Made to order / custom
A custom scarf is perhaps strictly for those who have everything else squared away in their wardrobe. A very civilized option that will never feel out of place around your neck. Made-to-order by Holland & Sherry, these come in a "ripple finish" cashmere, two sizes (12 x 54 or 14 x 72 inches) and 36 different colors from parchment to pistachio. Also available in shawl or throw sizes.
Check out the swatches (see above) and order from your favorite bespoke tailor who works with H&S cloths. Special thanks to tailor Enzo Caruso for educating me on this custom winter accessory (and he lives in un-wintery Los Angeles!).
Traditional / vintage
Traditional scarves tend to feature established patterns and motifs (from collegiate stripes to Mughal patterns - see the Drakes vintage-inspired wool/silk scarf below).
Also check out Four in Hand's selection of Begg cashmere scarves, including this one below.
For those serious about the vintage look, there's always the option of rummaging vintage stores or ebay for Sulka scarves.
These scarves are recognizably traditional but updated with slightly irregular pattern scales, different pattern designs or unusual colorways. In keeping with this category, I came across Free/man's recent blog entry on Begg's new lambswool / angora scarves for Unionmade.
A couple of standouts above. Top row, far right would go superbly with a camelhair polo coat and the bottom row, far right pairs nicely with the beige Martin Margiela safari jacket I wrote about earlier.
Another standout is Drakes tartan scarf, in a vibrant palette of red, khaki and sky blue with a gold and antique white overcheck:
For maximum color impact (aka the Ivy League go-to-hell look), check out O'Connell's selection of Begg lambswool / angora scarves. These are a couple of the more sedate ones:
Last but not least, for my female and/or DIY readers, below is a skillfully knitted infinity scarf made by blogger Knitted Bliss: