The Bow Tie Experiment

The bow tie has been one of those pieces of classic style that has been relegated to the background by ugly stereotypes. Most of us had only been taught to wear a bow tie with a tuxedo and any other application of the bow tie was for old college professors smoking their pipes. For most Gen Xers (and Gen Y for that matter), one of the first times that we saw someone like us wearing a bow tie was Carlton Banks. As you can imagine, this didn’t exactly help to make the bow tie a desired style item in anyone’s wardrobe.

A very close friend and former coworker of mine has been rocking the bow tie for many years now. When we worked together, he often got the “Carlton” comments from the individuals that we worked with. It didn’t phase him one bit. He proudly wore his bow tie and tried out different ideas on the fly without hesitation. I like his style, it just wasn’t me. I just couldn’t see myself rocking the bow tie like he did.

In recent years, the bow tie has seemed to become the ultimate fashion statement of confidence and  sophistication within certain sects. The bow tie can be seen in all aspects of media being worn by that vital 18-35 male demographic. Celebrity males from Jay Z, Pharell, to Andre 3000 have all been rocking a bow tie as of late (actually Andre 3000’s been doing it for years). Even reality TV stars are showcasing the versatility of the bow tie on a weekly basis at least until they are eliminated (Dalen of I Wanna Work For Diddy 2).

So what is this great experiment you might ask? Well a few weeks ago, I caved in to the peer pressure. I was looking for ways to change-up my style just a bit so I said to myself “I’m going to do it. I’m going to get a bow tie!” That day I went looking for a bow tie that I liked. After an extensive search (it was not easy to find a regular bow tie, I had to travel to 4 different stores before I found what I desired) I found it. It was almost calling my name as I entered the store. This beautiful 100% silk black with white stripes bow tie was singing “Buy Me. Buy Me.” So yes I purchased it and dashed home try it on.

Once I got home, opening the box was easy, trying it on was the hard part. As I had never worn a bow tie before, I had NO IDEA how to tie one and the inbox directions were no help. After watching many videos on youtube and practicing many times, I finally got it. I have to say I liked it, I liked it a lot! The wearing of the bow tie still carried the style that I wanted to portray, but in some ways heightened the illusion of sophistication that I was looking for. Amazingly, the change got quite a reaction at work. Many commented on how nice I looked saying that I pulled it off very well. I even had one senior citizen stop me in the market to tell me how elegant I looked.

I guess the experiment worked. Looks like its time to experiment  with a few more bow ties of different colors. Watch out world, the Carltons are taking over!

Be Blessed and Make Today Count!


2 thoughts on “The Bow Tie Experiment”

  1. This is a great experiment, Webster. In 2008 I took a similar plunge, reintroducing the bow tie to my circle of Manhattan, and needless to say, nothing but complements come my way. Men and women of all stripe (most recently at the voting booth) note it verbally.


  2. well Well well
    Since I am the “close friend” I am proud to see you come into the bowtie realm. It is actually harder for me to pull off being that I am bigger guy. But for slender gentleman with glasses you will kill it! Trust me for every Carlton and Nation of Islam comment I got I also recieved compliments. As of recent I have pulled back for bowties and I have not been a wearing a tie at all on somedays.


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