The History of the Bow Tie
05 / 03 / 2012 — in Accessories
Black or Gray, striped or solid, a good bow tie is an essential part of any tuxedo. Have you ever stopped to wonder where this fashion statement all began? The tradition of wearing a knotted piece of fabric around your neck began in the 17th century. During the Prussian wars the Croat mercenaries wore bow ties to hold together the opening of their shirts. This was adopted by the French who called the fabric bows ‘Cravats’ derived from the French word ‘Croat’. The style caught on and became widely popular in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Since this humble beginning, there have been many variations on the bow tie. Over the years they have been synonymous with various professions. Professors, attorneys, waiters and politicians have all been associated with this fashion piece. And of course, as it is a distinctive part of formal attire, wedding attendees have often worn them.
In the 1980′s the bow tie made its way into women’s fashion. As women made their way up the corporate ladder they often donned suits with button up shirts and a fuller version of the bow tie.
Today, although the bow tie may have some stereotypes of the past associated with it including ‘the nerd’ as depicted in some Hollywood movies, or the uppity smug professor, it is becoming a more mainstream fashion statement. Clip-on or self-tied, they can be found in many different patterns and colors making them the perfect addition to a weekend blazer. Still most often worn for formal occasions such as weddings and proms, the bow tie is slowly being accepted into pop culture as well.
Whether you choose to be formal or informal with your bow tie, you will be joining a long history of men and women at the forefront of fashion.