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Thread: The bow tie concept

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    The bow tie concept

    Bow ties may have fallen out of vogue some time during the early-mid 20th century, but as a fashion accessory it seems they are making something of a (admittedly limited) comeback Maybe there's one bow tie wearer now for every 1000 regular tie wearers out there. But curiously people have never entirely stopped wearing them

    Wearing a bow tie seems to have different connotations than it did, say, 50 years ago. Back then, one might see a scientist employed at NASA wearing a bow tie (naturally with thick black plastic framed glasses) in a rather un-selfconscious manner and it evoked associations of nerdiness...technical expertise....careful precision.....detail orientation, but nowadays it seems that the folks you see wearing them do so with a considered in-your-face deliberateness as if they are trying to project an image of intentional eccentricity. Would you agree?

    Anyone here ever wear a bow tie, or perhaps has a grandfather who wears one?

    What associations do the bow tie's first cousins, the string tie and bolo tie, evoke?

    Is there an equivalent female fashion item that evokes a somewhat similar impression?
    Last edited by Maister; 01 Dec 2011 at 9:34 AM.

  2. #2
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    The equivalent of a bow tie among women? Since women have more choice when it comes to accessories, they can also choose among more than just one item to create an iconic eccentric look. For example, my ex always wore a small diamond stud in her nose; a jarring contrast to her otherwise nondescript but tasteful wardrobe. The stud was trademark among her friends and family.
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  3. #3
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    I associate bow ties with political conservativism, for some reason. Maybe it's just Tucker Carlson and George Will.

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    Cyburbian Plus dandy_warhol's avatar
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    I think bowties are cliche.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Last time I remember a wearing a bowtie, it had to have been a clip on.

    Does anybody really remember how to tie a bowtie ?
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    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    The only time I where a bow tie is with a tuxedo. I tried to where a bow tie once sans tuxedo but I felt like such a tool I could not buy it.

    As for the offical neckwwear of Arizona, I have wore a bolo tie once. It was in college for a sorority date party. I hate bolo ties...and the fashion for them seems the tackier the better.
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  7. #7
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Wearing a bow tie seems to have different connotations than it did, say, 50 years ago. Back then, one might see a scientist employed at NASA wearing a bow tie (naturally with thick black plastic framed glasses) in a rather un-selfconscious manner and it evoked associations of nerdiness...technical expertise....careful precision.....detail orientation...
    Ok, cleaning the coffee off my monitor now. Well, this describes my father to a "T." He wasn't a NASA scientist, though he served in the Air Force during the early space program years - he's actually pre-NASA and went to get the 24 chimps from which Ham the Space Chimp was chosen. Later he became a geneticist at a university - a big nerdy upgrade. He had government-issue glasses until the late 70s and was an avid bow-tie wearer (something he was known for to many generations of students passing through his labs). If there was ever a more precise, detail oriented, nerdy fellow than my dad, I haven't met him. He grew up in Oklahoma where the bolo is king, but he never really gravitated toward those (though he did like those western belts with the detailed leatherwork and silver buckles). That's more Ranch Chic, I guess and less Nerdy Chic.

    Here in NM, the bolo is still king. I find them weird, but intriguing for the variety of forms they take. Brocktoon is right about the tacky factor - I've seen everything from a silver and turquoise to one made from old circuit boards and bottle caps filled with resin and featuring an Our Lady of Guadalupe image. You name it, people have done it.
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  8. #8
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Other than with a tux, I haven't worn a bow tie since I was about 9 years old. Even with a tux, it was always a clip-on and I have no clue as to how you'd tie one without it looking like a shoelace. Also had a bolo tie when I was a kid, I think I got it on vacation somewhere in NM or AZ. My dad had a bolo tie but I think he only wore it with his western gear when he was riding one of our horses in a parade or at a horse show.
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  9. #9
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    I have four bow ties and I wear them quite frequently. One of them is a linen/silk blend seersucker tie that I wear only in the summer but the other three are wool and wool/cashmere and get worn much more frequently than the linen one. I a couple twice a few weeks ago while at a conference and almost put another one on this morning for work but went with an ancient madder necktie instead since it goes better with the tweed coat I'm wearing.

    None of my bow ties are clip on. I taught myself to tie them a few years ago when I started wearing them - it didn't take long to figure it out. I think the trick with bow ties is to make sure you pick ones out that are the right width for the collar of shirt you are wearing and for the size of your neck and head. A relatively thin guy like myself would look quite clownish in some of the really wide ties or the big diamond point style ones.
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    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    Not since my mother stopped dressing me.......
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    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    Clip-ons at a very young age (red I think)
    Prom (navy blue velvet)
    Weddings with tux (just a couple times in various colours)
    and..............well that's it
    I tried a friends on one time and that sealed the deal. No bowtie for me for now.


    Bolo ties - once or twice at a very young age.
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    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    I own two bow ties - one to go with my tux and one to go with regular suits. I don't wear either very often. I used to have a pair of tweed dress pants and sport coat that I would wear the non-tux bow tie with, but they've since either been lost or I gave them away or some such thing.

    I think of bow ties on certain elements of hipster culture or just eccentric, wealthy individuals who like standing out.

    There was a prominent district attorney until recently in Oklahoma County who was famous for wearing string ties to court. He recently passed away. He was an Okie's Okie - born in the depressed, ranching southwestern part of the state, gradauate of Oklahoma State for undergrad and then OU for law school, was a DA for 50 years.

    The minister who performed my and my wife's wedding ceremony wore a bolo tie, as we had a western-themed wedding. The minister was from Ohio, and a bolo tie was the only thing western he could round up.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    I have never worn a bow tie. But this thread got me thinking about why there aren't any other formal tie options. Regular tie, bow tie, bolo tie. Is there anything else? And if not shouldn't we start experimenting with different tie shapes? I feel like mens formal attire is lacking diversity.
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    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    I have never worn a bow tie. But this thread got me thinking about why there aren't any other formal tie options. Regular tie, bow tie, bolo tie. Is there anything else? And if not shouldn't we start experimenting with different tie shapes? I feel like mens formal attire is lacking diversity.
    Winter is probably a good time to bring back the cravat.
    Click image for larger version

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    I don't wear those either.
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  15. #15
    I wear bow ties all the time, especially when I teach class. They add to my professor image. I probably where them more than regular ties. Once you learn how to tie them, they are very easy to tie, easier than a regular tie (no problem with matching the lengths of the two segments).

    People comment on bow ties a lot, it seems that the people like them. Or maybe its my boyish good looks?

  16. #16
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ofos View post
    Winter is probably a good time to bring back the cravat.
    Attachment 4855
    I don't wear those either.
    Is that different from an ascot? Cause that looks like an ascot.

    Not that I am an expert, but whatever you call it, my dad wore those too...
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  17. #17
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    I have never been a fan of bow ties. They usually evoke the professor-type image or here in the south, the odd writer type (like Truman Capote).

    I can't see RJ in one. He would look like a younger Charles Osgood. He's so particular about his ties I never try to buy them for him, except a couple of years ago when he asked me to pick up an X-mas tie for him. I guess I didn't notice it was musical. Whoops.

    The equivalent for women? Maybe scarves. I've never worn them, but many women salivate over them, and regularly wear them with suits, dresses, casual outfits, etc. They come in all kinds of styles, fabrics, patterns, colors.

    Or necklaces. Thin or chunky, real or costume, classic or funky, you name it.

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