Courtesy of Pursuit
Jake Mendel is the Director of Development for Pursuit, a men’s clothing store located in the South Campus Gateway.
“Welcome to the club.”
That’s usually the first thing I tell a guy when helping him tie his first bow tie. I’m not talking about the clip-on that came with a rented tuxedo for prom, I’m talking about the real deal. The bow tie has become a badge of courage worn by sartorially talented gents, and knowing how to tie one inducts you into an exclusive club of men.
Where did all of the apprehension for the bow tie come from? As professional style has progressed in the last half-century, there has been more and more stress on conformity. It’s only been in recent years that designers have taken note, and have been able to push the bow tie into the modern age. By adjusting material, size and cut to modern proportions, designers have made the bow tie a piece that should be hanging in every guy’s closet.
Just take a look at Sunday night’s Oscars for a hint. The majority of men who received awards were wearing bow ties. Need more motivation? Shake hands with the president of this university, and you’ll be left without a doubt. If you’re lucky, President E. Gordon Gee might even teach you how to tie one.
Is there a correlation between rocking a bow tie and being successful? You can be the judge of that.
If you’re in the market for a bow tie, there is a huge array of options. The traditional look is a patterned silk bow tie. These are classic as can be and still look great.
If you’re looking to experiment with something a little trendier, try rocking a wool bow tie when it’s colder out. The weight of the fabric matches nicely with the weight of most winter clothes.
With spring around the corner, try something on the other side of the spectrum. Cotton, lighter chambrays or even seersucker bow ties are all stylish fabrics that lend themselves nicely to spring colors and fabrics.
The cut of the bow tie matters just as much as the fabric and pattern. If your bow tie is too big, you can run the risk of looking like a clown. Instead, opt for a slimmer cut bow tie. If you’re wearing a jacket with your bow tie, try to match proportions with your lapels. A slimmer lapel means a slimmer bow tie and vice versa.
Finally, opt for a tie-it-yourself bow tie. The knot is actually the same knot you use to tie your shoes. Looking at videos online for 15 minutes should do the trick to teach you, or just stop into your local men’s suiting store. A self-tied bow tie will always look better than a pre-tied bow tie. It shows your personality, your creativity and most of all that you’re confident enough to not sweat the details. The pre-tied variety just shows that you can clip something around your neck.