The Amazing Tom sent me an article about Patrick McHenry and the history of bow ties in American politics. (Paywall alert.) It’s one of a number of articles about Mr. McHenry and his bow ties, almost all of which describe the bow tie as in one way or another bygone.
I really don’t understand why writers think like this. Ivy as a fashion has not only come back, it has surged back after the proclamation that it was dead. This getting it wrong thing is becoming cute. Remember when people said no one would dress for work anymore and then the Senate instituted a dress code?
I remember this study from Harvard where a criminologist student took data and created a causative link between pool deaths and the number of films Nicolas Cage is in. These are called spurious correlations. They are explained here. And they are really fun rabbit hole to go down if you have time. One such is the declaration that diet soda is bad for you (I am not saying it is or it isn’t) based on the correlation between drinkers of diet soda and health concerns. What that declaration does not take into account is the fact that diet soda is consumed by people trying to lose weight, and that overweight people have a multitude of health concerns anyway. And so forth.
You are gonna be tempted to write me: all I see are guys in tee shirts and jeans and flannels so that means Ivy is dead. I would urge you, and the writers of these articles, to consider please the cyclical nature of fashion. Fashion is an art form but it is also a sociological indicator. I grew up in Rhinebeck, NY in the 70’s. There, unless you were a lawyer or worked at IBM, you never wore a tie. And across the country, pants bottoms flared and shirts were unbuttoned. That didn’t mean that Ivy was dead (HELLO 80’s and 90’s!) it meant that where I was, at that time, there was less of it.
This is one of the reasons it is as important to look backwards as it is to look forwards. One cannot see cycles if one is only forward thinking. Is there something to this theory? Ivy hits its lane in the 50’s, then takes until the 80’s/90’s to come back full tilt, then kinda wanes then takes until the 2020’s to come back. Hold on, I will do the math… so every 30 or 40 years it booms and it remains constant for a percentage of the population in the interim.
Remember the Ivy Pie theory, first forwarded, well, I guess here. If 10 accountants out of 100 are wearing bowties, that’s 10%. Fast forward a bit. Now only 8 out of 100 are wearing bowties, but there are a gazillion more accountants. That doesn’t mean a decrease in accountants wearing bowties.
By the way you can get amazing bowties here. And should. They are a tremendous supporter of the site. We predicted the resurgence of Ivy and got that right, watch what happens with the bowtie.