Bow ties have been getting a resurgence of public appreciation recently. Gone are the days when bow ties belonged only to the garb of proletarian geeks and pediatricians, who would have a hard time treating kids with a long tie.
It was the accessory of the season in 2008 male fashion runways. It was a favorite in the Trussardi’s 2009 Fall collection. And who can forget the 2004 Oscars awards night, where most men wore tuxedos with bow ties for their outfit?
Several things have caused this upheaval: consistent modern media portrayals, high-profile endorsements, corporate stamping, and the emergence of DIY instruction all over the web on how bow ties can be carried with flair.
In other words, right now, the bow tie is being repackaged for the youth.
As seen on TV
Most prominent among the young men who sport bow ties is Chuck Bass of Gossip Girl. He portrayed the chic Upper East Side fashion, with silk bow ties to boot.
Although Gossip Girl is arguably more catered to a feminine audience, many a young man has confessed to having watched the series and, as such, have found the silk bow ties of Chuck Bass something they could try on their own.
BBC’s Doctor Who and Eastenders also had their protagonists wearing bow ties in a hip manner.
In addition to TV fiction, there are also many other real-life (non-paid!) celebrity endorsers of the bow tie. If you check out the NBA, for instance, you will find the wildly popular persons of LeBron James and Dwight Howard wearing bow ties outside of the hard court as naturally as they score shots inside of it. NBA coach Phil Jackson also has this as a fashion trademark.
Dhani Jones, linebacker of the NFL, even went as far as creating his own store for bow ties.
Even in concerts and less formal events, the bow tie has been visible. Brandon Flowers and Jay-Z are just some of the artists who have been spotted wearing bow ties.
Society seems to be warming up to the idea of wearing bow ties. Huffington Post’s survey of the best dressed justice in the US Supreme Court landed John Paul Stevens in the number two slot. Stevens was known for his signature look with an Orange bow tie.
“Nerdy” to “sexy”
And with the help of subtle corporate promotions, the bow tie has moved from “nerdy” to “sexy.” Adult-marketed Playboy Enterprises has used them for their ads. So have producers of macho products, Chevrolet and Budweiser.
And unlike many celebrity-endorsed fashion accessories which could only be had at a steep price, bow ties are generally affordable and easily modified. It is totally accessible to the everyday citizen.
As such there is also a boom of DIY enthusiasts who openly share bow tie patterns all over the web.
Bow tie fans have a viral thing going with them: aside from faithfully using their bow ties for regular wear, they market its appeal at their friends’ tuxedo events and also at fun, fashionable casual stints.
Indeed, the bow tie has every good thing going for it. With the support of stars, powerful corporations, and the all-powerful television, it’s a safe bet that while it is already enjoying a great heyday, things can only get better for it in the coming years.
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