Linen scarves are not for temperatures in the mid-nineties (34 C) as they were in Manhattan the other day, but Barbera USA had the irresistable beauty in the photo on display. It was less flamboyant worn folded in half lengthwise, however even in an air conditioned room that was just too warm.
In my opinion, the recent popularity of scarves, neckerchiefs and the like for casual dress is a reaction to the decline of the necktie. Like the tie, a scarf draws the eye to the face where it belongs. Further, it cleans up the messiness of an open-necked shirt and adds some complexity to an ensemble. As decoration it is not for most offices, but the rest of the time a scarf adds a little fun.