Bow Ties are Cool

Ethel Merman

Ethel Merman in Ragtime


What do Bill Nye the Science Guy, the eleventh doctor from Doctor Who, and Winston Churchill all have in common? Bow ties! For part two in our A Night on the Town garment challenge BeWeave It series we’re focusing on the dapperest of dapper accessories.

The origin of the bow tie can be traced back to the cravat, a scarf worn by Croation mercenaries during the Prussian wars, which was subsequently adapted by the very fashionable French elite of the 18th century. Over time this neck cloth evolved into the small piece of fabric tied around the neck with a smart little bow at the front.

Since then bow ties have remained a consistent staple of male—and sometimes female, as illustrated in the image of Ethel Merman at left—formal attire. And, for those wanting to know more about the different styles and how to tie a bow tie, check out this site.  

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