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Bow ties

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Navy09, Sep 30, 2004.

  1. Navy09

    Navy09 Member

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    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: http://www.beautiesltd.com/default.aspx
     
  2. november

    november Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I find them to be more of a gimmick these days
    but to each his own.
     
  3. AlanC

    AlanC Senior member

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    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.
     
  4. jester

    jester Senior member

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    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.
     
  5. Leo Jay

    Leo Jay Senior member

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    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.
     
  6. kabert

    kabert Senior member

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    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.
     
  7. esquire.

    esquire. Senior member

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    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.
     
  8. TCN

    TCN Senior member

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    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.
     
  9. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    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.
     
  10. AlanC

    AlanC Senior member

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    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.
     
  11. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    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.
     
  12. christian

    christian Senior member

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    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.
     
  13. UncleFes

    UncleFes Member

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    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.
     
  14. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    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.
     
  15. UncleFes

    UncleFes Member

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    The twits have it.
     
  16. AlanC

    AlanC Senior member

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    I think one generally defines "affectation" as "something I'm not willing to wear." However, wearing bow ties in no way equates with carrying a cane or wearing a top hat. I would simply point to the fact that there are several companies that readily offer bow ties, including "mainstream" brands: Brook Bros., Talbott, Land's End, Ben Silver, Hanauer, Beau Ties, Bow Tie Club, Carrot & Gibbs. You may not like bow ties (clearly you do not), and you may think them fuddy-duddyish, which is fine. I'm sure you would consider much in my life that way (my politics would probably scare you to death). But they are part of traditional attire that have their place for this with the willingness to wear them. AlanC, M.A. (sorry, no PhD [​IMG] )
     
  17. christian

    christian Senior member

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    There's no reason to be so defensive. But, it seems hypocritical to defend bow ties while implying that top hots or canes are somehow a 'affectation.' I'm sure the dandys who carry a cane could also use similar logic, and point out 'mainstream' brands that also sell such items. Its funny that you included a company such as Bow Tie Club in such a list. It would be as if a defender of canes mentioned how Cane co. sells canes. Thus, canes are acceptable.

    I'm not arguing that bow ties were once part of traditional attire. But, then again, so were ascots, canes, and top hats.

    It just seems unnecessary how you denegrate a cane, but somehow insist that bow ties are somehow different. If I see someone who carries a cane, more likely than not, he's also wearing a bow tie.
     
  18. TCN

    TCN Senior member

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    I agree that a bow-tie can be a cry for attention, but so can a loud tie . . . and that fails to raise most eyebrows. I just happen to like the way bow-ties look. Also, I'm about to send a package of slightly soiled long ties to Tie-Crafters for cleaning. I hate having to do this, and it's not as if I'm a slob . . . but soup happens. [​IMG] (sorry)
     
  19. AlanC

    AlanC Senior member

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    I don't (and didn't) denigrate the carrying of canes or wearing of top hats (just see my avatar). I'm just saying they are not in the same level of general use as bow ties. The point of my list was the vibrant bow tie market. Clearly there are companies that sell canes and top hats. I somehow doubt there is quite as big a market for them. The companies I list are not money losing hobbies for their owners, but clearly they find it profitable to make and sell bow ties. People must be buying them. I find it not a great leap to think they might actually be wearing them. Bow Tie Club is not a secret society, but simply a web based business selling bow ties, which taken with the others, points to that vibrant market. Fuddy-duddy twits or not, there seem to be a lot of them. I am defending the bow tie, although I deny being defensive. This thread was started (not by me) to "Recover the bow tie", an idea that met with subsequent hostility ("twits" anyone?) from some quarters for some reason. As an unabashed bow tie wearer I rise to its defense. I continue to find the hostility the bow ties engenders among certain people here odd. I generally attribute it to a desire to appear as sophisticates. Bow ties are at least as acceptable as braces.
     
  20. UncleFes

    UncleFes Member

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    AlanC, let me assure you that I meant no personal offense, nor do I have any hostility, as such, towards those who wear bowties. If I have implied as much, I apologize. I was simply stating my personal opinion on the bow tie, albeit admittedly with a bit of wisecrackery. Whether or not I am trying to appear as a sophisticate, however, is my own business [​IMG]
     

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