Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Knot a Bowtie!

They say “never trust a man wearing a bow tie” however I am inclined to do just the opposite. Being a wearer of bow ties myself I consider myself to be one of the most trustworthy people I know! Delving into the meaning of this phrase was a little frustrating and I could not come up with a reasonable explanation. The explanations that did come to light I am not going to record on Savoir Faire as I will let my readers investigate for themselves.

As with my previous post on Bowlers, here is a little history on this staple of my wardrobe.
The bow tie originated among Croatian mercenaries during the Prussian wars of the 17th century: the Croat mercenaries used a scarf around the neck to hold together the opening of their shirts. This was soon adopted (under the name cravat, derived from the French for "Croat") by the aristocracy in France and thus flourished in the 18th and 19th centuries.

It is uncertain whether the cravat then evolved into the bow tie and necktie, or whether the cravat gave rise to the bow tie, which in turn led to the necktie.

Now we have all worn a bow tie at some stage in our lives, whether as a child, to our high school formal or to a wedding. I remember the huge dark blue velvet number I wore to my high school formal which seemed to have eclipsed everything in sight.

Public opinion equates the bow tie with formal evenings and weddings. Now however I notice the opposite. Neckties are slowly encroaching into the foothold that bowties held in this area, and bowties are venturing into day to day wear.

After a hiatus of about 30 years I have taken to wearing them again. Inspired by the Lanvin bowties available from H&M last year (of which I finally hunted one down on ebay), I cannot seem to get enough of them now. I am still having trouble tying my own and must confess I do have some ready tied ones; however I am not going to get into the argument of self tied against ready tied.

Warren St John of the New York Times wrote “To its devotees the bow tie suggests iconoclasm of an Old World sort, a fusty adherence to a contrarian point of view. The bow tie hints at intellectualism, real or feigned, and sometimes suggests technical acumen, perhaps because it is so hard to tie. Bow ties are worn by magicians, country doctors, lawyers and professors and by people hoping to look like the above. But perhaps most of all, wearing a bow tie is a way of broadcasting an aggressive lack of concern for what other people think."

Does the wearer perceive himself as the embodiment of intellectuality or eccentric? Or both?
Whatever the reasons for wearing a bowtie these days, the item is experiencing something of a comeback with men, for a variety of reasons. From young hipsters who disdain conventionality to the man about town, they are now available in all shapes and sizes from a variety of retailers.

And to travel with your bow ties? The ultimate accessory from Goyard!

If wearing a bowtie is not ‘your thing’ there is no reason you cannot use them as below and bring a bit of the savoir faire into everyday life.


  1. I love wearing them and have done so on-and-off for years.

    As The Father of The Bride this coming June 25, I will be wearing one.

  2. Dandy!
    Love the gift wrapping idea, David!

  3. I do so love a good bow tie. used to be proficient at tying them too, but sadly out of practice now.

    that first image is gorgeous!

  4. I have been trying to get my husband to wear a bow tie for YEARS!

  5. David, I love a man in a bow tie, and I do think he is one with a persoanlity that says I am my own man, breaking out of the box so to speak!

    Art by Karena

  6. I too love a bow tie... Who said you can't trust a man in a bow tie? Silly. The question is what about a girl in a bow tie? I was thinking about trying to rock it and be all cutsie. Hmmm?

  7. I
    loveLOVElove this post !!

    You've just solved my dilemma as to what to give
    Mr. T for his birthday. Wish I could go for an
    entire collection presented in the Goyard -


  8. Great topic for a post. As fewer men wear neckties, the bowtie seems to be all that much rarer. It took me forever to figure out how to tie them, and if I don't do so for a few months, I forget how. As proportions change, I think I like them a bit more generously scaled (but not too much) the way they were in the 70s. They are already a small thing, and I think they look bolder and make a stronger statement when larger.

    I won't wear one just anywhere because I do think they're viewed as a touch eccentric or foppish (but only in Canada...in the U.S. it seems to be a Boston/ Harvard Brahmin thing).

    Any man who has aspirations to being sophisticated or even James Bond-ish should know how to tie one, because even if you don't wear it for day, it really is the only right thing for a tuxedo (in spite of the black neckties with tux look at the Oscars).

  9. The sexy bowtie...


  10. i have a few old clip ons. i've worn them, but
    bemoan the fact that i look like a goofy old professor.

  11. Bruce, Congratulations!

    Norma, get out the bedazzler and give them some savoir faire!

    MrSWF, loved that video. Very sexy indeed.

    Judith, I hope he likes his gift!

    Snoop, a girl in a bowtie? You would look cute.

    Cara, good luck!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin