Knotting shirts and blouses at the waist has been gaining in popularity over the last few years. You can achieve the look in two ways. Tie the two fronts of a regular shirt/blouse into a knot at the waist, leaving the front either buttoned or unbuttoned. Or, purchase a shirt or blouse that is supposed to be worn with a waist knot (the fronts are designed to tie so they cannot be worn like a regular shirt). 

Knotting has advantages:

  • Adds structure to a boxy garment
  • Shortens the length of a shirt
  • Shortens a long waist
  • Adds a casual vibe to an outfit
  • Provides a tucked or semi-tucked look sans the tucking
  • More comfortable than a structured jacket
  • Reveals skin
  • Looks retro

It also has disadvantages

  • Might reveal too much skin (unless you wear a camisole under the shirt or stick to layering over dresses)
  • Can look a little juvenile
  • Can feel uncomfortable and bulky
  • Looks fussy and untidy
  • Overly casual

I’ve heard mixed reactions from my clients when it comes to shirt knotting. Some are dead set against the look for the reasons mentioned above, while others are all for it. Those who are in favour tend to prefer to knot shirts and blouses over dresses to prevent skin exposure. Others prefer to wear waist knotted shirts with higher rise bottoms, again to prevent skin exposure. 

I don’t knot my shirts and blouses at the waist very often because I like to tuck my tops when I’m not wearing them un-tucked. It’s dressier and more polished that way, which works well for my style. But occasionally, I do the waist knotted thing for a casual and retro effect.

Do you ever knot your shirts and blouses at the waist?

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