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Bow tie for no reason

Before delving into the details about this piece of accessory, let’s have a crash course on the history, just to put things into perspective.

Origins

It is believed what we know today as the bow tie can be traced back to the 17th century, worn by the Croatian army in what was known as the thirty years’ war between 1618 and1648. The purpose of this neckwear was functional which was meant to keep the collars of their shirts together. At the end of the war, the French army turned this otherwise functional piece of neckwear into a fashionable accessory and called it a cravat. At the time, the cravat was only worn by the upper class and was seen as a sign of opulence and grandeur.  With time, wearers of the bow tie diversified with university professors, lawyers, architects, and sometimes politicians all wearing it and making it a staple piece of accessory.

My favourite bow tie with a biker jacket!

The bow tie has never really been out of fashion but has seen a huge increase in use in recent years as the fashion world has infused its use into the everyday look. It is now more popular than ever which means you do not have to be heading to a formal dinner party or indeed a specific occasion to wear one. Traditional or stereotypical use has been dwarfed by an ever-increasing trendy demand.

Well know men who have been seen consistently wearing a bow tie includes Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, Frank Sinatra and Fred Astaire.

If you intend to wear one, here is what you need to know to help you not only have fun with it but also appear stylish.

Types

I have classified types of bow ties into three categories:

Clip-on – The clip-on is my least favourite even though it can be used with minimum effort. It is literally a pre-made bow attached to a clip, which is in turn attached to the front of your shirt. Unless you intend to wear one for novelty purposes, do not bother.

Pre-tie – A pre-tie bow tie has already been structured and made with specific measurements and style. This is similar to the clip-on but the bow is usually attached to an adjustable neck strap for ease and comfort. This type is the most popular as it is much easier to put on than the self-tie and not as cheap looking as the clip-on. You can literally have it on in less than a minute.

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Pre-tie bow tie

Self-tie – This is also known as the freestyle bow tie and is much more organic than the two above. As the name implies, wearers need to knot this type of bow tie, which in itself is a show of commitment to this piece of accessory. This is by far my favourite. The self-tie looks slightly different every time you knot it and may also look asymmetrical which gives it character and a bit of quirkiness.

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self-tie bow ties

Shapes

Since its popularisation, it has seen changes in function and looks diversifying its shapes accordingly. The butterfly, the big butterfly, the batwing, the diamond point and the rounded club are all shapes the bow tie come in these days.

Look

The diehard everyday devotees aim for the eccentricity it brings to their look, which can be seen as an extension of their personalities. The question is; what’s your look?

So break the mould, present a contrarian point of view in fashion this season and don a bow tie for no reason.

Thank me later!

The magic Pot!

Breakfast fit for a king. This is mine, what’s yours this morning?! Ditch your fry-ups for a healthy pot of porridge with all the trimmings! This right here is a pot full of magic! Here is a quick breakdown of the nutritional value of my breakfast.

Porridge – Made exclusively from Avena sativa or otherwise known to you and I as oats, contains amazing nutrients for muscle recovery and a great source of energy. Oats contains nutrients such as carbohydrate, protein, sodium, fibre, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium so many other goodies. It is also believed that Oats lowers cholesterol levels.

Raspberries – strawberries – blueberries – all low in calories but high in nutrients such as vitamin K, C, fibre, B complex group of vitamins, manganese and many more nutrients. Blueberries by themselves are known to have amazing antioxidant qualities needed to fight free radicals, which damage cellular structure.

Pineapple – packed with Vitamin C, copper, vitamin B6, B1, fiber and manganese.

Natural yoghurt – contains vitamin B12 and B10. Yoghurt also contains calcium, which is good for bone formation, muscle contraction, blood clotting (among other things), and have essential amino acids, which will take care of your protein requirements.

Add a sprinkle of granola for extra crunchiness! Do you now see why I call it the magic pot?

Go ahead and swap your morning fry-up for a healthy and tasty alternative guaranteed to keep your energy levels high during workout at the gym. Remix your breakfast!

Make it a knit

If there is one accessory you need to add to your collection this season, let it be the knitted necktie. Assuming of course you are not like myself who have loads of them already. In fact I have so many knit ties that I feel a bit weird whenever I put on any other tie that is not knitted. Office, night out, church, Sunday lunch, dinner parties you name it, if I am to wear a tie, it would almost always be a knitted tie.

But I understand that the knitted revolution is not for everyone, which is why I am writing this short article with the hope of convincing the orthodox tie wearers. Yes, yes, yes I understand that it would be pretty hard to pull off a knit on a tuxedo for a ball, but that is the exception right, so let’s carry on with the conversation at hand.

Ok let me bring things down a notch. Knitted ties look wonderful on a smart-casual outfit. Pair of loafers, jeans or chinos (careful with the chinos), nice shirt, and a beautiful blazer would make you walk around town with a purpose. You have the freedom to experiment with all sorts of colours and designs to give you that perfect look. As you go up the smart scale and leave the casual behind, caution needs to be applied accordingly, and of course, like all ties, consideration should be made when picking a tie colour and pattern to match the rest of your outfit.

Knitted ties will make an otherwise stiff formal suit look quite fashionable and stylish. With the right colour and make, you can add an extra dimension to your look whether it is in the boardroom or at a wedding party.

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Here are a few things you need to know about knitted ties before you go out to buy one.

Material

Note that not all ties are the same. Just because they look alike does not mean the quality is consistent and so consider the following fabrics when you purchase a knit tie.

Silk – Silk in my view is the best material for a knit tie. Not only does it look great, it feels good to the touch and can be worn all year round. Silk also gives your tie the crunchy and firm feel which gives you an extra dimension when dressing smart.

Wool or cashmere – wool or cashmere is soft to the touch which makes it feel great. Ties made from this material can be worn year round but are more suited to the colder months. Because wool lacks the crunchiness and glossy looks of silk, it is better suited for the smart-casual look.

Recently, makers of knit ties have opted to use combinations such as linen and cotton, linen and wool, and even linen and silk, all of which look decent and may even cost you less. What you should avoid if you can is ties made from polyester.

Width

The width should be considered when choosing the right knit tie to wear with a suit or blazer. This applies to all ties for that matter. If you wear a suit with skinny lapels then you must wear a skinny tie to go with it. Likewise, if you wear wider lapels, then you have to go for a wider tie option. Get the proportions right.

Knot

The four-in-hand-knot is the best knot to use when wearing a knit tie. A knot such as the Windsor will make your tie look too bulky at the neck simply because knit ties are generally thicker hence the more folder your tie gets the more its chunkiness.

So there you have it. Have I managed to persuade you to buy yourself the ever so trendy and versatile knit tie?

Watch this space as I will be doing a blog post on how to knot your ties and bowties.

Stylist – Digital Curator – Blogger