There’s No Wrong Way to Wear a Ribbon

Except, you know, the way that is wrong.


I have been told on a number of occasions that I maintain the symptoms of a disorder that is prominently evident in toddlers. The name of this disorder has yet to be determined but the details include the process of receiving a gift and finding greater interest in the accoutrements that festoon the gift vis-a-vis the gift itself

Consider this prime example: a shiny white package, tied neatly with a long, red satin ribbon lands at my doorstep, right? Rather than race through that ribbon to see what’s inside of the concealed, sacred box, I stop short immediately after divorcing the wrapping from said box to marvel instead at how pristine and lovely and multifunctional this slender piece of lush cloth is.

I can wear it around my neck like a choker, or my wrist like a bracelet, or my upper arm like a blood pressure device and that’s not it. Said ribbon also moonlights as a hair tie that makes me feel like Sandra Dee if Ms. Dee had expressed a penchant for shoes that could be mistaken for dead cockroaches.


But wait! That’s still not it. You are always cutting me off.

The ribbon could also be used to harken back to the spirit of Saint Laurent’s debut collection with its floppy, rich bows. Granted, in this iteration, they’re considerably paltrier. It can also masquerade itself as a makeshift belt. One that, when paired with the proper jacket, might actually cause an onlooker to confuse you for Emmanuelle Alt (provided that this onlooker is either legally blind or at least an astigmatism carrier), otherwise it will make your waist look fancy and trim in an otherwise boxy and decidedly long jacket.

And when the opportunities appear so manifold (it can function as a headband when Coachella is on your horizon and you are an idiot), so diverse, so open to constructive criticism and ready to act accordingly, who really cares what’s in the box anyway, right?


Atea jacket, Everlane blouse, Isabel Marant Étoile pants and clear framed non-functional eyeglasses by Charlotte Ronson, which make me feel like a wonderfully kooky gardener from the depths of 1970 SoHo, named Suz. 

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  • you are amazing! Love that last picture, love to put ribbon on my wrist,too!

  • Une petite Bruxelloise

    Pants are great, jacket is greater, the ribbon inspiration is the greatest! Also around the ankle in summer time or around the thigh garter-like!

  • zhanna

    You made me laugh Leandra, you can be so funny 🙂 I love the ribbon idea, I think there is something very charming about it. I have mostly seen it worn with a white shirt as a bow around neck.

  • 🙂 Love it, really beautiful and exciting!

    Funny, though … I have been looking for a broader black ribbon to sew onto the edges I intend to create by cutting off half the sleeves and possibly the thicker lower edge off this jacket … You know, to wear it as a blouse, with s statement necklace 🙂

  • Lisa Lou

    Just great! Love the ribbon on the waist. Great inspiration! bisou, LisaLou

  • Natalie Ast

    I’ve always been obsessed with riboons! It started with ballet, when I dreamed of having ribbons on my ballet shoes, which I later found out were pointe shoes – aka the most cruel torture device. Later, I would put my hair in ribbons, copying Violet Baudelaire from Lemony Snicket’s miserable book series. I love how you’ve worn it as a belt, and with the 90s back in full swing, I might start wearing ribbon chokers again. xo, Natalie

  • I’m impressed with your bow tying skills and your ability to diagnose so many syndromes. FASHION DOCTOR! You could also make your sneakers look real FAWNCY by replacing the laces with the ribbon.

  • Ella

    I get teased as the red ribbon girl at work!

  • lavieenliz

    you’re right. I love the bow tie!!

  • Nico

    I really love wear ribbons, usually with a shirt!

    Casual look with mannish pants and sneakers on lowbudget-lowcost Fashion Blog

  • Androbel

    HAHA you are too funny and amazing.

    love what you can do with a simple strap of fabric. love it tied around the blazer!

    Xo, Belen

    Androbel Insider

  • I like it as a belt, on the wrist and in the hair, beautiful!

    Mafalda ❤

  • Kristen

    When I was younger, my sister and I had a dress-up box in which there was, among many things, a long, thin, red scarf that we would wrap around our feet and shins like a ballerina (and proceed to point or toes and prance around the the living room)

  • i feel like ribbons are often overlooked as an accessory choice but their versatility offers so many options as you have depicted. not only do they look adorable but in a pinch they can act as a substitute for shoelaces, or a bookmark for a paperback that you rather die than dog-ear, or can serve as a quick embellishment for your grandmother’s blah birthday card. The possibilities are nearly infinite!

  • monkeyshines
  • reversecommuter

    SO totally got the Saint Laurent vibe. Funny, up to now I hadn’t realized I too may be victim to said affliction.
    Coachella + idiot = SNORTING with laughter!

    xo reversecommuter

  • Jhake Pinasen

    Just plain Genius

  • Yes! I need to wear a ribbon under my collar like that. I’ve thought about doing it before (mostly while watching old western movies), but I always seem to forget about it.

  • I fear that if I tried the bow around the neck version, I’d end up looking like Colonel Sanders.

  • Kiri Yanchenko

    you really are too funny. I love the shot of you with your sunglasses in your mouth/gums.

  • Love dis lewk. Been really into ribbons and bows lately, too. Mainly just because they add something to the outfit that is just a little extra. I think the neckline often goes underrepresented, and being able to showcase it is kind of nice.

  • Oliver Lips

    You look very smart with your ribbon!

  • Amanda

    How about a-la Isabel Marant Spring 2014?

  • ALF

    Would love to know what size Atea jacket Leandra is wearing in these photos. I really want to buy it, but always have trouble figuring out my own size in jackets when ordering online. The reference would be very helpful. Thanks!

  • LilyP

    WHO doesn’t want to wear the RIBBON?!!

  • Iga eS

    amazing pictures ! 😀 and this little ribbon soooo cute.

  • Kelly’s Gross-o

    If you could do a post on how you do that perfect half cuff-y casual blazer/button-down folding dealio you’ve got going on just below your elbows I would be over the moon.

    Better yet– a post on your casual cuffing in general. Please, cuff master, I beseech thee!

  • Tessa

    The glasses, the jacket… I’m dying. You’re perfect as per usual.

  • Sylvie

    Great post!

  • FeministFatal

    Ahhhh! Those pants! So fierce! I feel super inspired to play with some ribbons. Love your funny expressions, not giving a fuck is so glamorous!

  • Avery

    You look like a really chic Sherlock Holmes with that “lush piece of cloth” tied around your waist.

  • I love the versatility of ribbons. The only one I’m not behind is the choker looking thing, would be waaaaay to constricting for me.

  • Hmm the ribbon inspiration is pretty darn great! I especially want to try it around my wrist. 😀

  • Kara* Picard

    Love each pic!

  • Ellis Burgin

    Ribbons are awesome. SJP loves them so it’s just a fact. x