How to Style a Tie-Neck Blouse | One Top, Five Ways!

Empty Nest Blessed by Suzy Mighell
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If you’re a woman over fifty, you probably remember the dress for success movement that ushered in the era of the tie-neck blouse back in the 70s. Well, it’s backkkk. Big time. It’s one of the hottest selling items this year, and those adorable 20- and 30-somethings are embracing it enthusiastically as something new and exciting! ????

If you want to amuse your daughters, let them know that back in 1976, when The Woman’s Dress for Success book became a best-seller, author John T. Malloy advised women who wanted to “move up in business” to wear tie-neck blouses with boxy navy-blue or gray skirt suits. Pants were deemed too sexy and inappropriate for the office. This will undoubtedly cause your daughters to die laughing. ???? And then you can take all of their tie-neck blouses for yourself. ????

Today I’m showing five ways to wear the versatile tie-neck blouse. It’s a must-have statement piece for every woman, for sure! If you checked out our 2021 Spring & Summer Style Guide, you know that any look that pops on Zoom is big right now. The tie-neck blouse fits the bill perfectly! Despite its innate girliness, it can be empowering but also feminine and flirty, depending on how you tie the bow.

1. How to Style a Tie-Neck Blouse: Easy, Breezy & Casual

For a casual look that you can pair with crops, ankle jeans, skinnies, or fitted slacks (like I did), leave the ties undone and hanging loose. If your tie-neck blouse has a shirttail hem, you can even leave it untucked or front tucked for a super casual look that would be perfect with slip ons, sneakers, or flat booties. Add some casual earrings to finish things off beautifully.

woman sitting on stairs wearing cabi suit and easy spirit loafer pumps

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2. How to Style a Tie-Neck Blouse: Low Bow

This casual style works with jeans or dressier pants, and you should think of the bow as a necklace. If your tie-neck blouse is a solid color, consider adding larger, statement earrings, but if your blouse is a print, stick with simple and classic earrings, as I did. For shoes, consider high-heeled mules, low-heeled mules, flat mules, or loafers. (These loafers have a collapsible heel so that you can wear them as either mules or loafers!)

Shop the Low Bow Look

3. How to Style a Tie-Neck Blouse: Old-Fashioned

Yep! This is the old-fashioned, dress-for-success way to style this blouse! It’s perfect for the office. Style this look with nice pants, pencil skirts, or dressy denim. Keep your earrings simple and classic and pair it with high or low heeled loafers, sandals, or pumps. I wouldn’t wear this style with blue jeans unless the top were more casual like this one.

Shop the Old-Fashioned Look

4. How to Style a Tie-Neck Blouse: Half Bow, Side Tie

This style is fresh and feminine! Start by making an “X” in the front, as I did in the first photo. Then cross one of the ties around the back and bring it to meet the other one over to the side where you want to tie your bow. The two ties will (obviously! ????) be different lengths. Don’t worry about that! Just tie a bow, as usual, using the longer tie to loop around the other. Once you have your (unsymmetrical) bow, pull the loop of the shorter tie through, so you have two tails and only one loop. This is called the half bow, and it’s a thanggg right now! The stylist I work with sometimes taught me how to do it, and I love it! Every time I wear it, people ask me how I did it. ????

Let the chic side bow do the talking by keeping the rest of your look simple and clean. Try it with dressy ankle pants, classic pumps (THESE feel great, ship/return free, and even come in wides!), or cute kitten heels. Stick to simple stud earrings.

Shop the Side Tie, Half Bow Look

5. How to Style a Tie-Neck Blouse: Back Tie

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Please note that this bow is supposed to be in the MIDDLE of the back of my neck! Operator error! Hahaha.

I love this look, but I’ll admit, I didn’t do a very good job of pulling it off in these photos! I didn’t have a mirror, and I forgot to ask my photographer if the bow was centered, so there you have it! ???? That being said, the back tie look is chic and dressy! I love the way it gives the effect of a choker in the front. The party is in the back, for sure, with a center-tied bow that oozes class. When you do this look, do a better job than I did by flattening out the ties in the front, and making smaller loops with longer tails in the back. (Also note that if you try to ask your husband for help with this, he will be utterly confused by the entire situation and basically feel that you are speaking a foreign language when you start explaining what you need from him. I’m not saying how I know this, but there it is. ????)

Wear this dressy look with a pencil skirt, dressy ankle pants, or trouser pants. Pair it with classic pumps or cute slingback heels. Since the ties make a choker look in the front, try some chunky hoops, geometric statement earrings, or tassel earrings.

Shop the Back Tie Look

laughing woman standing on one foot wearing animal print tie neck blouse

I hope you’ve learned a lot in this post! Tie-neck blouses are so feminine and versatile! Every woman needs at least one in her wardrobe! Unfortunately, the animal print one I used in this post to demonstrate how to style a tie-neck blouse is sold out. But we’ve gathered a bunch of new ones at the bottom of this post!

Here are a couple that I have in my closet right now.

Floral Tie-Neck Blouse | “Azalea” Pull-On Ankle Jeggings | Black Pumps | Earrings | Matte Lipstick (Transfer-Proof so it won’t rub off on your face mask!) | Silk Roses

woman wearing a target tie neck blouse with a black pencil skirt holding pink silk roses

Tie-Neck Floral Blouse (On clearance at Target!) |Black Pencil Skirt (from Spanx!)| Pink Opal Illusion Earrings | Silk Roses

I love this versatile floral tie-neck blouse! It’s from Target and the quality is amazing! It looks equally great with jeans, slacks, or skirts!

I’ve curated a boutique below of a wide variety of tie-neck blouses and dresses! I’ve got all kinds of styles, colors, and prices, so enjoy browsing! Click through on any image for more details or to shop.

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  1. I soooo remember these tie-tops!! I had several (there may still be one in the attic 🙂 in a box labeled ‘vintage’).
    The news ones are made with some extra and different dimension, which is really nice! Thanks for the fun new ways to tie the ties, super cute! As always, you’ve gone the extra mile to show us how to look our best!!

    1. Cynthia

      Haha! Your comment made me laugh out loud! Vintage! It’s true, right?

      So glad you found the post helpful! Feel free to share it with the millennial in your life who thinks she invented the trend!!


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