Tie One On for Easter…
As men’s clothier Jack Freedman told the New York Times, wearing a bow tie is a notable characteristic for the individual. It is a “statement maker” that identifies a person as an individual. And to quote K. Cooper Ray, the GQ anointed bow-tie guy, “Where else can a man be a peacock? It’s one of the only ways to add whimsy to a man’s wardrobe, so why not have a touch of that go-to-hell preppiness?”
Many bow tie fans include politicians such as Winston Churchill, Abe Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt and journalists like Charles Osgood, Gene Shalit and Tucker Carlson. Some comedians, entertainers and singers who are recognized as bow ties wearers are Charlie Chaplin, Groucho Marx, Fred Astaire, Jerry Lewis, Andre “3000” Benjamin and even PeeWee Herman. And this is not to mention the countless number of grandfathers, fathers, sons and brothers here in the South that have long been sporting this gentlemanly look at work, school, church and play.
The history of the bow tie began during the Prussian wars of the 17th century. Croatian mercenaries would wear colorful scarves around their necks to, among other things, denote rank and distinguish officer from enlisted man. The French, who were fighting alongside the Croats, were mightily impressed with this fashion innovation, and took the idea back home with them eventually adopting it as their own. The resulting neck adornments were called ‘cravats’, and became quite the rage among the upper crust of French society in the 18th and 19th centuries. Whether or not these cravats first spawned the bow tie, and then the straight tie, or the other way around is not known. What is most likely, is that they evolved together and concurrently and the bow tie was born.
And bow ties are here to stay. Hotter than ever and with many brands on the market, a world record was broken in August at National Bow Tie Day held at Wrigley Square with a nod to the stylish young men on Southern college campuses and their role in the trend.
Long spotted traditionally on SEC campuses, students across the nation participated in National Bow Tie Day which was held in Chicago’s Wrigley Square, where The Tie Bar hosted the Guinness World Record-setting attempt for the most people tying a bow tie at the same time.
For some good-looking bow ties:
For a printed tutorial on how to tie a bow tie, click here.
For a video tutorial on tying a bow tie, click here.
Read more about K. Cooper Ray and the GQ post here.