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Bow ties

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I'm just curious what people think of bow ties. I've been wearing them over the past year and think they might be the greatest thing since sliced bread. Not only do they draw the eyes toward your face but they leave the clean lines of the shirt free, especially on thinner guys. The only drawback, as I see it, is that people assume you're incredibly conservative if you wear one, though they'd be ignoring the strong history of Massachusetts liberals who wore them. If anyone is interested in a great site for getting very well made bow ties - check out:
post #2 of 24
Personally, I find them to be more of a gimmick these days but to each his own.
post #3 of 24
Not a gimmick at all, but rather a traditional standard that harkens back to the very roots of the tie itself. As for liberals who wore bow ties, try Sens. Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Paul Simon. There have been some recent threads on Ask Andy discussing the bow tie (see also the American Trad threads). I have some ties from Beau Ties, but prefer Hanauer. Ben Silver has some in their clearance section as does Land's End.
post #4 of 24
Love bow ties. In fact, I wear them less often than I'd prefer, because I don't want to seem like "the kind of guy who only wears bow ties". Lately I've been very fond of ties (bow and four-in-hand) from Seigo, in New York; they'll do pointy-ended bow ties for you on request, which is great.
post #5 of 24
I do like bow ties and wore them quite a bit in the late 80's/early 90's, but sadly I tired of wearing them because since they're worn so infrequently in our culture, they're conspicuous when they ARE worn. So unless they become your personal trademark (as with the late Senators Moynihan and Paul Simon) whenever you DO wear them, people you know invariably comment ("oh, a bow tie."). While the response was always positive, I just don't like my clothes calling overt attention to themselves. Prostestant conservatism or something... But having said that, maybe I'll wear one next week for the first time in years... just for the hell of it.
post #6 of 24
Walking down the street last night here in DC, I walked past a 30s age guy wearing a bow tie and a suit; he was accompanied by a beautiful leggy blond. Frankly, the preconceived notions all lead (led) to: money, well-educated, well-bred; urbane; living in Georgetown or other high-end area of town (not suburbs). The bow tie just stands out -- had he been wearing a regular tie or none at all, I'd have assumed, eh, just another couple 'a lawyers leaving the office at 9pm. Sure, some people think it means you're guaranteed to be a stiff, but then so does wearing a suit these days in some circles.
post #7 of 24
Actually, there are conservatives such as George Will and Tucker Carlson who wear bow ties as well. What they all share is a certain geeky image. If you ever somebody wear one in a movie, its trying to indicate this guy is a nerd. Nothing wrong with it per se. Different strokes for diff folks. To me, its like wearing an ascot or knickerbockers. Just doesn't seem to work in today's world.
post #8 of 24
A mentor of mine was advised me that "a bow-tie equals instant credibility"; I've always liked that idea. Still, I have repeatedly been advised not to wear one in front of a jury . . . a judge is okay, but not a jury.
post #9 of 24
A mentor of mine was advised me that "a bow-tie equals instant credibility"; I've always liked that idea.
My father (also an academic) always told me that he never trusted a man who wore a bowtie. It marks the wearer as affected and extremely self and class-conscious and not a man whose opinion was likely to be taken seriously. I'm not as vehemently against the bowtie (I think that it is the perfect complement to a dinner suit, for example) but in this day and age, it does make a definite, and not particularly flattering statement, about the wearer, IMHO.
post #10 of 24
I always find the reaction against the bow tie by sophisticated fashionistas interesting. I think it's because the bow does run counter to both the prevalent conformist uniform and the desire by some to be perceived as fashion forward. I find it intriguing that some would rail against, say, uniformity of dress in dance clubs, but seek to denigrate true individuality that speaks of tradition. Long live the bow tie.
post #11 of 24
I think that there is a very thin area between trying too little (the lame guy at the untucked striped shirt nightclub uniform) and trying too hard (the English prof who tries too hard to look like an English prof, the "ironic" mullet, the Euro-trash dudes with ripped, tight, Diesel jeans, D&G tanktops and Gucci shades). In most instances, I find that people who wear bowties fall into the latter category (Tom Wolfe, are you listening to me?), though there are, of course, exceptions. AlanC, you sound like one of those exceptions.
post #12 of 24
It marks the wearer as affected and extremely self and class-conscious and not a man whose opinion was likely to be taken seriously
LAGuy, Could you explain the comment about class conscious? I'm not sure what you're talking about here. I still think that they look ridiculous. But, then again, not everybody has to have the same tastes. But, when I see it, I think of a dandy, who's screaming for attention. I wonder if these same people would wear it if more people wore it, and so the novelty wore off.
post #13 of 24
I think the bowtie's heyday has come and gone. While I'm not sure I would go as far as LA Guy's father, I'd consider the wearing of a bowtie as an obvious affectation, like wearing a top hat or carrying a cane when one is not handicapped. Affectation is fine - but engaging in *obvious* affectation pushes one perilously close to Twitville, in my opinion. I suppose it remains, as always, a matter of whether you can pull it off. Paul Simon, mentioned above, was of a certain age, was a small-town midwesterner, was an academic and a "by cracky." journalist AND a populist politician, which automatically made him a twit, so for him it worked, if you get me.
post #14 of 24
It marks the wearer as affected and extremely self and class-conscious and not a man whose opinion was likely to be taken seriously
What I meant was that these clowns took their academic qualifications and positions *and* their associations with old money rather too seriously to garner any respect - the typical upperclass twit, with a Ph.D., or a Ph.D. who wants to be an upper class twit, however you like it.
post #15 of 24
The twits have it.
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