Sorry boys, but it’s about time girls had the spotlight shone on their neckwear. And though we won’t be donning ties fit for a fraternity reunion anytime soon, we’re excited to doll up our collars. These easy, DIY tweaks take less than 30 minutes each — and some don’t even require sewing. All breathe life into otherwise dull workwear you already own. “If you get bored with something, don’t throw it out. Just add a little something to it,” says Ginger Root Designs co-founder Kristen Swenson, whose U Street shop stocks femme bowties. “Even if you have an Ann Taylor wardrobe, have fun with different neckwear or collars.” And because these styles shift easily from cubicle to corner bar, you’ll always be neck and neck with the guys.
What looks like a relic you picked up as a horse-handler at a Texas dude ranch is really a basic denim snap-down with two decorative brass corners ($6 for four, Logan Hardware, 1416 P St. NW; 202-265-8900) hammered onto the tips.
Love the look of old clip-on earrings but worried they’ll slip off your lobes? Dab glue on the earring-side and tack them, like we did with this pair from Treasury ($17, 1843 14th St. NW; 202-506-6908), to the tips of a fave vintage shirt.
All the Trimmings
Not all button-up updates need be drastic. A thin trim of monochrome beads ($12 per yard, M & J Trimming) loop-stiched to the edge of a pink blouse curbs the garment’s boldness. The resulting top looks demure paired with a pencil skirt.
Studs, Not Duds
A simple silk shirt gets ready to party when you stitch or glue a gold-colored plastic pyramid trim ($10 per yard, M & J Trimming) around the entire collar. We imagine your hip fifth-grade teacher wore something similar after hours.
Just Bead It
Not for the faint of art, this style requires some dexterity. Choose beads in the same color (we love red against preppy black gingham) and thread them randomly one by one ($22, Beadazzled, 1507 Connecticut Ave. NW; 202-265-2323).