Style and Styling

Styled Three Ways: Bow Blouse

For Work Play & Party

Hello, Reader Dear!

Bows are everywhere!

And we’ll see even more of them as the holidays approach. Because, well, bows have a thematic holiday connection, so let’s run with bows today. (Far safer than running with scissors!)

Bow blouses are having a sartorial moment this season. Solids, patterns, attached bows, separate scarf type bows, long sleeved, shells, you name it.

Some women feel bow blouses have a prissy librarian vibe. (That’s an awful lot of shade to throw at librarians. I LOVE the librarians at my local ‘brary, and would never think of even one of them as prissy.)

Other shade thrown at bows? Juvenile or childish.

Because I don’t like anyone to make fun of a particular clothing item, let’s take a bow blouse or two and play with them and try and change the minds of the naysayers.

What say you?

I have two bow blouses to choose from. One with an attached tie/bow and the other, unattached. (This is a great selling point for the naysayer!) let’s see how I might style each for work, play and party. (In this case a date with Mr. CP.)


I hear some say bow blouses are limiting, because you can only wear them one way. But why? Just because there’s a bow on there, doesn’t mean you can’t play with it. Big Bow, Little Bow, No Bow-Just a Knot, Loose Knot, Wrapped and Bowed in the Back, Wrapped and Bowed in the Front. There’s certainly more than one way to tie a Bow Blouse, just like there’s more than one way to tie a scarf. That’s the trick–Think of the bow as an attached scarf and style it from there!

For Work

Since bow blouses tend to be made of softer, flowy material, rather than stiff or bulky cottons, they drape nicely under a jacket and add a more feminine touch to a more structured look. I’ll style for #workfromhome with jeans and a jacket. A simple level up would be to trade jeans for a dress trouser. Here, rather than tying the bow tight at the neck, I’ll leave it looser for a more relaxed (less library?) vibe.

I also like them with an overhand knot to weigh down the tie without a bow… It’s hard to see with the jacket, so here’s a closeup!

BTW, If you think the floral blouse above looks familiar, it probably does! It featured in this video about Integrating New Pieces into Your Wardrobe!

For Play

For play, there’s no jacket required! And for a little surprise, Let’s tie the bow in the back. Tying the shirt up gives a polished feel but tying it in the back and leaving the ends to dangle is a little surprise.

The animal print blouse tie isn’t really long enough for a bow in the back… Sigh.

For Party

Here’s where I like it loose and drapey. There’s a louche feel to leaving the bow undone… Perfect for a date with best beloved!

I’d add a necklace or two to the grey animal print version; it’s too dark like this and needs a little sparkle!

How About You?

How do you feel about bow blouses? Do they get a Yay or a Nay? Do you own a bow blouse? As we head into the year’s end, it’s a perfect time to pull yours out and give it a little style love! Go ahead, reach past the tee and try the blouse? Let’s zhuzh it up for the holidays! Please let me know what you are thinking AND what holiday style challenges you have coming up… I love to hear from you!

Stylishly yours,


  • carolkarl

    I love the idea of tying the bow at the back. In the past I’ve sometimes tied mine close to my neck rather than down low but I’m not sure that I love that either. Great post. Gave me lots to think about.

  • Mary Jean Cunningham

    Love bow blouses and have been wearing them since the late 70s when they were an essential part of a career woman’s wardrobe, a kind of counterpart to the man’s necktie with a suit. Also, I am small-busted, so I felt like they helped balance my figure a bit. Plus, my neck gets cold and it’s nice to have an option of wrapping the ends of the bow like a scarf higher up for warmth.

    • Liz K

      They really were an essential part of the look, Mary Jean! And you are right about bow blouses being a great balance to a small bust or wider hip.

  • Vicki

    Tie it to one side and let one end hang down the front and the other in the back? I don’t have a blouse to try this on, but maybe you’ll get a chance, Liz.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.