Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt put bow ties in the sartorial spotlight. But while the legacy of these two great leaders lives on, the popularity of bow ties has faded.
Sporting a bow tie in broad daylight – or really anywhere other than a horse race — may seem the sole domain of uppity pricks. Donald Duck and the Cat in the Hat gave bow ties a comedic reputation, and Krusty the Clown didn’t exactly help the professionalism of bow ties either.
But you don’t need to attend a state school in the South to rock this neckwear. If you have the right amount of swagger, a bow tie can generate an effortless statement.
“Not that many people wear bow ties, so you stand out,” said Chad Yu, a family studies and human development sophomore, who’s a connoisseur of the neckwear. “I like to stand out and I like to be different.”
In further defense of bow ties, Yu said that they sit comfortably between of formal and casual wear. Bow ties lend a sense of refinement and personality, whereas ties can seem almost bland.
This shift toward expressiveness in menswear gives the finger to conformity. A well-tailored suit and tie will always stand the test of time, but bow ties are an original alternative to otherwise traditional neckwear.
Known for his dapper sense of style and alluring charm, “Gossip Girl”’s Chuck Bass is often seen in a bow tie with a matching pocket scarf. David Beckham, a man known for his sense of individualism, occasionally flaunts a skinny striped bow tie.
An instant conversation starter, bow ties hint at romanticism without being too stuffy. Like most ties, they also make it look like you’ve got your act together.
The more creative the fabric of your neckwear is, the more attention it will draw. Pure cotton or patterned bow ties offer a more casual look, an accessory that is acceptable for every day. Linen bow ties in pastel and summertime hues are as playful as they are versatile, and with the right amount of contrast in an outfit, they won’t come off as too preppy.
Bow ties are the quintessential mark of charm and personality. While this neckwear might be too dynamic for something like a job interview, it’s refreshing to see one sported at a sorority formal or fraternity weekender.
“I feel like a tie can be too formal,” Yu said. “I’m not going on a business trip; I’m not going to the office; I’m going to a dance. Bow ties are just the perfect thing.”