of ethics in returning things is justified).
So now, I wrote this post, in hopes that there is someone who would tell me it is pretty…so I wouldn’t feel so miserable about being so gullible.
It seems I am out of luck as far as getting some moral support…so far all think it is ugly…
I want more honest answers please. I can take it. Might cure me from ever getting lulled and swayed into buying something like this again!
Definitely Hermes way of using left over fabric and duping the public into believing it is the new”it” scarf we all must own. My vote…..pretty horrible
Oh my dear, it is hideous!! But once you’ve tied it into one of those scarfy knots that elegant ladies seem to know how to tie (I’ve never figured it out), it will surely look much better than it does lying there flat. And you can take quiet comfort in the fact that the people who will notice it and find it beautiful are only the very most chic. You’ll be walking around with a secret — only the elite will know it is beautiful. The rest of his will think this: “My goodness that scarf appears to be hideous. This woman must be incredibly chic, otherwise why would she wear it! Surely its appeal is beyond me, but only because I’m not a member of the club. How I admire her!!!”
You know the phrase ” sum of parts is greater than the whole”? Perhaps in this case you need to get those parts away from each other. Can you make 4 pillows out of it?! 4 scarves? Those patterns are desperately asking to be separated. Good luck, we’ve all been there. Trish
Oh God! We have all been there… tricked into buying something we dont love! Next time buy your Hermes at Bergdorf, they have the best return policy: 90 days!!
Honestly, I think if you roll it up as a belt or whatever, no one will know the difference. But I would definitely NOT wear it or hang it in a way that shows the whole pattern.
Honestly? I think it’s kind of fun! It’s certainly not expected or pretty, but I think it’s a safe “fun.” Crinkled up as a belt, I love all the colors in it, and I’m wondering if your biggest deterrent to wearing it (as a belt, not draped across where you can see every detail) is how self conscious you feel about it. Mixed patterns and textures are pretty “in” right now. For example, just take a look in a JCrew catalogue. If left to my own devices, I would not consider those outfits to be in good taste. But the more I look at them, the more fun I think they are (when toned down and edited a bit). They mix pearls with colored beads and crystals. Cardigans with appliques with ruffles and wrinkled button down shirts. Scroungy boyfriend jeans with satin high heels. I say if those models can make those nutty outfits look chic, you can ROCK THAT SCARF!
Scarf is definately Ugly! you’ve been dupped…. try e-bay
Sorry Coco but the scarf is horrible. It does look like they took scraps of fabric from different patterns and somehow pieced it together. If you read “Bringing Home The Birkin” then you know that there is a huge demand for Hermes “it” scarves by collectors. I say put it on eBay if you can’t return it. Whatever you do, don’t wear it!
honestly coco I hate this scarf – it takes busy to new heights. I think this is a lesson to all of us to hold our ground and stay true to who we are and not get caught up in the whole designer/couture mania. can u return it? I hope so.
It is super cool and fashion forward…I like it! Keep it and wear it.
Hi. I agree with everything “Ruthless” said. Additionally, my opinion is that it’s not so much ugly as it is weird. Personally, I don’t want to wear part of a lion or native american face. That’s just me…
Well Anyonymous is the one person who thinks it is “super cool”! Someone who dares to be different. Maybe I’ll send you the scarf!
Thank you for your great suggestions everyone…I might just put it on ebay.
BTW your comments are absolutely hilarious! Keep them coming!
It’s an amalgam of several classic Hermes designs, just all smashed together. I personally would get a single design, but… two things:
1. It probably looks a lot better bunched up as a neck scarf or belt than it does all opened up and flat. That way the images get lost in each other with tons of color and pattern.
2. Hermes has a great return policy. If you don’t like it, take it back. You have to love your Hermes scarf. It’s a rule.
I was miles from thinking that Hermes could come with such a dreadful design – sorry but I would go for ugly on that one!
oh coco, it’s pretty ugly but not as ugly as the one I got at a silent auction for a benefit recently. Fortunately gave it to my mom when she was recently visiting and she wanted to give it to her pastor’s wife. So in the end it all worked out. If you do put it on ebay, I’m dying to see what it goes for, I’m going to guess $25.
So sorry to have to tell you but I find it to be ugly but it might be the lesson learned not to buy anything you don’t love or you will regret it in the end that made the purchase worth it. MB
Hmmm…I’m on the fence. I think it’s so ugly that it’s cool – know what I mean? 🙂
I actually really like it!! Am I weird? I do find pieces of a it a bit creepy, but i think this with a simple tee, jeans, boot combo would be cute.
I haven’t laughed this hard in a loooong time. This scarf is a challenge. I really tried to go with the “art” idea, you know, have it beautifully mounted and framed. Kind of a tribute to Hermes, since it feels (and looks) like a thousand scarves in one! A retrospective of collections past and present, yea, yea, that’s it!!…but I was laughed out of my own house, by my own partner who suggested I might have had too much champagne! Alas, I think maybe this should be wrapped in tissue and put in the bottom drawer for awhile. Any scarf this “special” has got to end up a collectors item someday. You may get the last laugh yet!
I’m so sorry for your loss and gain. Wow, it looks like they took a bunch of unsuccessful designs and recycled them into this “work of art”….Roxanne forwarded your blog to me, and she is right, you are funny, smart and witty. So, if nothing else, this gave you wonderful material. Thank you, because I needed a good laugh today. It was worth the $$$$!
Reading your story just makes me remember all of the white elephants that I’ve purchased on the spur of the moment. I’m sorry but I have to agree that this is a hideous looking scarf.
I have a friend who can and will return anything. I’m terrible about returning things which is why I have so many items with the tags still on them!
If can still return it, take it back immediately! It’s worth a shot. If not, perhaps you’ll find someone on Ebay who will “have to have an Hermes scarf”! You can never account for some people’s style 😉
Good luck! Find something else to spend that $400 on or donate it to a worthy charity. You’d feel much better about it. 🙂
Well well well Coco…. Your story made me laugh out loud and I could feel the frenzy growing in the store! But may I say…that zee salzvoman, perhaps she was on commission? Looking at the scarf is a bit like watching an animated short where all the frames are run together by mistake! But now that it is your treasure…I think you need to write the story that brings all these images together…. it is sort of like a nightmare in silk – a Rorschach test….and just think of all the reactions it will bring when you wear it! Go for it…
I would return if I could. Hermes in Beverly Hills as a 30 day return policy…it took 31 days for me to come to my senses.
Jean thank you for making me feel better by informing the crowd that you had an even more questionable scarf in your possession at some point.
Roxanne, I like your thinking…trying to make the best of a bad situation.
Anonymous, next time I will gladly give $400 to charity instead of Hermes. I’ve learned my lesson. Hope others will…pass on this story and maybe we can make all out of control shoppers take a collective deep breath before making a purchase like this.
Hils, my other friends A.Ro. and RK actually love the scarf and think it is quite chic…they are uber fashionistas btw…so you do have company.
Lastly, if you want to chuckle a little more…go to my facebook page for Cococozy and see a few more images of the scarf that I’ve posted there! http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/pages/COCOCOZY/100535044239?ref=mf
Thank you for all of your amusing comments. I have had quite a laugh reading them!
I love the scarf and your spirit cococozy. You Rock!
OH NO … no no no. I would have saved you had I been there. You could use it to line Mr. Boo’s kennel. It’s so busy – you’ll never know when he has an accident. Your loving friend – AT
This is the first time I have read your blog, but I just felt I must comment on the scarf. It is very unique and collectible. For women who have many Hermes scarves, this one stands out in a crowd. It is really for someone for whom this is a sixth or seventh scarf. You can really make the most of it! It is a true art piece and very special. Wear it with pride!
I think it is worth keeping for the story alone. Hysterical. But if it makes you cringe, eBay it!
I am not even sure how I ended up here and as a girl who buys her scarves from Target I have no business even commenting, but then again… I’m here, so why not? That scarf scares me and the price scares me even more. However, it’s uniqueness would make a great luggage tag. I have a bold scarf tied to my black suitcase so I can grab it easily and distinguish it from the “crowd”. I’m guessing if you have that kind of cash to drop on a scarf your luggage perhaps already stands out from the crowd :). Just a thought though. Great blog by the way!
I think cool–as someone already mentioned– so ugly it is cool. Framing would be a good idea. You will get more miles out of the bag story–Been there!!!
Well seeing as in the various pieces it IS quite lovely, its just when put together that it comes out looking like something from someones nightmare, perhaps you could do your idea of framing it… with additions.
I would recommend putting a frame around it as a whole. making sure its tight to the frame so that it doesnt ripple, then add some smaller pieces of wood along the mmm I believe its gold? edging between the picture sections. That would look like instead of one garrish piece of art, you have five slender artworks and have framed them together for a bolder display. It should come out rather lovely at that point.
It would also be an eye catcher and a great conversation starter.
Oh, bless it! That thing is fugly. Definitely ebay that bad boy. By the way, just found your blog and I am in LOVE with it!
The last picture with the blues and white are quite lovely, but then the rest of it is attached…I say ebay it immediately! From what I’ve seen on your blog you have a great sense of style, and this scarf does not fit. Go and get that classic scarf your intuition craved first! 🙂
Ha! This is humorous. OK, so the scarf is definately weird. Don’t know that It’s something I would wear, but I put this in the catagory of if I had the Victorias Secret Million Dollar bra I would rock that baby everyday in a way everyone would know I was waearing it.
Either that or frame it.
It could be cool if you cut it with pinking shears in 9 or 8 squares and had it matted and framed really large and grouped them in a vignette.
the scarf is genious – how could you not totally get it??? why dont you wear it slightly twisted loose around your neck so that you cant see the design but you get a mix of colours? otherwise frame it and be proud to have a nice limited edition scarf
Here’s the thing. It’s fine, actually. What you’re not realizing is that it’s versatile for the very reason that you fold it in a rolled fashion, so that only ONE theme is showing, then you tie as such. It’s limited in use (most Hermes scarves can be twisted, knotted, turned into halters, etc.) but this style is pretty straight-forward: you get four different styles of rectangular shaped belts/scarves/headbands, etc. but can only wear one at a time. Do you get it? Sorry if I’m making it seem more confusing than it is. Girls from France wear them this way. Don’t sweat it too much; you’re over-thinking it. Opened up, it’s choppy and doesn’t flow, but it’s not supposed to be worn “ensemble”. Anyway, that’s the truth. You get a 36″ silk/twill belt, about 1 inch thick. Four different choices.
I know by now you have probably made a decision about this scarf… but I love it!! Not in an Hermes $400 scarf way but in an “oh my god this is the most fabulously wrong scarf- I am going to wear it every day for a month” This scarf makes me smile from ear to ear- wear it with pride. I love love love love it!
I’m afraid I’m with you…I’m not sure, one minute, I think it’s so bad it’s fab, the next, it’s awful. I think it’s the tiger…it reminds me of one of those soft fuzzy blankets you see at a Mexican market (they sell them with wolves and dolphins on them too), for $5. And I gotta say, the last thing I would want my $400 Hermes scarf to remind me of would be a cheap $5 blanket. Sorry…sounds like the saleswoman had a bet to see if she could sell one…and you happen to be the unlucky victim.
PS. I’m curious how you feel about now, after 6 months, did you keep it or hock it?
Hi Halcyon House…It is kind of a like an old computer, I can’t really give it away but I definitely don’t want it…so it just sits in my drawer. I must admit, I wore at as a head scarf once to keep my hair in place (but this was only at home…not in public) and I wore it as a belt another time. I brought it out at a party and it was great for a “party trick”…people got a total kick out of it!
Oh, hell no!
I have about 8 Hermes scarves – all “vintage” (aka “used” – I’m not ashamed) and all chosen by me because I found the colors and patterns beautiful.
I love them.
This, however, I would not love. I recognize the pattern strips as parts of popular scarves – but not my faves and Good Lord, not together!!!!!
