So...apparently women wear bow ties now. Nice.
My earliest memory of the bow tie is of my favourite childhood comedian Pee Wee Herman wearing one. So if anything, when I picture the bow tie I think about eccentricity and cheeriness; two very good attributes, don’t you think? However, I also can’t leave out my love for Indiana Jones and how fetching Harrison Ford was as a professor. Ding dong!
The bow tie has represented various types of characteristics over the decades. Warren St. John of the New York Times writes, “A list of bow-tie devotees reads like a Who's Who of rugged individualists”. There’s even a page on Wikipedia entitled List Of Bow Tie Wearers, which features mostly distinguished, talented, brilliant men; no women, unfortunately. But this is changing.
Heroes such as Sinatra, Fred Astaire and Bogart gave the fashion accessory a sense of swagger, style and confidence. Since the 70’s it has had more of a nerdy or geeky association. Lately I’ve noticed that hipsters tend to favour the bow tie look. And I do have a touch of the hipster in me. I’m going to admit that. But I didn’t Instagram my breakfast this morning, even though it was damn delicious.
Since they’ve been around since the 17th Century, to wear one is to recognize that you are “part of an age-old and venerable fashion tradition”, although today you can get bow ties in a huge variety of fabrics, colours and patterns. It can also be just the right accessory to complete an otherwise boring outfit.
I find it a wonderfully nostalgic and charming trend, and what I adore about it is that it’s not a new concept, but it’s refreshing because people have forgotten about it.
I went out the next day and bought a black bow tie from a men’s wear shop. I had never seen a bow tie on a woman before and it kind of made my heart skip a beat. In the past year we’ve seen a flurry of women in this look. Rhianna and Janelle Monae spring to mind.
I have to admit, I am totally in love with this trend. It’s especially worth trying it now, while the weather is still cool in Australia. Frustratingly, I don’t have many dress shirts to wear them with, so I’ll be on the prowl for those. For now, here's my favourite one. It's red, and it's leather. Who could ask for more?
Bow tie: Dangerfield
Shirt/Jumper: Savers Op Shop, Nourlunga
Bows 'n Ties. 2010. History of Bow Ties. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.bows-n-ties.com/mens-fashion-tips/wrapper.php?/archives/2010/11/29.html. [Accessed 01 August 12].
GQ, Glen O'Brien. 2012. Why a bow tie's not just for schmucks Read More http://www.gq.com/style/style-guy/accessories/200309/bow-ties#ixzz22jTLr7Nw. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.gq.com/style/style-guy/accessories/200309/bow-ties. [Accessed 06 August 12].
New York Times, Warren St. John. 2005. A Red Flag That Comes in Many Colors . [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/26/fashion/sundaystyles/26BOWTIE.html?_r=1. [Accessed 06 August 12].