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10 Pussy-Bow Blouses That Perfectly Channel This Season’s ’70s-Steeped Aesthetic

Despite its cringe-worthy name, the “pussy-bow blouse” — the proper name for a shirt with a big and floppy bow at the neckline — has long been affiliated with female power-dressing. They were a key part of Margaret Thatcher’s look since the 1980s until her official political retirement (along with boxy jackets and matching pencil skirts, and oval-shaped pearl stud earrings paired with matching pearl strand necklace). Mad Men‘s Joan Holloway wore a red one to the office in Season 7, which was set in 1969. And, in the pilot episode of her award-winning show Veep, Julia Louis-Dreyfus donned a bow-adorned blouse to bring her character, Selina Catherine Meyer, to life. In fact, according to the PBS series Makers: Women Who Make America, the “pussy bow” or “pussycat bow” came about in the ’70s and ’80s, when women were finally landing executive-level jobs formerly exclusive to men, and was intended to be a feminine take on the tie.

This season, however, the pussy-bow blouse has been removed from the ’80s office arena and been reinvented as an integral part of 1970s Bohemian chicness. To that end, the blouses come in playful prints (including paisley and plaid) and can typically be worn in several ways: with the neck ties loose and draping down, thereby resembling a scarf; tied into a perfect bow; or looped in a low square knot for a sailor-inspired look. But the key to rocking a pussy-bow blouse this season lies in the styling. To truly nail the authoritative but free-spirited ’70s vibe, pair your blouse with a suede A-line skirt, a midi-pleated skirt, or loose-fitting, wide-leg pants, then accessorize with a fringe bag or an updated saddle bag.

Below, check out 10 blouses that take a bow — literally!

saint-laurent-signature-lavalliere-blouse-in-babycat-print

Yves Saint Laurent Signature Lavalliere Blouse in Beige and Black Babycat Printed Silk Georgette, $1850. Available at YSL.com

Embrace Sophia Loren’s love of feline prints in this 100% silk semi-sheer blouse featuring an oversize bow at the collar.

 

tory-burch-crepe-tie-neck-blouse

Tory Burch Crepe Tie-Neck Top, $395. Available at ToryBurch.com

Featuring graphic diagonal lines in saturated burgundy and navy, this blouse features a tie-neck that allows you to style the top multiple ways: allowing the wide and draping sides to hang loosely around the neck like a scarf, tying them into a neat bow at the neck, or opting for a low-hanging loop with dangling ends.

lagence-gisele-tie-neck-printed-blouse

L’Agence Gisele Tie-Neck Printed Blouse, $275. Available at IntermixOnline.com

This bow-adorned, 100% silk blouse features a black-and-white striped print that nods to the Op Art movement.

Sacai-Luck-Sweater-Back-Print-Blouse-kirna-zabete

Sacai Luck Sweater Back Print Blouse, $660. Available at KirnaZabete.com

Sheer princess sleeves, a high neckline, and scattered red hearts of varying sizes arranged into wide diagonal stripes or diamond-like slots make this chiffon blouse feel coquettish but perfectly in control.

gucci-pussy-bow-blouse

Gucci Pussy-Bow Printed Silk-Crepe Blouse, $1500. Available at Net-a-Porter.com

Rather than creating a pattern consisting of crisp and precise but crisscrossing diagonal lines, Gucci upped the motif’s quirk factor by making each line delightfully off-kilter, swerving back and forth for a deliberately askew look.

ted-baker-cier-pussy-bow-blouse

Ted Baker London Ciera Cheerful Cherry Pussy Bow Shirt, $185. Available at TedBaker.com

You’ll be the girl everybody loves best in this tutti-frutti, vintage-inspired blouse, which is brimming with juicy cherries.

alice-and-olivia-irma-long-sleeve-blouse

Alice + Olivia Irma Long Sleeve Blouse, $275. Available at AliceandOlivia.com

This season, Stacey Bendet added a sweet, shiny, silk neck tie and matching cuffs to the brand’s classic Irma blouse as a nod to the ’70s.

zara-printed-blouse

Zara Printed Blouse, $69.90. Available at Zara.com

The rustic colors and paisley print of this Zara blouse position it squarely in the ’70s, while the bow and the flared cuffs add just the right amount of free-spirited romanticism.

vince-camuto-colorful-interlude-bow-neck-blouse

Vince Camuto Colorful Interlude Bow Neck Blouse, $99. Available at VinceCamuto.com

Embrace your inner artiste with this pussy-bow blouse, featuring painterly strokes in autumnal colors.

reiss-carmel-blouse

Reiss Carmel Stitch-Detail Silk Blouse, $265. Available at Reiss.com

The boysenberry color of this loose-fitting silk blouse exudes regality and refinement, while the open stitching at the shoulders and sleeves gives the otherwise simple design an unexpected pop. Picture pairing the top with a came-colored coat. Swoon!

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