My dad's birthday was this past weekend, and I bought him a gift that some might consider highly cliche - a necktie. However, not just any tie; as my dad wears exclusively bowties. Church, Office, Weddings - always a bow tie. I think it's a great piece of individualism, and definitely his signature move.
In my search for the proper tie, I decided upon the traditional Ivy League style of J. Press. Those of you not on the East Coast may not be as familiar, as their stores are only in Connecticut, Manhattan, Boston, and Washington D.C.
Given that he has a summer birthday, I decided on a Madras pattern that is perfect for both a July meeting at the office, or maybe a weekend regatta at the Yacht Club. Madras is almost always a lightweight cotton, with wild color combinations - definitely a summer staple.
And as I was looking around, I figured - why buy one when you can have two for twice the price? Thus, I decided to pick a tie up for myself as well - though in a full length model.
What I find interesting when I look at them side by side is that while they're very distinct to my eye, an outside observer might find them remarkably similar. So maybe I have a bit of my dad's style encoded in my DNA?
In fair disclosure, I must say that a few months back I did purchase my first bowtie - but I haven't yet found the right occasion to wear it. The trick to pulling off a bowtie before the age of 40 is to channel your inner College Professor, and wholeheartedly commit to the look. The slightest waiver in your confidence and you'll never pull it off - it'll be too much of a costume.
east coast mark says: Never, under any circumstance, wear a pre-tied bow tie. You'll either look like a Chippendales Dancer, Pee Wee Herman, or a Waiter at a cheap restaurant. A bowtie's character comes from being slightly imperfect, with a hand tied look.
Gentlemen, if you're getting married anytime soon, step up the class and insist that everyone in your wedding party learn to tie a bowtie. It's a lifetime skill - and you'll all look like James Bond when you casually have the untied bowtie draped around your neck at the end of the night.