A Defense of the Everyday Bow Tie

A Defense of the Everyday Bow TieFive or 10 years ago, when pro athletes were normalizing the bow tie at post-game interviews and Mad Men’s Bertram Cooper was giving them a dapper boost, a lot more men began dabbling. As Lewis said, “Guys were like, ‘It’s OK! A Defense of the Everyday Bow Tie – Bloomberg

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To be blunt about it—to knot together a tidy truth about neckwear—there are three types of bow tie guys in this world: The absolutists, who proudly wear nothing but bow ties; the innocents, who know not how to tie one; and the dabblers, some of whom are out to play now.

These dabblers sport bow ties at horse races, springtime outdoor weddings, garden parties, and other festive occasions, where they contribute to the atmosphere with these antique decorations. In Manhattan, they are a male rite of the springtime street scene. It is natural law: In some neighborhoods, the month of May brings out playboys idling in convertible Jaguars. In others, bow ties migrate onto collars like a kaleidoscope of butterflies. You always see them worn with pride—strong pride, because the bow tie arouses strong feelings.

Why is the bow tie such a polarizing piece of cloth? My theory is that it reveals all male neckwear—even the cravat of choice for Croatian mercenaries in the 1600s—to be ornamental ribbons.

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