Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Bow Tie Trend

So...apparently women wear bow ties now. Nice.

My earliest memory of the bow tie is of my favourite childhood comedian Pee Wee Herman wearing one. So if anything, when I picture the bow tie I think about eccentricity and cheeriness; two very good attributes, don’t you think? However, I also can’t leave out my love for Indiana Jones and how fetching Harrison Ford was as a professor. Ding dong! 

The bow tie has represented various types of characteristics over the decades. Warren St. John of the New York Times writes, “A list of bow-tie devotees reads like a Who's Who of rugged individualists”. There’s even a page on Wikipedia entitled List Of Bow Tie Wearers, which features mostly distinguished, talented, brilliant men; no women, unfortunately. But this is changing.

Heroes such as Sinatra, Fred Astaire and Bogart gave the fashion accessory a sense of swagger, style and confidence. Since the 70’s it has had more of a nerdy or geeky association. Lately I’ve noticed that hipsters tend to favour the bow tie look. And I do have a touch of the hipster in me. I’m going to admit that. But I didn’t Instagram my breakfast this morning, even though it was damn delicious.

Since they’ve been around since the 17th Century, to wear one is to recognize that you are “part of an age-old and venerable fashion tradition”, although today you can get bow ties in a huge variety of fabrics, colours and patterns. It can also be just the right accessory to complete an otherwise boring outfit.

I find it a wonderfully nostalgic and charming trend, and what I adore about it is that it’s not a new concept, but it’s refreshing because people have forgotten about it.

The idea of wearing a bow tie first popped into my head while watching Drew Barrymore in Going The Distance. Doesn’t she look positively stunning and chic?

I went out the next day and bought a black bow tie from a men’s wear shop. I had never seen a bow tie on a woman before and it kind of made my heart skip a beat. In the past year we’ve seen a flurry of women in this look. Rhianna and Janelle Monae spring to mind.

I have to admit, I am totally in love with this trend. It’s especially worth trying it now, while the weather is still cool in Australia. Frustratingly, I don’t have many dress shirts to wear them with, so I’ll be on the prowl for those. For now, here's my favourite one. It's red, and it's leather. Who could ask for more?

 Bow tie: Dangerfield
Shirt/Jumper: Savers Op Shop, Nourlunga



Bows 'n Ties. 2010. History of Bow Ties. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 01 August 12].

GQ, Glen O'Brien. 2012. Why a bow tie's not just for schmucks Read More [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 06 August 12].

New York Times, Warren St. John. 2005. A Red Flag That Comes in Many Colors . [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 06 August 12].

Saturday, August 4, 2012

A Pep Talk For The Peplum


 Picture taken from ASOS

Jess Cartner-Morley of the Guardian writes, “A peplum won’t make you look thin. Men don’t find it sexy.” Of course, these are the last words a girl wants to hear, especially me, a plus sized girl who just bought my first peplum dress. Up until last month, I had no idea what a peplum was.

A peplum, for those of us who are new to the concept, is a short overskirt or ruffle attached at the waistline of a jacket, blouse or dress. It became stylish in the forties, especially on jackets, to accentuate an hourglass figure, and then made a comeback in the eighties. Designer Jason Wu’s pink peplum dress, released early this year, has brought fresh vigor and interest to the style. I popped onto ASOS the other day and there was even a peplum link under “Trends”.

Weeks prior to knowing any of this, I purchased a vintage red dress on Etsy. And yes, it has a peplum. A few weeks later my housemate bought the latest Cosmo with Miranda Kerr on the cover, and as I was flicking through it during a Masterchef ad on telly, I open to a page filled with peplums. Peplums, peplums, peplums! My eyes lit up. “My Etsy dress has one of those peplum things!” The caption on the page read, “The style that suits everybody…it may be an 80s classic, but it’s also this season’s hottest look.” Then I felt smug. So, so, so smug that I had bought a peplum dress before I even knew what it was or that it had made a comeback.

I put the dress on with my widest black belt. My boyfriend, usually skeptical of vintage fashion, looked me up and down and said, “rowr.” 

Dress: Etsy
Necklace: Etsy
Belt: City Chic
Shoes: Dr. Martens

What I adore about this style is that the pencil skirt of the dress, which would ordinarily show the shape of my tum, is covered by the peplum, but you can still see a nice curve of bottom. It accentuates the smallest part of your waist and then lets go where you want it to. Cartner-Morley’s advice is that, “If wearing a peplum, the kindest point for your skirt to end is at the knee, or just below, where your leg shape narrows”. Tick, tick, dear dress.

I wore that frock proudly down Rundle Street the following week. I loved wearing that dress. I felt good.

As Cartner-Morley continued her peplum analysis, she ends her article by concluding that, “…we are not timid, and not cowed by the notion that a trend might not make us look our absolute thinnest. Peplums are the new normal. And that’s brave.” I love that. I appreciate flattering clothes, but sometimes that idea can get in the way of taking risks and trying new styles.

If someone were to ask me why I started this blog and why the focus on fashion, I think I would say that a good outfit can help you feel empowered in your femininity. And confidence is sorely lacking in many women today. But I have certain ideas about what makes a good outfit. For me, it has to be instinctual (although sometimes that instinct has to be developed because we’re not all born with “good taste”). It has to be edgy. It’s not about seeing an outfit in a magazine and thinking, “I want to look exactly like that”; it’s about making it your own. Attention to detail (an accessory, or simply fresh nail polish can make all the difference). And it has to be risky. I see it as a good sign if I walk out my front door feeling a little nervous.

So…be brave :D