Bow Way, Bow How

Though many associate the bow neck trend with the current first lady’s bright pink Gucci blouse of choice for an October 2016 presidential debate, my mind goes to a different time frame.

The year 2000. A different presidential election with much more {relatively} palatable candidates, George W. Bush versus Al Gore, monopolized the headlines. Pop culture-wise, Charlie’s Angels starring Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu, and Drew Barrymore was a major trend driving force that autumn. To capitalize on the franchise revival, TV Land aired the OG series around the clock. I distinctly remember taking half of the day off of school after a dentist appointment and drifting off into the nap in the middle of a Charlie’s Angels marathon.

The costume designers outfitted the original girl power trinity, Farrah, Jaclyn, and Kate, in copious bow neck blouses. The trend can be traced back farther. I think the costume designer must have been inspired by Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis’ style as I have found historic photos of the iconic first lady in which she is wearing the trend.

Along with an updated razor-cut Farrah Fawcett-inspired feathered ‘do and the metal chain belt (DO YOU REMEMBER THE CHAIN BELT? ANYONE?! I distinctly recall the Banana Republic Factory Store that I worked at in high school carrying them and the guy who brought me to my Junior prom who also worked at BRFS encouraged me to purchase one, albeit I resisted.), the bow neck blouse was pushed on consumers during the autumn of 2000. It was in every magazine and in every store and there was nothing anyone could do to avoid it. Not that I did not like it! I remember advising a friend from high school to buy and wear a hot pink knit shirt adorned with a bow on a date.

Trends are cyclical and the bow blouse is officially back. Not that I ever cared about the trend being “out.” I still love the bow neck blouse so much that I purchased a 2009 Milly version off the secondary market circa 2016 and wore it all the damn time, including on the blog. Bow blouses are back and the ones below are proof.

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