I blame Dr Who. Well, Tom Baker, anyway.
The longest-serving incarnation of the Time Lord, Baker was rarely seen without his knee-length, multicoloured chunky knit scarf. But the next Dr Who, David Tennant, will not be so attired when the new series starts next month.
"It was very much Tom Baker's look and it won't be repeated," says a BBC spokeswoman.
It was a distinct look, an unlikely combination of Isadora Duncan and absent-minded professor.
Scarves might be useful - especially as the weather continues to bite - but they have a way of conveying multiple messages. They can be camp, thrown over the shoulder in a Brideshead Revisited kind of way; they can establish tribal colours - at football or rugby matches; they can allow men to show wit and individuality.
"As men are showing more interest in accessories, they are choosing strong-coloured scarves to match with a sober suit or jacket," says Paul Buckle, retail director at Ede & Ravenscroft, which offers scarves in a classic Paisley pattern as well as a rich, burnt orange dotted with pheasants.
Alan Cook, head of men's design at Fullcircle, says: "There's a lot you can do with scarves.Next winter, for instance, we're producing something that is a cross between a scarf and an upright collar in a very chunky knit wool."
Oliver Spencer, who mixes relaxed suit style with sharp fashion looks in his collections, says: "The scarf has taken over from the tie. Men are wearing silk scarves with shirts and jackets in a relaxed way. Jude Law and Paul Weller match them with smart jackets and jeans, for instance."
As a result, scarves are no longer limited to the winter wardrobe.
Oliver Spencer is offering linen scarves for men, and many designers such as Ermenegildo Zegna confirm that bright summer colours such as lilacs and greens have been very popular.
"Scarves are much more of a year-round thing now," says Richard James, the tailor. "They've really been selling heavily for us. They've got a kind of coolness now that they never had before. Perhaps people are associating them less with those viscose scarves that men used to wear in the sixties and seventies."
James himself is a scarf fan, and is even producing a range of large pashminas for men next winter.
If scarf fabrics and patterns have multiplied recently, so have the ways of knotting these increasingly hip accessories.
Their design might be simple, but the different options for wearing them are more diverse than any jacket, coat, shirt or tie. Folding them in half and putting two ends through the loop is very much of the moment, especially if they are worn without a jacket. Meanwhile, simply wrapping them around the neck works under an overcoat.
Finally, flipped over the shoulder, a scarf has that romantic undergraduate or semi-Bohemian look, anda really casual knot ina silk tie worn with jeans demonstrates an evenmore artistic, devil-may-care attitude.
"The more trend-conscious have been wearing their scarves loose but tucked inside jackets with tails on show," reports a spokeswoman for Zegna.
As for those who remain scarf-sceptic, it is worth remembering that, although Baker's Dr Who might not be a fashion icon for many men, he has a far more glamorous genesis than is often realised.
The fourth doctor's look was created by Oscar-winning designer James Acheson, whose other work includes Bernardo Bertolucci's The Last Emperor and Stephen Frears' Dangerous Liaisons.
It is probably not a coincidence that the latter film starred an evil marquis who knew a thing or two about scarves.