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Amazon

I'm a big believer in the outfit-elevating power of a scarf. They're versatile, no-fuss, and from my own experience, foolproof. My scarf obsession started at work. Our social media editor has a killer collection of vintage scarves and convinced me, through her own fashionable example, that it's possible to wear a neck scarf without looking like you're starring in a period drama or romping through the woods with Troop Beverly Hills (although, honestly, I am here for all the khaki wishes and cookie dreams).

I started small, with a 12"-square striped neck scarf from Zara. It was perfect for adding a little oomph to a white button-down or tee, but I quickly realized that I'd get more mileage out of a scarf with more volume.

A glutton for free shipping and instant gratification, I took my scarf search to Amazon, where I landed on a listing for a "womem's silk-feeling scarf." The 35 came in dozens of patterns, and a red, white, and blue scarf with a little paisley-floral action caught my eye. Sure, the listing was spelled incorrectly (which typically sends up red flags for me when online shopping), but at just $9.95, I decided the scarf was worth the risk.

Sometimes, risky business pays off.

No, it's not fancy; yes, it's silk-feeling (aka 100% polyester) and not actual silk. But it's the best $10 I've spent in ages. I could wear the scarf a zillion different ways (tied around my ponytail for a ‘70s-inspired look or slipped through an empty belt loop to dress up denim), but I love loosely knotting it at the nape of my neck and wearing it like a necklace. Whenever I want to make a work dress feel more polished or a weekend white tee more playful, I reach for that $10 square of polyester.

If the sheer number of times I've worn that thing didn't justify the Alexander Hamilton I spent on it, the constant compliments—and the delight I get from (imprudently) revealing, "$10! On Amazon!"—just might.

Buy your own here. (Note: The seller has corrected the listing's spelling [ten points for you, Amazon!] and shuffled the price down to $8.99, which is why I bought a second one last week.)

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