Friday, July 8, 2011

Ways to Wear... Bows

Bows! Who doesn't like bows? A bow is one of those things that adds an instant flourish to any outfit.

Wear them... at the waist

A bow at the waist adds flair to a simple ensemble. Wear it oversize or understated; in the centre or off to one side; a sash, a ribbon, or a chic bow belt like Casey's, above right (she's even posted a great tutorial to make your own).

Wear them... on your sweater

Left: Schiaparelli's 1927 bow knot trompe l'oeil sweater was shocking and innovative. If you're a knitter you can download instructions to make your own, otherwise there are many lookalike options available on sites like etsy and ebay. Right: Bow-trimmed sweater shot by Nina Leen in 1952 - get the look easily by pinning little ribbon bows to the front of a plain sweater.

Wear them... in your jewellery

In kitsch plastic or sophisticated Art Deco marcasite, some of my favourite brooches have a bow motif - they're so easy to wear because they go with anything.

Wear them... on a sweetheart neckline

Fabric bows accent the corners of a sweetheart neckline. I absolutely love this look for its girlish charm - a sweetheart neckline dress is on my (long) to-make list.

Wear them... stitched

Embroidered or applique, or even sequinned! This sequin bow neckline ornamentation has been in my sewing inspiration folder for the longest time - one day I'll make one for myself!

Wear them... extravagant

A huge bow adds real va-va-voom to a cocktail or evening ensemble, or a bit of glamour to daywear. Left: surely one of the most iconic film costumes of all time, Marilyn's "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend" pink dress from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes featured an enormous bow on the back. Centre: In the early-mid 1930s there was a vogue for oversize bows at the neckline. Right: The draped hip bow on this 1940s dress offers a different, slightly more subtle effect.


  1. Bows are fun! I have a couple of cute pairs of bow earrings. They are so fun! I've also wanted a cute bow ring, but as I want the kind with real diamonds and not rhinestones, I think it'll be a while before I get one...

  2. Bows, bows, bows, bows, bows, bows!!!
    I love bows on everything every day! ♥

  3. The bows you featured are all just darling! I have to say, almost half my shoe collection features bows of some sort.

    Out of curiosity, I've noticed that most of the patterns with bows I love are junior-type patterns. Do you think there is an age limit for this style? Marilyn's glamorous pink bow has quite a different effect than the ones on the dress above her (center).

  4. Honestly, no, I don't think there's any age limit on bows. Obviously as you get older you have to be more careful as some styles *can* start to make you look dowdy if you're over 21, but I don't think that particularly applies to bows any more than anything else. I, for example, certainly consider factors like this when I dress, and I would happily wear the pink applique bow dress! (there again I also wear playsuits - I think I can just about get away with it, but I'm probably near the upper limit of the appropriate age range for those).

    xx Charlotte

  5. I think "extravagant" is my favorite. I like to wear an oblong chiffon scarf tied in a big ol' bow on top of my head.

  6. ~ * ♥ * ~

    I absolutely adore bows! They are one of my staple style items & I often wear them in my hair! They are a great hair accessory, and a good alternative to a hair flower or hat{if they are big enough}.
    : D

    bonita of Depict This!
    ~ * ♥ * ~

  7. Ooooh! I love the idea of a sequin bow appliqued to a dress (or blouse... Hmm. I have a blouse that may be due for a "pick me up"! haha.)--so glamorous! Thanks too for the little shout-out about my belt. ;)


I'd love to hear your thoughts!


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