1920’s Bow Neck Blouses

1920's Latest Style Smocks and Middies with Bow Necks

I’m kicking off this November month of the Bow Neck Blouse Sewalong with a selection of drawings of fashions from the 1920’s that have bows at their neck. All of the images are from Everyday Fashions of the Twenties as pictured in Sears Catalogs. I tend to think of 20’s fashion as being to obviously historical for me to be interested in incorporating them into my wardrobe, but as I looked for these pictures I had more and more thoughts about replicating some for myself! These first blouses were from an advertisement for Smocks and Middies, although I don’t know what the difference between a smock and a middie is. Anyone know?

1920's House Dresses with Bow Necks

These percale and gingham house dresses have small bows tied in contrasting ribbon below large collars. Doesn’t the simple bow nicely set off the doubled lace collar on the dress on the left? I’m actually pretty enamored with the left dress. Big functional pockets, decorative rows of buttons, piped waistband, what’s not to like?!

1920's Spring Skirts with Bow Necks

The bow neck blouses, featured in a skirt advertisement, both have large draping collars. The left is tied in a bow while the right has a simple, small bow tied in a contrasting color on top of the larger collar.

1920's Admiral Brand Sailor Tops

These Admiral brand Middy Blouses show off a naval influence in sailor blouses. You can find examples of sailor style tops coming out of almost any decade, but it’s certainly neat to compare different design details on a selection of very similar blouses all coming from the same time.

1920's New York Paris Dresses with Bow Necks

Several of these high fashion dresses inspired by New York and Paris feature large flounces at the neck, and I’m going to count them as bows :) These are from the late 20’s and you can see style elements that we typically associate with 30’s – they’re starting be a bit more form fitted, taking advantage of bias fabric. And look at those hemlines. You can almost see their knees!

1920's High School Miss Dresses with Bow Necks

This selection of dresses is market to the “High School Miss” and are made in junior sizes. The left two dresses feature very long bows, draping to the low waist, while the right two are a bit more subtle.

Stay tuned throughout the month for more inspiring bow neck blouses and dresses from other decades!

Comments 8

  1. These images are so cool and inspiring — thank you for sharing them! I’ve always loved sailor collars and bow necklines, as they are so classic.

  2. I love these! Especially the second image–it has a great late teens feel to it. To the best of my knowledge, middies are the loose sailor-type blouses. Smocks would be a more general term for any loose fitting blouse. So in the first image, the first three would be middies, the last a smock. Thanks for some great inspiration!

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  3. I’ve had the Jasmine pattern from Colette for awhile, now, but haven’t managed to make it up. I’ve signed up for the Red Velvet sewalong later this month, so I’m a little wary of committing to anything else since my sewing time is microscopic these days. But I really would like a Jasmine blouse so maybe I’ll at list try to get a muslin fitted by the end of the month. :)

  4. Great inspiration! I usually think of the 20’s as being too costumey too but some of these images look very wearable.

    Also according to the Fairchild Dictionary of Fashion a middy slips over the head & has a sailor collar. A smock buttons up the front or back & isn’t tucked in when worn.

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