If you're a woman who likes to flair up an outfit with a bow-tie or a classic necktie, this menswear-chic look calls for some careful styling. After all, simply throwing a necktie over a tee shirt doesn't help a prepster tie or a bolo live up to its sartorial potential. So before you get yourself all tied up in knots over creative styling, start with some fashion-forward outfits that make the most out of your neck accessories.
If you have a preference for all things nostalgic, fashion an outfit with a nod to the 1970s. Start with a feminine blouse, from opaque silk to sheer rayon -- look for a button-front or pullover style that includes a tie-neck feature. Tie the extra neck material into a gentle bow. Or, if the blouse does not include a self-tie, create a bow by adding a satin ribbon beneath your collar. Pull on a pair of wide-leg or flared black trousers or dark-rinse jeans. Slide your feet into neutral platform pumps or wedges -- think black or nude -- and you're done.
In taking a more traditional approach to styling with a necktie, go for a menswear look but give it a modern kick. Start with a bold necktie -- think fuchsia-and-silver or lime-and-cobalt houndstooth or mini-dots. Add a black or white blouse and a pair of printed satin or twill pants or shorts, such as floral or paisley, in colors that work well with your tie. For example, a fuchsia-and-silver tie pairs well with a pair of deep purple and black pants. Slide your feet into black Oxfords, skipping the socks to complete your eclectic look.
Much like the idea of boys in shirts and ties at a prep school, creating an Americana look mimics that rugged charm with a casual vibe. Start with a pair of distressed, medium blue jeans in either a straight-leg or boyfriend-style silhouette. Pull on a pale blue or gray chambray button-front shirt, tucking the front into your jeans. Messily add a navy tweed necktie to your ensemble and slide your feet into dark-gray flats or wedge chukka boots -- adorable.
For someone whose style leans toward a preppy appearance with a modern sensibility, incorporate a sleek necktie into your posh daywear. For example, pull on a flounced black skirt with a white poplin shirt. Tuck the shirt and add a slim, lavender-hued satin necktie and a pair of black pumps -- this look works well for the office. (Apple bodies, leave a finished shirt untucked for a more flattering look.) Or, for more of an indie-chic approach, start with a light-hued shirt -- think mint green. Add a cropped navy cardigan and a pair of dark-rinse skinny jeans. Look for a tonal knit tie in a deeper vintage-inspired green hue. Pop your feet into a pair of taupe ankle booties with chunky heels. Add a chunky, menswear-style watch and some winged eyeliner if you have an extra minute or two.