How to Wear the Pussy Bow Blouse Like a True French Girl

Yes – as we all know the retro 80s are back in style and an item that has been recently making its appearance on the streets of New York is the pussy bow blouse. The blouse is not just a throwback the 80s, but has a deeper meaning that goes back to the 1920s when Coco Chanel first started playing with the string tie bows concept on the famous Little Black Dress as a means of stating women’s place and role in the workforce. To understand the history and meaning of the pussy bow blouse and how it is translated in today’s culture, I have extracted an excerpt from my Honors Thesis Undressing the Power of Fashion: The Semiotic Evolution of Gender Identity by Coco Chanel and Alexander McQueen:

“Throughout history bowties had been associated as a strictly male accessory until the 1920s when they officially began to be introduced in women’s wear as a form of gender bending. Women chose to either wear bowties around their neck or wear a more subtle form of the bowtie, a ribbon. Ribbons on children’s dresses had signified a restraining device. It was not until the 1920s that ribbons on children’s dresses took on the signified of a child being seen as a child and not as a little adult (Historical Boys’ Clothing, “Shoulder Ribbons on Dresses”). Ribbons became a sign that little children had the right behave as children. The same could be said about the ribbon found on Chanel’s little black dress. The ribbon is a signified of a woman having the right to behave as a woman. During the 1920s, different styles of ribbons signified different codes. A firm knot signified marriage, while the flamboyant and lose ribbon found on Chanel’s little black dress signified that the wearer was single and interested in flirting and mingling (Historical Boys’ Clothing, “Shoulder Ribbons on Dresses”). Once again, this subtle take of the bowtie found on Chanel’s dress was a sign of androgyny and a self-confident and free woman.”

If you are having a hard time pairing the pussy bow blouse without making it look nerdy, secretary like or just plain old granny looking. Here are the basic how-to rules to wearing pussy bow blouse like a true French woman meant it to be worn:

N1

High Waisted Pants. Real vintage vibes, but it creates the effect of long legs and a long torso due to the long bow hanging around your neck!

N2

A Pleated-Skirt.

vintage pussy bow blouse beautiful

N3

Flipped. Instead of wearing it on your front. Turn it into an edgy look by flipping it onto your back!

Pussy bow tie on your back! fashion

N4

Dress or Romper. If you want to be even more daring, try wearing the pussy bow blouse as a dress or a romper or jumpsuit.

pussy bow blouse romper-dress

N5

Low V-Neck. If you don’t think you can pull off wearing the pussy bow blouse without looking like a grandma, opt for a pussy bow blouse that can be adjusted. This way you can create a v-neck pussy bow blouse that adds a bit more risque to the look.

N6

Short Bow. Play around with it a bit and play with length depending on what your wearing. If you don’t think that the long pussy bow blouse is emphasizing your features and it is not elongating your torso, but rather making it look shorter and stubbier, opt for a shorter bow.

If there is one piece of advice you take away from wearing the pussy bow blouse it is to not, and I repeat – TO NOT – wear it with a pencil skirt. It’s too outdated, doesn’t emphasize a woman’s features best and gives a woman a sense of constriction to social rules rather than empowerment and freedom. So if you do not already own a pussy bow blouse, run to your nearest Uniqlo and purchase one ASAP for the coming Fall. It’s definitely going to be a staple piece this season. À plus tard mes cheris!

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