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A bow top (short for pussy bow top) is a blouse similar to the bows placed around cats and kittens. Its beginnings can be traced back to the 19th century, specifically to the lavallière cravat sported by French women.
Despite its early beginnings, it was only in the 20th century when the bow top took off. Popularized by designers Coco Chanel and Yves Saint-Laurent, it is a type of blouse that’s adored up until today.
While it’s often seen on the political front lines – as worn by ex-first lady Melania Trump and current vice president Kamala Harris – it’s a celebrity favorite too. Below, you’ll find the basics of tying a bow top – as well as the 12 outfits you can channel with this piece.
How to Tie a Pussy Bow Top
While you can arrange your pussy bow top (also known as tie-neck top) in any way you like, these styles will make you look more sophisticated.
Centered, Messy Bow
Elegant Bow Tie Neck Long Sleeve Work Office Blouse Top
Take one strand over and up. Use the bottom strand to create a loop. Take the top strand over the loop, around, and through to create a bow.
Try to play with the bow so that it looks somehow messy. This draws the eye down, making this the perfect style for ladies with ample bosoms.
Tight Side Bow
Polka Dot Bow Tied Neck Lantern Long Sleeve Workwear Shirts Blouse
Another option is to create a ‘tight’ bow and place it at the side of your neck. This arrangement, however, is only recommended if your top has a wide and thick bow. As it draws the eye upward, this bow style is recommended for women with smaller busts.
SheIn Women’s Casual Side Bow Tie Neck Stripe Short Sleeve Blouse Shirt Top
You can create a unique bow top look by trying the ‘tie’ style. As the name suggests, it’s just like fashioning a tie. You can place it on the center – or the side for a more Parisian chic look.
If you’re in a hurry for work, you don’t have to worry about tying your bow blouse. All you just need to do is one loop and leave it be. And while it looks so simple, it’s an effortless way to wear your tie-neck top.
SheIn Women’s Long Sleeve V Neck Ruffle Blouse Off Shoulder Tie Waist Wrap Tops
If you think that the simple knot is the easiest way to fashion your bow blouse, you’ll be glad to know that there’s a more effortless style you can try. It’s the untied look – which actress Margot Robbie proudly wears in this picture.
Bow Top Outfits
Now that you know how to tie your bow top, it’s time to imitate any of these stylish tie-neck blouse outfits.
Light and Airy
Vintage Collared Button Down Shirt Long Sleeve Lace Stretch Blouse
A bow top is a trendy piece to wear, especially if you’re looking to create a light, romantic look.
Take heed from this model, who paired her mesh tie-neck top with a delicate white skirt.
As for the rest of the look, she kept it delicate with a waist-cinching belt, a mint-and-camel-colored trench coat, and nude-colored heels.
While this get-up is perfect for dressy events, it’s something you can easily take to the office as well.
SheIn Women’s Bow Tie Neck Ruffle Long Sleeve Chiffon Shirt Blouse Top
If you’re tired of wearing the usual button-down top to the office, then now’s the time to wear your pussy bow blouse! It’s just as formal – if not even fancier with its tie-neck design.
Like the model, you should flaunt the bow for everybody to see – especially if you plan on buttoning your blazer.
Remember: this outfit is not only for pantsuits! You can wear them with a blazer-and-skirt pairing as well.
Dress to Impress
SheIn Women’s Elegant Tie Neck Mesh Sheer Long Sleeve Blouse Shirt Top
Layering your bow tie top is the way to go, especially during the cold weather. One of the trendiest ways to do so is to wear it with your favorite dress.
As seen on the model, it’s as simple as pairing a delicate tie-neck blouse with a simple, black dress. This makes for a monotone outfit that’s great for work or a date.
To create a more elegant look, you can imitate the model by adding ‘pearlized’ accessories – like her embellished shades and her lovely bag.
Boho Floral Tie Up Waist Summer Beach Wrap Cover Up Maxi Skirt
Want to create a look that’s sexy and conservative all at the same time? Then you should try this model’s fabulous pairing.
She wore her elegant bow tie top with a long skirt with thigh-high slits. In fact, you can see the hem of her blouse popping out!
