Continued from the series: The Ultimate Guide to Shopping & Styling Vintage
Let’s talk about vintage blouses and in particular, my favourite style of vintage blouse, the pussy bow blouse and how to style the vintage bow blouse.
Wikipedia says that the name literally comes from little kittens that had a bows tied around their necks. Hard to believe that name stuck through all these years.
I haven’t been lucky enough to find any vintage blouses to purchase for myself. I think they are harder to come by in good condition.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t some great pieces out there as I found these beauties for sale online.
Vintage Bow Blouse by suzannecarillo featuring tops
Created way back in the 1890’s by such designers as Omar Kiam pussy bow blouses became popular in North America in the 1960’s and were favourites of Coco Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent.
I find them super sexy as Joan from Mad Men shows us here…
Although I don’t have any vintage versions of this I do own two vintage inspired reproductions put out a few years ago by H&M.
And I’ve also created a similar idea by using a scarf.
One thing to keep in mind when you style a vintage bow blouse is if you are petite like me, closing off your neck with the top done all the way up will shorten your visual height. If you are able to find a top more like the one Joan is wearing, or my H&M reproduction, where it has a lower neckline before it ties, it won’t visually shorten your body.
If your neck is very short anything that cuts it off isn’t a good bet. If you have a long ballerina neck you can wear 10 scarves and a pussy bow and still look great. You lucky swan you! ; )
Having great style is being aware of your body. We all have faults. If you can learn to accent your good qualities and camouflage those you don’t care for as much it will you will look better, feel more confident and distinguish yourself from the crowd.
Finally, a Polyvore set on how I would style two of the vintage blouses I found online contemporary.
I would totally wear this–especially the polka dot version that you have. I do have a really long neck…it’s funny, on of my little sister’s shoulders are noticeably taller than my shoulders, but we end up at the same height because of my neck. 😛
I like every single way you’ve styled the pussy bow shirts.
Also, off topic but, I never realized you were short. I actually thought you might be tall. Its such a funny thing about blogging, since you don’t often see things in blogger shots to give you a good comparison. You’ve just always carried yourself in such a way that made you seem of average or slightly taller height!
Come on!!!! You’re too sexy!!! I’m getting the first flight back to North America!!! Miss you babe!!
The first photos of the pussy bow blouses brought back vivid memories of my mom in the 60s (she was such a stylish lady!). She was petite at only 5′ 2″ and always wore lower necklines to elongate the neck as you suggested. She also wore high heels and teased up hairdos, so she actually looked like 5′ 6″ 🙂
Thanks for the history lesson and tips of styling them. I love ruffles, lace and anything feminine. Tying a scarf like a bow is a great idea! Thanks!
You are a beautiful model for showing off these vintage and vintage inspired clothes!
I will be on the lookout for pussy bow blouses!!
MIS PAPELICOS says
nancy @ adore to adorn says
I think this is a great classic style! I love Joan from Mad Men!
I have a few pussy bows, and am a huge fan! I’ve also faked it with a scarf……You wear them well, darling! XXX
Jessica Cangiano says
Fantastic ideas!!! You know, much like peter pan collared garments, pussy bow blouses are one of those pieces that I love on others and think I’ll wear myself, yet despite owning some, rarely do. I should take your lead though, dust mine off, and finally given the the attention they deserve this year.
*PS* Thank you very much for all of your terrific blog comments lately. (I adore Sooke!!! I went to a week long Guide Guide camp there when I was 13 and fell in love instantly.)
I love pussy bows, and have a few such blouses. I’ve also faked it with a scarf!!! I reckon they’re classy, and you wear them well, darling!! XXX
I love these blouses and I love the way you’ve styled them.
Happiness at Mid Life says
I love bow blouses but never knew they had a name. I tend to buy ones that are lower neckline since I do not like anything that feels like it’s wrapped around my neck.
I love the look of pussy bow blouses on other women, and have found a few vintage 1960-70s ones in charity shops, but can’t bear the high neck versions on me. I feel restricted and irritated by them. BUT – and why didn’t I think of this? – a lower neckline version would be great! Genius! You wear them beautifully. xxx
I like bow blouses ( you are very cute wearing them and has a good set!!) but not on me! I find the slim pants and the big bag in your selection just my style… I love them!
I forgot to say that also your black purse is just my style!!