Monday, September 26, 2011

Bows for Beaux

This year marks Doyle Mueser's first gleeful leap into the hallowed domain of the bow tie. The difference in thoughtful styling between vertical and horizontal neckwear is not an insignificant one. Both types of neckwear come from the same source: Croation mercenaries visiting the French court in the 17th century caught the eye of foppish noblemen who named the rakish scarves worn by the soldiers the "cravat," after the french for Croat. But the divergent evolution between the two ties is as obscure as it is marked. These days, bow ties are made mostly in three styles (with stranger variations occasionally making an appearance): the straight, oar-like "batwing," the flaring "thistle" end, and a slightly racier breed with pointed ends. Doyle Mueser stocks the latter two in a variety of colors and patterns.

Why does Wikipedia's list of Bow Tie wearers feature the phrase "trademark bow tie" so frequently? Because the bow tie is a choice for the bolder man - a less typical choice, one which reflects the natural individuality of the wearer. Among the bow-tied icons we find men as diverse as tubby war horse Winston Churchill, inimitable genius Bill Nye the Science Guy, pretentious architect Le Corbusier, children's television star and adult film connoisseur Pee Wee Herman, dapper dancer Fred Astaire, moustachioed wiseass Groucho Marx, shotgun-weilding president Teddy Roosevelt, the newest incarnation of Doctor Who, Matt Smith (one can almost forgive his clip-on suspenders,) creepy black supremacist Louis Farrakhan, slobbering mallard Donald Duck, and, of course, the original Satanic Edwardian Pervert - Aleister Crowley. These men are iconoclasts one and all, alike only in their preferred neckwear.
When purchasing a bow tie, apart from its color and pattern, pay close attention to the spread, points, and style of your collar, the height of your suit or vest's gorge, and the size and shape of your handsome face. The most important things to remember about a bow tie are these:

1. If you wear a strap-on or clip-on variety people will think less of you and spit in your food when your back is turned.

2. If you wear anything else to a Monte Carlo casino, the other secret agents will laugh you out of the room and then spit in your champagne.

3. It is much more difficult to be strangled with your bow tie than with a typical necktie.