The bow tie – such an austere and archaic symbol; of gentlemanliness, breeding, decorum and ceremony. One of the biggest trends we have seen in 2011 is a resurgence of sharp, masculine tailoring and androgynous detailing. In stark contrast to the sex-bomb glamour of the 70’s revival and the ladylike luxe of Mad-Men-esque silhouettes, the trend is an excellent excuse to channel your inner tomboy and break out the suspenders, cufflinks and tuxedo detailing.
I’ve been a vintage bow tie collector for some time now (it being a natural extension of my love of big, bold bows) and have built up a smile-inducing little stockpile of ‘em. These images depict my personal favourites.
My absolute ultimate is what can only be described as the utopian navy blue velvet one. Although not strictly a genuine (it fastens with a catch), its shape is gentlemanly perfection, and the velvet couldn’t be more sleek or plush. Blue velvet’s brother (or sister, depending on my mood) is black velveteen – he/she has a slightly more pronounced shape, and an adjustable strap. I have put him/her to excellent use in various formats over the years – head band, waist belt, hip belt, etcetera.
The two polka dots, maroon and brown respectively, are the real deal, and they also happen to be 100% silk. I love the extra curvaceous shape of the classic black tuxedo bow tie. I am yet to achieve a genuine bow tie with it, but I sometimes wear it hanging loose around the neck of a white tuxe shirt. Oh so affected, but it makes me feel like morning-after cool.
I have taken to jazzing up dresses and blouses with the two velvets a lot more of late. But I would so love to be able to put the authentic, old-fashioned trio to better use. A guy friend of mine recently mastered the authentic bow tie for thes first and told me that it made him feel really good about himself; really manly. I think that that is pretty fitting.
With that being said, I found a bow tie tutorial to share with you, so that you, too, can tie your very own authentic bow tie. I was hoping to find a really hip line drawing of the whole tooting process, but unfortunately the most clear depiction I could find was a video featuring two dapper Southern gents.