I don't think I owned a scarf until I turned 19. I purchased it in Florence because I could not resist the siren's call of the San Lorenzo market and the 5,000 lire ($2.50) scarves in magnificent colors and designs. And then I got educated by the Italians. Be careful so you don't get colpo di freddo. Cover yourself well so you don't get sick. Male or female, young or old, everyone wears scarves in Italy, so terrified are they to get a hit of air on their neck and be rendered incapacitated for weeks.
Health reasons aside, scarves really are fantastic accessories. They are versatile (check out this awesome YouTube video tutorial) and they can dress up a basic outfit and raise its style factor to a whole new level. This is particularly useful when traveling. One basic black ensemble combined with several easy-to-pack scarves make packing a breeze.
Each of my scarves tell a story - the sumptuous gold scarf purchased in Burano while on tour with a fabulous group of women; my honeymoon scarf acquired in San Francisco - 12 years old and I still get compliments; the colorful, flowy one that my kids gave me for Mother's Day; numerous gorgeous pieces crafted by my mother and mother-in-law. Each one brings back wonderful memories and allows me to express my own personal style while protecting myself from the cruel, damp air.
Embrace your inner Italian and find your personality in scarves. You will never feel quite as stylish as when you are wearing one.