The bow tie, strangely enough, has always been a part of my life. From early pictures, you can see my older twin brothers decked out in matching blue and red outfits rocking their own bow ties. As they grew older, the matching outfits started to fall away but the bow ties remained. I imagine that my love for this classic, dandy look comes from seeing them wear them ever since I was a child. There is something familiar, even familial, in seeing the bow tie. It gives me a nice warm fuzzy feeling. Growing up with brothers, I was often giving their hand me downs, which helped to seal my tomboy status. But I never thought of wearing the classic neck wear until it was time for me to get married.
I struggled with what to wear. A regular tie would be very formal and perhaps a little too masculine, a simple silk scarf just didn’t seem like enough but then it hit me. The classic look I’d been raised admiring was all I needed. So off I went to jcrew.com to purchase my first (of many) bow ties.
In my mind, I wasn’t trying to make some sort of statement. I was just trying to find a way to feel the most amazing in my suit. I had seen a lot of women rocking the bow tie as part of the preppy resurgence but didn’t really see myself as part of that because I had already lived the loafers and the plaid f(so much so that I was voted class preppy in junior high.) Yikes! But now here I was heading off to my own wedding with a self-tied bow tie. Thank you YouTube!
Recently on a night out, I noticed that the bow tie has taken over. Butches left and right are sporting the look. Enjoying the ease and playfulness of this simple neckwear and allowing it to function as a nice, simple pop of color. What I love about it is the instant formality. You can easily wear the same ol’ tailored shirt, the one that took you months to find, and when you throw on a bow tie you’re making it look fresh and different. In fact no one will notice that you’re wearing your “going out shirt” because they are so busy commenting oh how cute your tie is.
My wife Sarah recently launched her own fashion label, Leota. Feeling the creative juices flowing, I decided to start the accessory division and began making handmade bow ties. Out of my original collection of 20 (pictured on me and right), I’ve sold half of them in one week, to both women who plan on wearing them and to men who enjoying the uniqueness and one-of-a kind-feel. Who knew the bow tie would have such a big effect on me but, what can I do, it’s in my blood.