There comes a time in every man’s life when he is forced to wear a bow tie. It’s usually a wedding or a hateful work get together where ‘black tie’ is inscribed on the invitation. The very words send shudders throughout your giant body as you frantically try to remember if you even own a bow tie, let alone know how to tie one. Perhaps the last time you had worn a bow tie was when Aunt Mildred imposed one around your neck as a small child at your first communion or other such sovereign church event.
Maybe you tried wearing one to school and were mocked and poked fun of until you removed it out of shame.
Regardless of your past associations with the neckwear, it carries a stigma and it’s just fucking hard to assemble.
Bow ties are presumably a descendent of the Croatian mercenary rank system from the Prussian wars of the 17th century. Ones rank was determined by the color of the scarf one wore around their neck with their uniform. The French, who were also present during these times of turmoil, enjoyed and appreciated the construction of these ‘rank scarves’ and took them back to France with them where they further developed them into the ‘cravat.’ Now it is unclear whether the cravat turned into the ascot, which turned into the necktie, which turned into the bow tie, but somewhere in the chronology of formal wear, the bow tie was born.
Presently we are starting to see the bow tie pop up in less than formal situations. Men are dressing up denim and cotton button downs with these winged creatures to create the ‘Williamsburg/Hipster’ imagery that we are seeing on the streets of Manhattan and its boroughs. As much as it pains me to agree with this Hipster business I do have to concede that I love a good bowtie with a pair of shorts and dress shoes. I have seen it many a time on the Avenues, and applaud any under weight Brooklynite for having the gonads to sport this look of much juxtaposition.Of course most of those BK’ers aren’t six-foot-four-plus, so the question that weighs on my mind is how does a GIANT pull off such an elongating accessory? The beauty of regular neckties, as we discussed in last weeks article, is that it creates a line down ones torso, which not only can distract from your midsection, but also cinch the appearance of ones length with a simple line.
Bow ties tend to give the appearance of a longer and potentially wider torso as they do not create a flattering line. Even if you are completely and utterly proportionate and your midsection is not exceptionally large in either direction, the secret to pulling off a bow tie is actually what else you’re wearing and how you’re wearing it. Suspenders are an easy solve for creating lines and shortening out your torso where the bow tie cannot. If elastic pant support is not your thing, a higher waistline actually solves your problem entirely. Yes, it’s a little throw back to the Mad Men era, but really, so are bow ties and suspenders, so what’s so bad about that? By bringing up the waistline even just an inch or two, you erase the illusion that you are top heavy.
Later in the seasons we can discuss how cardigans and other such layering tricks can blur the reality that it is, in fact, difficult for a giant to pull off shorter neckwear, but in ninety degree Summers of Manhattan, who can even say the word cardigan without breaking a sweat?