Every fashion piece has an origin story and a statement piece like the bow tie is, of course, no different.
The bow tie originated in the 17th century by the Croatian mercenaries that used a scarf around their necks to hold the openings of their shirts during the Thirty Years War. The look migrated to France with the French soldiers at the end of the war. By the start of the 18th century, neckties were embraced by the upper classes, and they became a primary feature in men’s fashion. Under the name cravat (derived from the French for “Croat”), the French adopted it in their upper classes, and it flourished in the 18th and 19th centuries. Some believe that the cravat evolved into the bow tie.
It was in October of 1886 that Pierre Lorillard originated a new style of formal wear that he wore to a formal ball held at the Tuxedo club. This was named after his family’s estate in Tuxedo Park, which is an area just outside of New York City. Lorillard’s tuxedo was an instant hit among other wealthy fashion enthusiasts. The tuxedo and black bow tie look or “black tie” attire became the primary formal outfit for men that is still a trend in today’s fashion.
Bow ties have been redefined over the past few decades through pioneering movements by high profile connoisseurs. By wearing it in ways that it was not meant to be worn, the bow tie has moved outside of its rigid categorization of being only appropriate for formal wear. This is what escaping compartmentalizing in fashion is about. It’s about making your own rules to wear what you want and express yourself freely and comfortably in the process. Karl Lagerfeld and Manolo Blahnik are a couple of fashion icons to change the rules on how bow ties are worn. Charlie Chaplin, Pee-wee Herman, Fred Astaire, Frank Sinatra, Winston Churchill, Bill Nye the Science guy, Andre 3000, and even women such as Janelle Monae have all made the bow tie a compliment to varying ensembles.
Speaking of women and bow ties, bow ties officially crossed the gender lines into women’s wear in the 1920s and the 1930s when silver screen stars Marlene Dietrich, Sylvia Scarlett, and Audrey Hepburn adopted the look. These women paved the way for women adopting “masculine” speaking attire by wearing tailored suits, top hats, button down shirts, and bow ties. In fact, Marlene Dietrich is known for her bow tie and top hat look from the film Morocco in the 1930s. When asked about the statement about her style, she replied “I dress for the image. Not for myself, not for the public, not for fashion, not for men.”
Types of Bow Ties
Self-Tie (freestyle) bow ties is one that needs to be tied manually yourself. It gives a slightly askew look once it is tied unlike the pre-tied bows that Endless Journey creates. One of the advantages of the self-tie is that its asymmetry and multiple ways to tie it gives one a uniqueness in the crowd.
The pre-tied bow tie, such as the ones created in the Endless Journey Collection, comes with an adjustable strap on which it is attached to. One of the advantages of these is the convenience of not having to tie it. Also, it is easy to size them up and down to get the perfect fit. Endless Journey also uses textiles that create artistic bow tie looks that can not be achieved with pre tied bow ties. This allows for a wide range of versatility in one’s wardrobe making it even more achievable to be unique.
Lastly, the Clip-On bow tie is a pre tied bow with a metal clip on it that hooks onto a shirt’s collar.