A tiny bow tie, button-down and blazer make up a preppy-chic look on actress Diane Kruger.

Ideas for Outfits With Bow Ties

by Angela Bakke

Wearing a bow tie is one of the most fashionable ways for a woman to try the boyfriend-style trend. If you want to show that you have this super-hot, menswear-inspired look on lockdown, combine a bow tie -- either traditional tidy or a floppy femme bow -- with other fashion accessories such as a bowler hat, a pair of suspenders or a piped blazer to creates looks that are preppy chic or '80s retro -- but always sexy.

Preppy Chic

The bow tie has worked its way up the list to become one of the top accessories to work into your wardrobe. This little piece of fabric packs a huge punch when accompanied by just a few other basic pieces. Start with a pair of light-wash slouchy denim shorts, add a pair of tan, suede ankle boots, a button-down chambray shirt -- buttoned to the collar -- and polish the look off with a playful red and white or navy and white polka-dot bow-tie for an outfit styled to perfection. Turn it into a night-time look by swapping out the shorts for a pair of boyfriend jeans or black skinnies, and lose your boots for a sexy pair of black patent leather stilettos.

Modern Edgy

Although the bow tie is a classic, you can add a rocker edge to it by framing it with sharper edges. Take a white blazer with black piping, angular shoulder and an asymmetrical hem, wear a crisp white button-down shirt, a black silk bow tie and tapered tuxedo pants for a very chic take on this traditionally quirky tie. You can add a hipster edge to your bow tie if you wear a pre-tied bow tie adorned with edgy hardware such as spikes, studs or chain link. A black leather bow tie will add a hint of ruggedness to an otherwise refined outfit.

Romantic Retro

If you want a softer, more feminine take on the traditional bow tie, the wide, floppy bow is just your style. Equally as fashionable, much easier to accomplish and soft around the edges, the floppy bow is a sweet accessory to softer fabric blouses such as chiffon, silk and lace. For a romantic Victorian outfit, tie a black silk ribbon front and center around the neck of a sheer black chiffon blouse. You can either button up or leave the collar loose with this style of tie. This flowy style of top and tie complements a slim-fit pant or skirt perfectly, so pull out your favorite pencil skirt or tapered trouser and keep your shoes classic.

To Tie or Pre-Tie

For the busy woman, try a clip-on bow tie. The pre-tied bow will save you time, but you may prefer the results-- you can manipulate the size and shape -- as well as the richer experience. Ties are difficult, so you deserve props if you master learning to tie a classic silk bow tie.

About the Author

Angela Bakke is a Los Angeles-based writer and reporter with more than a decade of experience covering fashion, beauty, the arts and entertainment. She has interviewed some of the most famous people in the world and covered stories for Beyond Cinema, Hollywood.com, ReelzChannel, CNN.com and Celebs.com.

Photo Credits

  • Jason Merritt/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images