August 28th seems like an odd day of the year to dedicate to the wearing of bow ties. It’s summer, when many are trying to avoid ties if at all possible. And everyone’s preparing for the long weekend, if not already somewhere coastal or tropical.
Yet tomorrow is indeed National Bow Tie Day. Consider this your 24-hour notice (perhaps R. Hanauer, who operate bowties.com, can overnight you one).
It’s also the perfect excuse for a poll. Come on, tell us how you really feel. — CC
There’s always been a smile and/or warm glow inducing something about them that one cannot deny. But I’d still never wear one, formally attired for dinner excepted, of course.
Tomorrow I will wear a bow tie from R. Hanauer!
And on August 16 I wore, to my high school reunion, a Polo RL spencer bow tie in the school colors of Red & Blue!
I bought a cheap bow on a whim just so I could try it out. I’ve probably watched 5 different “how to tie” videos, and have yet to be able to do it. I’m convinced that only powerful wizards are able to actually tie the damn things.
Female here. Husband only wears black tie with formal attire. I tie ut for him. Nothing sexier than the tie undone at the end of the party. Black tie only, none of those other colors. They look silly.
As a white guy in the South, I do try to be careful; a bow tie can send unintended messages here. I only wear them to parties that are clearly festive occasions. Not to academic or community functions where they might be read as symbols of nostalgia for the old regime. In the rest of the country, though — sure, go for it. They’re practical, too — compared to long ties, they’re so much less likely to get soup spilled on them.
BTW, I got my first bow tie when, just after college, I got a job as a tour guide at Monticello. I bought it at a thrift store in Charlottesville, then walked down to Eljo’s (in the old location on the Corner) and asked them to show me how to tie it — which they did, because they were gentlemen.
At least all those ill attired “celebrities” should learn to tie one to wear on the red carpet with their ill-fitting dinner jackets.
@ Richard Meyer
And while doing so should get their pants hemmed at the correct length too. Nothing more unsightly than pants gathering folds at the ankle. Once I bought a lightweight wool suit in L.A. The salesperson gave me one size too small, thought it looked great, but I demurred; and she hemmed the pants about four inches too long. I went to a tailor to get them fixed.
Pee Wee Herman!!!
My father wore a bow tie to work every day. I had never seen him wear a long tie except in pictures, taken before I was born. When he retired he had several hundred of them.
It takes a real man to wear a bow tie. Like GTH pants, a bow tie separates men from wussies.
There is NO inappropriate occasion to wear a bow. From formal to casual cocktails- BOW UP!
I completely agree, RJG. I bought some grey flannels at Brooks in San Francisco and asked the tailor for no break. The salesman said, “Oh, that’s right. You guys on the east coast like your trousers shorter than the rest of us.”
Please let’s not put bow ties and GTH trousers in the same category.
Bow ties are old school ivy, GTH trousers are not.
In Boston and New England, bow ties are mostly worn by Yankees, Wasps from the old families or wannabes. Irish lads often will take strong exception, usually after a few drinks. A former mayor and ambassador from Southie was of that ilk and always made his displeasure known to me. In New York, nobody cares most of the time. However, it is better not to wear one if you are in sales, for you want your client to like you, regardless.
When the correct roll vanished from Brooks OCBDs in the early 80s, many switched to the bow.
I love them, but they’re not for everyone. I avoid wearing too many, no one wants to be known as “the bow tie guy”.
Keep trying. Tying a bow tie will just come to you with practice, like riding a bike.
As I write, I am wearing a blue foulard bow, with a blue OCBD, and a SB blazer with khakis. Really classic comfortable, I think. In the early 1970’s, bows tried to make a comeback, with questionable results. I think I commented how my late maternal aunt (a wonderful lady) must have bought a bunch on clearance back then. She gave me bow ties for birthdays and Christmas for years. I still have a few..
I recall reading years ago, that college English professors, lawyers, and architects could successfully wear bows. Something about the creativity of those occupations. Others like CPA’s, wear at your own risk. I think a bigger guy ( I’m 6’3″) can wear a bow tie more successfully than a little guy. Pee Wee Herman would not get as much credibility as Edward Herrmann.
Happy National Bow Tie Day!
I wear them occasionally. I don’t see anything Yankee, old money, intellectual or aristocratic about them. We forget that at one time almost everyone required to wear a tie that worked with their hands or were around machinery wore bow ties. I remember butchers, gas station attendants, factory management and milkmen wearing them.
It’s 2014 man. Our African-American brethren are a little more concerned about policemen wearing combat armor than are with Southerners wearing bow-ties.
In the time that I knew him, one of my grandfathers only wore bow ties (the other grandfather 50/50). I never saw him in a four-in-hand until I found some pictures from the ’20s. I like them from time to time at a cocktail party.
They can work if you have a 28 inch waist and can actually see your abs. For the rest of us, they simply say to the world, “Hey, look at my fat pod. BTW, I’m not sexually competitive either and if you want to beat the crap out of me, go ahead.”
I stopped wearing bow ties about 5 years ago after they got popular with the Frat-KJP-Douhce-Prep wannabe crowd. Side note: IMHO, they only look good on someone with a thin face. If you’re overweight, don’t go there.
It’s 2014 man. Louis Farrakhan may disagree with you on bow ties. Secondly, African-Americans consistently vote for the party of “free stuff” and big government. Big government almost always results in militarised civil police. It’s interesting that the media and the left suddenly developed a problem with the militarisation civil police forces, something libertarians and the right have been criticising for three decades.
Butchers, gas station attendants and milkmen wore clip-on solid black or (less frequently) navy blue bow ties.
New England aristocrats, college professors, architects, etc. knew how to tie bow ties. The fabrics were neats or reppes. Many of us still wear them as a revolt against flip-flops, GTH pants, etc.
@gantshirt re: “sexually competitive.”
I tend to agree. Unless the bow is being worn by one of @Ethan’s testosterone-fuelled frat crowd.
I wear them but only from time to time and much, much less often than I used to. I think they’re best when loosely tied, like Mr. Churchill. The more gravitas you have the more likely you are to pull it off. George Will was able to do it even at a young age because of his erudition. He doesn’t wear them much any more it seems to me because of the “bow tie effect,” which I’d describe as “wear one once and you’re marked for life.” Yes, the bow tie, should you choose to wear one, presents an intricate maze to navigate.
Thank you for begetting a mirthful smile; they’re becoming ever more endangered these repressive days.
“A list of bow-tie devotees reads like a Who’s Who of rugged individualists”
@ Minimalist Trad.
But it still don’t make ’em cool, baby!
Cool is how you carry it.
Yes, but some things lend themselves to carrying better than others.
True, if everyone was cool, would cool exist?
Abe Lincoln and Einstein both wore bow ties, obviously pretending to be old money yankees. 😉
I like ’em at holiday parties and when telling the townsfolk about trouble right here in River City.
In the South, the bow tie has hung on for years, and has, in fact, had a renaissance. What better for garden or beach cocktail parties, gin and tonic in-hand, with a seersucker suit and rolled up pants. Best worn by those who “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”
I wear one every day at work and on Sunday’s. I often show off by tying them without looking in the mirror, good way to win a beer bet. Classy, conservative, old school, new school, and you don’t get gravy on them.