Menswear inspired looks have been getting a little more attention lately, but this isn’t anything new: borrowing style ideas from your man’s wardrobe has always been on-trend (ahem, Chanel). How else do you think those pantsuits, creased trousers, fitted blazers and crisp white button downs found their way into your closet? While all these pieces are fairly easy to pull off, and quite mainstream, one classically masculine accessory creates a little more of a challenge for the everyday girl (as in, those of us who don’t fall under the label ˜fearless fashionista’): the bow tie.
Just thinking of the word conjures up images of a dapper Leonardo DiCaprio aboard the Titanic, and the smiling tap-dancing men in black and white movies. But when you really think of it, what could be more femme than ribbon and bows? There’s really no reason to leave this gem completely to the guys (or Mickey Mouse). Here are some ways to incorporate this timeless gem into your look.
Keep it Simple
No matter the shape, colour or fabric, the bow tie is a playful accessory that can look a little too costumey when paired with other tricky trends, loud colours, shapes or prints. So when donning a bow tie, try to keep the rest of your outfit moderately simple. This will help keep you looking more stylish than cheesy. Another thing to avoid: menswear overkill. Try not to inject too much testosterone into your entire look”if you choose to wear more than one masculine piece, remember to add feminine touches with lace, pearls or quintessentially ladylike pumps.
Update Your Classics
Adding a bow tie to your tried-and-true cream silk blouse, black pencil skirt and rouge lip looks undeniably chic for the office, or a girl’s night out. Pairing the fun piece with any favourite ensemble adds punch, and can take you from predictably boring to daring fashion plate in one step. Have fun trying out the look with your most-loved outfits and behold the results (and compliments that follow).
Confidence is Key
Not everyone can pull off the bow tie. Wearing this intimidating piece requires a healthy dose of confidence. Make sure you feel comfortable in your look before you leave the house, and remember to wear the bow tie, and not the other way around. If you’re anxious or unsure, it will definitely show”and that doesn’t look good on anyone.
Dress it Up, or Down
Although a favourite on the red carpet and at weddings, the bow tie isn’t only reserved for black tie occasions. Have fun and switch it up. Be adventurous and try adding a colourful bow tie to your dressed-down neutrals, weekend get-up or errand-running ensemble. Adding a classic bow tie to a casual outfit can infuse a hip vibe into any look.
Look to the Experts
When completely in doubt as to how to wear a bow tie, take a cue from celebs like Diane Kruger (spotted wearing the look on more than one occasion), or the runways to gain inspiration. In your search, you may find that rocking a bow tie is a whole lot easier, and sexier than you might think.