The Bowtie Blouse – 70’s Retro Chic

Of all the seventies relics that were dusted off for this season (disco glam jumpsuits, jeans that are both high-waisted and wide-leg, Oakley sunglasses and Lauren Hutton-style safari chic, for example) we’ve noticed that one subtle piece is currently enthralling celebrities and tastemakers alike—the bowtie blouse.

The softly romantic shirt turned up in totally different variations on the Spring 08 runways, which means there’s surely a blouse for anyone’s style. At Marc by Marc Jacobs, the neck-tie top was paired with a button-festooned skirt or with brightly-colored Brady Bunch-ish pantsuits (worn with matching hats, no less—groovy!). Anna Sui balanced the inherent femininity of pretty print bowtie blouses by showing them with menswear-influenced trousers and blazers. Even Roberto Cavalli showed an affinity for necks, as he presented a haute hippie seventies-style skinny suit with a sheer blouse that tied at the throat.

One of our favorite examples of how to wear this look comes courtesy of the very darling Rachel Bilson. We very much approve of how Bilson, seen above walking her pooch, wore her hair up—all the better to show off the neckline of the blouse! While this shirt looks great tucked into high-waisted pants or skirts (for that sexy secretary vibe), it also looks very fresh worn with skinny jeans, a la Bilson and Kate Moss. Speaking of which, it’s surely no surprise that Glossy Mossy lead the return of the neck-tie blouse. She tends to wear her blouses sans bow and instead lets the ends dangle down for a long, lean, low-fuss look. She’s seen above her own striped shirt for Topshop, which sadly, dear readers, is sold out. We also spotted both Michelle Trachtenberg and Sarah Jessica Parker trying out this top trend. Trachtenberg was seen wearing one on the set of Gossip Girl, while SJP wore a slightly prim blouse for an appearance on Conan.

There are a number of thoughtful bowtie blouses available now. One of our favorite versions is the straight-from-the-runway Penelope Dot Sleeveless Blouse ($230) in twilight blue from Marc by Marc Jacobs. Another chic choice is the Bow Detail Silk Blouse ($198) by Walter; it comes in gray and white, but we prefer gray. While it’s limited-edition and semi-difficult to find, the Picot Button-Front Shirt  ($78) by Phillip Lim for the Gap is another cool option. Also check out the Veronica Cotton Shirt ($98) from French Connection. It’s quite darling and comes in four colors: honey pie, black, paloma grey, and Malibu pink.