Saturday, July 12, 2008

#101 Bow Ties


















With the movement toward casual dressing permeating youth society, I'm feeling more inclined to dress up rather than down. Tee shirts have lost their appeal, and I'm enjoying the regimented elegance of wearing a shirt and tie. Bow ties are the ultimate in neck attire, and should be a staple in every young sartorialist's wardrobe. (Self tied of course.)

The bow tie originated among Croatian mercenaries during the Prussian wars of the 17th century – the Croats wore scarves around their necks tied in bows by the loves they left behind. This was soon adopted (under the name cravat, derived from the French for "Croat") by the upper classes in France, and flourished in the 18th and 19th centuries. The French novelist Honoré de Balzac even wrote a book on the subject.

Bow ties have been popular among countless men - from Winston Churchill to Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra to Lanvin's Alber Elbaz - who is never seen without an oversized velvet bow. I'm going to spend the next week perfecting my bow tie knot so I can introduce it into my daily wardrobe. With the aforementioned bow tie alumni, it doesn't sound like too bad a club to join.

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