Men wearing bow ties again
The bow tie and its history
The accessory for the man was invented by a woman of all people. Madame Pompadour (1721 – 1764) was the mistress of Ludwig XV. She tied the bow tie of her bodice around her neck, quasi as a necklace. In those days a bow tie on naked skin was pure provocation.
The term Bohème or Boheme refers to a subculture of intellectual fringe groups with predominantly literary, pictorial and musical activity or ambition, which sets itself apart from bourgeois attitudes and behaviour. Bohème is less an aesthetic-critical category than a socio-historical one. A female member of the bohemian community is the Bohémienne, a male member is the Bohémien.
This way of life is particularly widespread among artists, such as painters, poets and writers, but also among students. Bourgeois daughters and sons often refused to conform to the norms and customs of their parents and class and lived the life of a bohemian, often experienced as more authentic, more independent, more original and less alienated.
The motives and backgrounds for such a lifestyle are manifold. The desire to overcome bourgeois values and norms, which are experienced as restrictive, or the desire for identity, self-realisation and creative freedom can play a role, as can an eccentric being, youthful rebellion against their parents’ generation, experiences of alienation and social or cultural criticism – and of course the passionate devotion to art, even if it does not suffice to earn a living.
So the bohemians, there too predominantly the men, took up the fashionable accessory again and showed themselves with the bow around their necks. The eccentric and provocative sign was now no longer only for the nobility, but also for bourgeois society.
For years the bow tie was not only much better known and more popular than the tie, but also much larger than the model we know today. As with ties, bow ties have also changed in size. Later, however, the tie has replaced the bow tie, the only thing that has become a tailcoat and tuxedo, especially the “black Bow-Tie”, i.e. the black plain bow tie, has been worn constantly by men since its spread. The most famous men-wearers of the bow tie in the 20th century were probably Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein and Charlie Chaplin. But also one of the most famous comic heroes, Donald Duck, wore a bow tie.
Re-selected fashion accessory – the bow ties are making a comeback
The bow tie lost a lot of its importance over the years, first it was replaced by the tie and in the following hippie era it was even neither worn. When ties became a must again, especially in the business world, flies were far from being suitable for everyday use again. Too tight they had been influenced by festive evening occasions and the butler and waiter image. Since 2010, however, the fly has been experiencing its true comeback.
Today the bow tie is available in all imaginable materials such as silk, velvet, cotton, leather, linen, wood and others. Also in the pattern and colours there is everything you can imagine. Dotted, chequered, plain, with symbols and much more, there are no limits to your imagination.
Current fashion shows from hip designers like Joop, Calvin Klein and others from Milan, Paris to New York revive the men’s trend. The bow tie is making a comeback, not only for exclusive occasions, but also for everyday life. Today, the bow tie is one of the most stylish lifestyle accessories for men and women, and with it the waiter and university professor – image – has had its day. Young and old, as well as men and women, are reviving the fashion trend – stylish bow tie. So today many celebrities wear bow ties again. Thanks to this accessory you can not only upgrade boring outfits, you can also give every outfit a personal touch, develop your own style, individualize and underline it. The brave ones even go for a break in style – with a washed-out jeans, leather jacket and bow tie – so you can stand out from the crowd. Especially in the set, with a pocketkerchief, the classic looks as ever.
Who’s wearing the bow tie today?
Probably every man has a bow tie at home these days. Some men still wear it only on festive occasions, such as weddings or gala evenings in a set with a handkerchief. For others it has become part of everyday life. So for some professions bow ties can be used as accessories without any problems, because they make the outfit look chic and yet modern, and they also give the wearer self and fashion consciousness. The bow tie is not only worn by waiters and e.g. hotel staff, where it is part of their work clothes. Today it is worn especially by sportsmen, journalists, politicians, artists, musicians, scientists, etc. Here as a fashionable accessory combined with a suit, it replaces the traditional tie.
A great advantage of wearing a bow tie over a tie is that it never gets in the way. For example, it does not fall into the food or disturb the dancing. Once the bow tie is properly tied, it hardly moves at all and the clothes fit perfectly.
It is not clear whether the bow ties will ever replace the ties in men’s fashion. While ties are ahead of bow ties in men’s fashion, especially in the business world, bow ties can become the accessories they should be in everyday life or on special occasions. In all colours and sizes, from handmade and inimitably individual pieces to designer collections by Joop, Calvin Klein and Co. In addition, these bow ties may no longer be dominated by men in the future, but will also become the fashion statement for women.