This unique look is a harmonious balance of many fashion elements – especially since she opted to wear sporty sneakers. While this is a comfy option, you can maintain a sophisticated look by wearing heels or pumps instead.
Sporty and Sexy
Versatile Stretchy Flared Casual Mini Skater Skirt
Although a pussy bow top is often used in more formal outfits, it’s something you can use for a sexy and sporty look as well.
Such is the case with this model, who wore her burgundy top with her teal corduroy skirt. The combination of these jewel tones, as you see, is nothing short of amazing.
And while the common impulse is to wear sandals or heels, the model opted for sneakers. And why not? It’s very comfy, which is perfect if you plan on walking around all day.
Drawing the ‘Short’ Stick
Cropped Paper Bag Waist Pants with Pockets
Bow tops need not always be geared towards business/formal fashion. You can use it for casual outfits as well, as this model will proudly show you.
Here, she paired her ornate tie-neck top with a playful pair of high-waisted shorts. And as if it’s not enough, she downplayed the formality of her heels by wearing socks underneath.
This mishmash of high fashion and casual elements is definitely the way to go – especially if you want to turn heads.
SheIn Women’s Two Piece Open Front Long Sleeve Blazer and Elastic Waist Solid Pant Set Suit
Monotone outfits are notorious for being boring. But if you ask Amal Alamuddin-Clooney, it’s not the case at all.
The high-profile lawyer, who came from a UN meeting, is seen in an all-orange outfit. She manages to avoid a boring look by incorporating 2 orange hues into monotone perfection.
And while Amal kept it all the way orange, it did not transcend to her shoes. Instead, she chose to wear nude heels. This is a no-brainer after all, given that it’s a classic option for elongating your legs!
Casual High Waist Pencil Pants with Bow-Knot Pockets for Work
Even if you have a plain-colored pussy bow top, you can make it look stylish by pairing it with vibrant colors.
As this model shows, her black top blends harmoniously with her light-yellow pants. While both of them have simple structures, their vibrant colors make them fashion head turners.
Remember: your outfit is bright enough as it is, so make sure to tone down the rest of your accessories! A simple bag, just like what the model has, is enough for this colorful wardrobe.
Suit 2 Pieces Tweed Blazer Jacket Coat and Skirt Set
Just like wearing a brightly colored pussy-bow outfit, another thing you should try is mixing and matching prints.
As seen on this model, this feat is possible. Here, she wears her black-and-white dotted top with a tweed blazer and skirt. Not content with this fusion, she even sports some dotted tights!
The moral of the story here? Don’t be afraid to get out of the box. By combining prints such as this one, you can easily create a statement look in the office.
Ramp in a Romper
Button Down Pinafore Overall Dress with Pockets
A lot of people look at rompers as juvenile fashion choices. As a matter of fact, they’re terribly unappreciated. They are undoubted style stars, as this fashionable model will show you.
Skirt rompers (such as this one) are good alternatives for the usual bottoms. So instead of wearing pants, shorts, or a skirt, you can pair this with your tie-neck blouse instead.
Again, little accessorizing is needed for this outfit. As the model shows, a structured bag and oxford shoes are enough to weave a high-fashion look.
Like the romper, a jumper is another thing that you should consider for your bow top outfit.
As seen on the model, these items help create a romantic yet playful look. The tie-neck outfit looks very girly, while the jumper adds some roughness to the look. Together, they make for an outfit that’s both unique and comfy.
As always, contrast is key to pulling off this look. But if you’re leaning towards the traditional way, you can opt to wear your top with a ‘fashionably safe’ denim crop tie up shirt.
Layers and More
SheIn Women’s Bow Tie Neck Tweed Insert Shirt Long Sleeve Blouse
A bow-tie top is such a phenomenal item that models can’t help but wear it. In fact, many of them layer it with several other pieces for a couture runway look.
As seen on this model, you can sport a tie-neck top with virtually anything in your closet. She proves this philosophy by layering her blouse with a cami top, a trench coat, and distressed denim jeans. And to keep everything in line with high fashion, she wore elegant items – namely an sexy clutch purse and nude heels.
As you see, achieving a fashionable look with a tie-neck top is incredibly easy. You can wear it with unique pieces – or layer them on top (even underneath). Given this versatility, you can easily create various looks – even if you only have one pussy-bow blouse.
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