How to pimp your neck with pussy bows?

Victorian collars, chockers, and now the pussy bow ties are making a come back on the catwalks!

Talk about fashion always recycling old gimmicks!

But as, the french say, old pots cook the best jams.

Get them before Zara starts making their owns and everyone is wearing one again. (I was very surprised not to see any on their website to be honest, but shhhh).

The first time I saw them again was on the Saint Laurent SS 19 catwalk. The models were proudly wearing them in a dandy chic manner.

Saint Laurent SS 19 (Tagwalk)

What an easy style trick to reproduce did I think.

Apparently they were quite a hit. There are none available anywhere. Saint Laurent website: zip. Net à porter: same. And even on Vestiaire collective you have no jump on them.

The Saint Laurent it-bow

However… Rejoice dear readers! You can easily reproduce the trick without having to hunt a Saint Laurent floppy bow. (And without spending the inherent costs).

Here is how:

  • go to a vintage store and buy a pussy bow (lavallière), which is a rather thin and long ribbon of a silky fabric (it can vary in width and lenght)
  • buy a ready made pussy bow on etsy (I did put several links in this post)
  • Create your own ready made bow (vintage DIY from 2011)

I/ Color and fabric

Black is more evening wear, white more dandy, and other colors can give your outfits an eccentric twist.

If you are aiming for the floppy effect, get silk chiffon, velvets or satin, if you want a stiffer bow, go for organza.

Black evening sequins pussy bow

Velvet Saint Laurent pussy bow

Chanel organza pussy bow

Recycled fabrics by Cbanningaccessories

II/ What to wear the pussy bow with? 

1/ A shirt

As you already have noticed with the above outfit selection, a shirt, furthermore, a white shirt, is one of the best pairing with a pussy bow.
This is the perfect feminine twist on the “hard bow” tuxedo style inspiration.

You can choose a minimalist shirt or emphasize the aristocratic vintage inspiration and get one with embroideries, flounces and other lace inserts.

The monochrome lavallière is an excellent idea for a (mildly) low profil look.
Why not try black on black?

Or the opposite. Ermanno Scervino SS19. Tagwalk.

Yes, I have seen that the above pic is an integrated pussy bow. You can also do this.

As a true modern time dancy, you can lift up your shirts collar and tie your pussy bow around.

Andie Anderin showing one of her creations. 

2/ A top or a dress with a collar

The good thing about the collar is that you can hide the pussy bow underneath.
So proceed to do just like with a shirt.

If you own a “ready made” bow, the collar is still necessary to make it look “plausible”.

3/ Anything with a crew neck (even a chimney or turtleneck one)

When there is no collar, you have to use the real “ribbon type” pussy bow as there is no hidding.

I recommend you to tie the ribbon in the continuity of your outfit. There shall be no skin showing in between the top and the pussy bow, nor shall the pussy bow stand in the middle of your top.

On the opposite, I encourage you to tie the pussy bow around high necks, dandy style.

III/ How to tie the pussy bow

1/ On the front

The perfect bow for shirt, this is the one you will use with “ready made” bows.

You can tie it straight under the collar with a buttoned to the top shirt for an uptight look.

Petitasla instagram

For a more relaxed style, open a few buttons of your shirt and tie the bow loosely, following the V.

2/ Side bow

I love this option with sweaters and crew necks, it gives them an instant “precious” twist.

Les copains, SS 19. Tagwalk

3/ On the back of the neck.

This is a darling look straight inspired by aristocats it-kitten Marie.

Perfect on night outfit like a bustier or a crew neck top.

Andie Anderin


Me and my pussy bow, 2020

Find your own pussy bow mes chatons!

Cover collage: Brigitte Bardot, Andie Anderin

10 Responses to “How to pimp your neck with pussy bows?”
  1. Ilma says:

    Bonsoir! I quite thought this bow business was begun for years ago by professor Sara Danius, member of the Swedish Royal Academy, and a great feminist. She began to wear a bow as an élégant joke. After some me-too-scandals around the Academy, Sara Danius was left outside [of the Academy]. To support her, women began to wear bows all over. Even the crown Princess did. This is why I thought the bow fashion was all in all born to support Sara Danius. She is a very élégant lady, en plus de s’y connaître merveilleusement bien en littérature. It is worthwhile having à look on her evening-gowns
    Some of them got inspiration from Marguerite Yourcenar.

  2. MABdePARIS says:

    Merci de nous régaler de cet article très exhaustif sur la lavallière. J’aime particulièrement celles en organza pour l’effet de transparence, bien sûr la proposition sur la nuque et celle de la lavallière sur une robe/top épaules nues.
    Idéal accessoire aussi pour celles qui n’aiment pas trop leur cou!

  3. Jeannine520 says:

    I like the look. I’m a bit concerned that average or short necks would have a hard time making this work without visually shortening the neck. I think for most a floppy, worn low following the “v” of a neckline would probably be easiest to wear for most people. I looked for inspiration pics but can’t find any demonstrating it worn that way.

    Funny you mentioned the cat Marie. I tied an Hermes Twillys as bow on my cat the other night. So cute! I searched images thinking I’d find many others doing the same and couldn’t find any.

    • Aloïs Guinut says:

      I did not write about the neck lenght, but you are right, this is not the best option if you are a short neck or are very busty.
      And indeed the floppy worn low option would then be the choice to opt for.
      Hermes for your kitten? What a precious animal ^^

  4. Cathy D. says:

    Like Gretchen, the pussy bow reminds me of the “dress for success” look of the 1980s. We all had to wear them with our boring suits and button down shirts. They were a substitute for a man’s tie. It may be that French women never adopted the “dress for success” look, and good for them.

    Nevertheless, the pussy bows in your photos are charming. I may try one on my chaton. She loves ribbons.

    Alois, thank you so much for this blog. I’ so glad you returned to posting and appreciate the work you put into it.

  5. I really do not like this current trend! It is giving me horrible flashbacks to women’s “power suits” of the 1980s, when I graduated college and was looking for a job. The only one that I think I could tolerate is the contrary one that ties in the back; that is quite charming!

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