What To Wear: Bowties For Girls

Who doesn’t love a guy in a bow tie? This piece of neck wear manages to do the impossible – be both fun and formal. I don’t think guys should have all the fun, thus why I encourage women to wear bow ties too. I bought my first bow tie about four years back and it has served me well. Ladies if you are still unsure about trying a bow tie, let me explain:

It elevates your style. Adding a bow tie to an outfit and doing so appropriately makes any outfit look sharp and adds an element of intrigue. We copy other menswear trends, why not mix this in with a more feminine outfit?

It’s an interest piece. Bow ties always catch your attention. Every single time I’ve worn a bow tie in public, I get approached by strangers telling me they like it.

It’s the perfect combination of bold and classic. Bow ties have been worn for centuries, yet they’re still a bold move for an outfit for both men and women. I appreciate those who take the risk and are willing to stand out.

Before I share some guidelines for bow ties for women, take a look at a few photos of inspiration from F.E. Castleberry who writes one of my favorite blogs, Unabashedly Prep.

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Now that you’re convinced, let’s go over the basics. Bow ties are not all created equal, so using men’s bow ties are most likely going to be too big for your face and make you look like a present. Sometimes you can adjust them in the back to make them smaller, other times the bow will still be too big, but don’t worry, I have a solution:

Boy’s bow ties are a great alternative to buying a regular sized bow tie. They are on the smaller size so they end up looking proportionate on a lady. Self-tie boy’s bow ties are few and far between (although I’m sure they exist), but pre-tied with the strap around the back are a great alternative and easy to find. My advice is to opt for pre-tied over clip-on as clip-on looks way too fake. photo 1You can find boy’s bow ties at many different stores, but Crew Cuts, J Crew’s boy’s department, has the best ones. I have two silk Crew Cuts bow ties and I’ve been able to buy both on sale. Notice both are pre-tied but look more realistic (especially the polka dot one) than a clip-on would. We aren’t trying to fool anyone into thinking we tied our own bow tie, however, the pre-tied will look more authentic and be more secure.

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The type of collar that’s preferred with a bow tie is a button down as seen in the following picture. It’s nice to slip the strap of the bow tie underneath and secure behind. I think button down collars look best, however, don’t let that stop you from donning this look. I’ve worn a bow tie with a normal collar before and just made sure everything was tucked under neatly.

photo 2Last piece of advice – unless you’re Janelle Monae, stay away from black or red silk bow ties. They tend to look either too formal or like a waiter at a fancy restaurant.

Have fun!

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