I tink za scarf ees heed-ee-yoos. I’m sorry….I had to say it. I believe that many of these designers are on the same “creative cocktail” that they were on back in the days of Studio 54. I swear I read not too long ago that one of these designers, and it very well might have been Hermes, designed a handbag that was a collage of many other handbags all sewn together. It was absolutely horrific, and sold like nobody’s business. No accounting for taste! Your taste, however, is impeccable…you were hoodwinked. We’ll leave it at that!
I think it could work… I don’t think it is ugly… I believe if everything you’d be wearing was neutral, and the scarf would be the only piece with colour and such a design, it would look beautiful… very classy… Havea wonderful day… :)!
Horses and tigers and Indians, OH MY! This post is hilarious. Buyers remorse is the worst!
Don’t give up! Take a look at Mai Tai’s blog, Mai Tai’s Picture Book, for ideas of how to wear this design. Look on the right side of her page under “Blog Posts by Scarf Design” and look for “Carre en Carre.” That is the name of your scarf. This scarf can be worn in several very attractive ways. Good luck!
Coco, you are very funny! Im not a reader of sorts, other than Vogue living uk, elle decor etc & even at that, I pretty much just look at the beautiful layouts. However, your words, enthusiasm and angsts for this scarf peaked my curiosity. I always try, because my budget is VERY limited, to make lemons into lemonade, rotten bananas into delicious, moist banana bread, but I cant seem to find hope for this…piece of cloth.
Words of advice…If you can leave the store without, it isnt LOVE!!!
Maybe it’s just my odd sense (or lack) of style, but I think the scarf is really pretty. If you really don’t like it, I would be glad to take it off your hands (xD). You can try selling it to someone else (for a fraction of the price you paid), or if you don’t want to part with it (whether to keep it as a reminder of “Bringing Home the Birkin”, or just because it makes you feel “in the know”), you can always frame it.
The scarves often look very different by the time you fold and tie them. I worked for Hermes in the St Honore flagship store years ago in my early 20s and it was amusing how people preferred a pattern but ended up going with a different scarf because the colors / patterns showing once folded and around the neck were so different. The blue, gold and brown are very pretty and I would think would look great with white, navy, denim, etc.
Yeah….no! There are so many better ones. Sell this one and get a new one on The RealReal or another trustworthy resale site. And framing a gorgeous scarf that works with your decor is the best way to experience the beauty all the time. I’m a luxury purse addict ( mostly Chanel, Balenciaga, LV, Gucci etc.) and have learned a thing or two over the years. It’s always important to do as much research as possible to know when you are pouncing on something special. There are Internet forums where shoppers around the world obsessively discuss every nuance of every category of luxury accessories. So much to learn from each other with photos to boot! I’m not knocking buying new at a brand’s store because that’s a special experience and spending uber big bucks justifies a sparkling clean investment.
I actually did brazenly go into an Hermes shop in Chicago wanting to try on different styles to see if any worked on me and what size would be the best? They practically laughed right in my face. There were no bags to show. The lists of wannabebuyers were endless and you couldn’t even get on one unless you purchased “smalls” on a regular basis and became a beloved customer. Smalls include scarves, bracelets, keychains and other minor fashion trinkets. AND even though I had some smalls in my possession ( a scarf ring never worn and subsequently sold and a “Collier de Chien “ leather bracelet) those items wouldn’t qualify because I didn’t buy them new at their retail establishments and couldn’t provide receipts. So I was SOL even if I had $50,000 cash in hand waving it right in front of their stuck up noses!
Maybe you should have jumped on that $10,000 bag because the prices have majorly skyrocketed.
Pretty ugly. That said, I heard from one of the sales ladies at the Hermes store in Palm Beach that Hermes has only ever hired one U.S. artist to design an Hermes scarf, and that person was a Native American Indian. Who was the artist? It’d be interesting to find out. All the best, Ingrid
Resell or donate. Unless you’re American Indian (and you may be, I have no idea) I wouldn’t be comfortable wearing this scarf.