While Ally adjusts to her new life as a self-employed communications superhero, we here at FPQT have asked for some guest blogging help. It gives Ally time to focus on the new bizness and it keeps L-A sane. Bonus, you get to read what other fashionable people think. Like Anthony, who is part of the brains behind The Sponge and a regular contributor to the Smouldering Men Appreciation Society. Anthony is the first fashionable dude to contribute to FPQT and will hopefully make a semi-regular appearance here with his thoughts on men’s fashions. Since he’s a fashionable dude, you can’t complain (too much) that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about – something that occasionally happens when Ally and I proclaim our favourite looks for men.
In addition to introducing you to Anthony, I’m going to introduce you to Accessories Mondays. Since some Mondays are lacking in shoes, we’re branching out to look at our favourite accessories – and our favourite collections of accessories (this means you can send us pictures of your purses or jewellery boxes, as well as your shoes). Today’s accessory is the bowtie.
Anthony: The bowtie. It’s an iconic piece of the wardrobe, recalling days of Hollywood glamour, proper gentlemen, after dinner cocktails and the self-assuredness that could drive you wild with one sideways glance from the man it adorned. Yes, the bowtie paints a pretty picture – it’s just too bad it’s been hijacked by overconfident hipsters who pair it with a button down Oxford shirts without sleeves.
What happened to the bowtie? Does anybody wear them anymore? Scratch that: does anyone wear them without irony anymore? I have tried to, with moderate success, but I still hear the obligatory comments,
“Where you goin’ all dressed up?”
“Why’d you get so fancy tonight?”
Or my personal favourite, as heard from a guest at my cousin’s wedding last summer,
“A dickie bow? Who’d ya tink you are, Grace Kelly?”
Just for clarification, bowties are known as “dickie bows” in Ireland and he meant Gene Kelly. At least, I hope so.
Gentlemen of Halifax, it pains me to see the bowtie used as a novelty piece in a wardrobe these days. Look back to any classic movie from the 40s to the 60s and you’ll see that the bowtie was not only a staple of a man’s closet but a symbol of his masculinity. Oh sure, a necktie pulls a suit together but for a formal occasion where you need to make an entrance, the bowtie is the only way to go. Just look at Daniel Craig as James Bond:
Umm, do you want to tangle with that? He’s so suave, so put together and so confident that you wouldn’t even strike up a conversation let alone try to take him on in a bar fight. That’s the power a bowtie has but it is being usurped by mega-watt tools like this:
Men using the bowtie in this fashion need to be whipped with a hickory switch. To the gentlemen reading today, and the fashionable ladies who love them, I pose a mission to you: take back the bowtie! There are so many occasions where a bowtie is appropriate and wearing one will not only help you stand out but totally adds +5 cool points to your hot meter. I’ll even allow for some clip-on action until you get a hang of tying a real bowtie; which, I’m still learning (shhh).
In the end, the bowtie needs to be accepted back into mainstream culture as a staple piece, not a novelty. We just need the right face to pull this off.
Follow these simple tips and you’ll be looking your most dapper in no time:
1- The bowtie is for evening wear. You don’t want to wear one in the day unless you’re serving at a banquet. The one exception: formal afternoon gatherings. If you’re heading out to a late brunch or garden social with full on linens and crystal, whip out that bowtie and work it like Chuck Bass.
2- Keep the clash to a minimum. Look at Tucker the Tool above – do you want that to be you? Normally I’m a fan of contrasting patterns but you have to keep your cool when rocking a bowtie. It’s a fine line between “Handsome Devil” and “Giant Loser Seeking Attention”.
3- NEVER EVER WITH SHORT SLEEVES. Do this, and I will find you. And embarrass you. I have a Tumblr, I mean business.
4- If you’re going to wear a bowtie, wear it with pride. It takes a confident gent to reach for the bowtie over a necktie. If you’ve got the stones in front of the mirror, then you better have them at dinner.
Oh, and bonus tip, if you manage to score a real bowtie AND tie it, the best part of the evening is lounging past 10 p.m. with it casually undone, sipping a drink and engaging in witty banter. Trust me, this is the hottest thing you’ll ever do in your life.
Remember, cheapen the bowtie and you’ll cause me to make this face. Until next time.