Opinions on bow ties are often divided, between those who wear them with utmost confidence every day of the week, and those who prefer to keep them for special occasions and formal affairs only.
If neckties are perhaps more traditional and reminiscent of Neapolitan tailoring, classic menswear and safe dressing, bow ties on the other hand have become quite the go-to accessory for men (and indeed women) who are looking to make a little more impact.
Far from being restricted to smart evening attire as they once were or be a sign of dandyism, bow ties exude confidence and style. By marrying sophistication, playfulness and panache, they can help you achieve a singular look and make a sartorial statement.
Bow ties date back to the 17th century when short scarves tied into an accentuated bow were used by the Croatian army during Europe's Thirty Years War to bind the collars of their shirts together. The short scarves gradually evolved into neckties and bow ties.
Once the war over, French soldiers brought the accessory back home and, much like pocket squares and colourful socks, the French upper classes, which were highly influential when it came to style at the time, were fast to adopt the new neckwear and integrate it into their dress.
From its humble beginning, the bow tie quickly became an essential component to a man’s attire by the end of the 19th century.
To this day, ceremonial black bow ties, especially in silk and satin, are primarily reserved for formal occasions, however a greater number of more casual styles, fabrics and patterns have made their way into everyday menswear, turning bow ties into an everyday accessory to make a statement with.
Often misinterpreted as a novelty accessory, bow ties are on the contrary elegant-chic, and give an intelligent air not only for the slight nerdy look, but also for the confidence they boasts.
"I believe that dressing is not just about wearing aesthetically pleasant garments but it’s a whole experience of feeling connected to a product through its story and heritage."
- Joe Sorrentino, YOJO
Bow ties are reminiscent of a time when men were arguably better-dressed and more attentive to appropriate dress codes. Once a staple in classic menswear, the bow tie is having a resurgence as a self-expression. But how best to style it?
Once restricted by sartorial rules, the bow tie has taken on a life of its own in recent years and has become an accessory that any style-savvy individual can indulge in to create their own signature style, making it the perfect conversation starter.
Whether you want to follow the steps of film characters Doctor Who or James Bond, embody the style of Hollywood’s golden era’s actors such as Frank Sinatra, Cary Gant or Fred Astaire, or even high profile names, such as Winston Churchill and Manolo Blahnik, fear the bow tie not and join the club; a bow tie is a sign of impeccable style and you’ll be in great company!