The Bow Tie's Back. But do I want one?

The Bow Tie's Back. But do I want one?

I’m a big believer in purchasing good-quality clothes that’ll last me for years (it’s called ‘slow fashion,’ and it’s economical). Yes, this means I run the risk of not being the most en vogue in the room, but it also keeps my closet free of unfortunate, and expensive, one-season wonders. Norwegian curling pants, anyone?

It’s not that I’m afraid of change. I just like investing in things I’ll still want to wear a year from now.

Lately, I have been considering something new. Maybe you’ve noticed, like I have, the number of bow ties showing up in men’s wear shops, and around the necks of haberdashery heroes like Robert Downey Jr., or Scott Schuman, who runs my favorite blog, The Sartorialist. In a necktie-choked world, bow ties are one way to spruce up a collared shirt and be a little different. The only thing stopping me from buying one is the image of Bill Nye the Science Guy—an image I don’t want to project myself.

Really, bow ties never ‘left’...they’ve been around for decades and decades, waxing and waning in popularity over the years. Right now, they’re hot—and there are a lot of options out there, from black silk ties to asymmetrical, colorful prints. They can be conservative, or bring a lot of flare. You can even buy an eco-friendly bow tie made from recycled pop bottles. My friend Daniel Kim, who works as a Fashion Trend Analyst at the Doneger Group New York, puts it best: “[Men] are moving away from traditional silk ties to something more fun and exciting.”

‘Fun and exciting’? Bow ties? Hey, why not... I can buy one now, while they’re in, and still stay true to my slow fashion principles. After all, if they’re out next year, more than a century of history proves they’ll be back in, yet again, before long. And I plan to be around a long time.

I’m sold. Now all I need to do is pick a color.

January 24, 2012