A word about: Pussy bow blouses

This post is dedicated to the ladies of the Trash Cat Clothing Exchange, for they may get the most chuckles (if any).

What the heck is a pussy bow blouse? It’s a fancy name for a fancy blouse, is all. General consensus on the web is that they’re named after cats wearing bows, much like the one here:

Where did this cat come from

Except most cats forget about the rest of the outfit and stick with a bow. Like this one:

Aristocat

 

Except, maybe just one bow. Oh, forget it, you try putting a bow on a cat. It’ll scratch your face off. Promise.

Anyway. Back to fashion.

These tied-up blouses, which might also be listed as “ascot blouses” or “secretary blouses,” cropped up in the late 40s and early 50s, and if you watch some old films you’ll notice that “bigger is better” was the general philosophy. The majority of bow blouses you’ll find in vintage shops today are from the 70s and early 80s, when these blouses made a major comeback. And surprise! Polyester all over the place.

Pussy bow blouses

The finest bow blouses, if I’m the one rustling through a box of them (and I recently have been), feel good. They might have a poly-cotton blend. I like blouses that are mostly cotton for the best bow-tying stability, but these aren’t all that frequent in my findings. So I take what looks and feels nice. Sort of like cats.

There are several ways to wear these blouses, mostly depending on how you like to tie your tie. If you dread tying your sneakers, you can loosely drape the tie in a messy knot that hangs down onto your chest. Leave a few top buttons undone to complete the sloppy-yet-ladylike look. My favorite method of tying the bow is to button up all the way, tie for a prominent knot, and skip all neck and ear accessories. They’re just not needed when you have a good bow.

Vintage pattern

Image via Vintage Fashion Library

 

Pussy bows are back at high and low price points, so keep an eye on the runways this week and next to see if you spot any. And remember that the vintage ones you find probably cost a lot less than the ones on the runway.

 

1 Comment

Filed under history, Vintage

One response to “A word about: Pussy bow blouses

  1. Pingback: 70s Clothing Trends You Can Wear Today « Sammy Davis Vintage

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