to wear a bow tie?
Written by Heather Foley
I was recently out Christmas shopping with a friend who shall remain nameless (mostly because she’s going to feel dumb when I prove her wrong and I don’t need to let everyone on the interweb know how dumb she is) and of course I had to pick up a couple things for myself. Since I love themed clothes, I tried multiple holiday plaid shirts, skirts, and pants. I settled on pants and a shirt when I spotted a bow tie display. I commented that I kind of love bow ties and that I think they look would be really cute this time of year. The aforementioned friend made a face like I suggested I wear a sports bra to work as a top and growled ‘you would look ridiculous’. This lead to the age old debate of – Can a lady wear a bow tie and not look like a total knucklehead? I decided to take the challenge that wasn’t offered, wear a bow tie on Christmas Eve, and prove I can look like a million bucks in my bow tie.
As soon as I said ‘you are going to eat some serious effin crow when I rock a bow tie’ my mind started racing about what I could pair with the tie. Then I realized I was getting ahead of myself and I had to pick out a bow tie. The J Crew outlet in Titlon NH had black, grey, red plaid and black watch plaid bow ties and guess what? They were on sale for $20 (I took the sale as the universe’s way of telling me to buy a friggin bow tie already). I wanted all four of them but figured that would be dumb so I was going to pick a solid and a plaid since they were half off, then I realized even getting two bow ties would probably be a bit ridic. After a lot of hemming and hawing, I decided to go with the black tie. Now hear me out, yes, I know the plaids are more fun and festive, but I would look downright silly with a plaid shirt and a plaid bow tie! Also, a holiday plaid bow tie would only be able to make an appearance during a very finite window of time each year but a black one I can wear all year long – so clearly the black bow tie was the more sensible bow tie to purchase, and my ridiculous purchases are nothing if not sensible.
By now I’ve not only bought this bow tie but I’ve also made a big stink about how great it’s going to look on me (and by ‘big stink’ I mean I texted multiple people asking them their thoughts on bow ties, specifically how good one would look on me). Step one is probably going to be to learn how to tie it, right? I binged ‘how to tie a bow tie’ and it looks like I’m not the only one who has no clue how to tie a bow tie. I suppose that should make me feel a little better. So after what feels like hours of reading how to guides and watching how to videos, I can kind of tie one (I’m not saying Brad Goreski would be even the slightest bit impressed, but it’s a start).
What am I going to wear with it? Excellent question! Shockingly enough when I search ‘how to wear a bow tie’ it’s pretty much all men’s articles that come up. This just doesn’t seem fair to me, at all. I found two articles aimed towards the ladies but I don’t think either one was written by a pillar of the fashion community. Even my muse pinterest wasn’t super helpful in finding outfits with bow ties, so I guess this means I’m on my own, just like the pioneers. So I have to wear my holiday plaid button-down since it’s Christmas after all, but what to wear on the bottom? I’m thinking I should keep it sleek below the waist, let the bow tie be the star of the show. I really like pairing unexpected pieces together, so what’s unexpected with a bow tie? What about chaps? I kid, kid. Maybe my faux leather skinny pants (because everything goes with faux leather skinny pants), or black cropped skinny pants with gold zipper detailing, or maybe black shorts and black tights? I think any of those outfits will look bananas (said in my best Rachel Zoe voice).
Do you already have an outfit for Christmas but still want to wear a bow tie? How about New Years? I think leather, sequins, and a bow tie in any combination would look awesome, like leather shorts/sequin jacket or sequin shorts/leather jacket. I would stay away from a sequin bow tie though, a little too minstrel show for my taste. Maybe you want to wear a bow tie but you already have your Christmas and NYE outfits planned? Well my birthday is in February and I would be more than happy to let you take me out for a birthday drink somewhere swanky so you can wear one, I’m so good like that. Or maybe you just want to live vicariously through me and want me to report back about all the compliments I get on my bow tie, yeah, that’s probably it.