English 14

Oh Yeah? Your Long Tie is Weird

Since I was very young, I have been called1 “the Bowtie Man” that2 by family and friends. My interest in this relatively rare garment,3 leads often to conversations with strangers. Last week, in fact, I overheard a fellow subway passenger his4 compliment about the pattern of my new bowtie to his friend.

It all began when I was on vacation in Italy. I was meeting a friend of mine, Albie, who was living there at the time, for dinner at a nice restaurant. Upon arriving, the proprietor informed me that I needed to wear formal attire in order to enter. I noticed, across the street, a flea market. Within it, a man was selling dozens of bright and colorful bowties. [5] The rest, as they say, is history.

Well, not quite. I purchased my first group of bowties that day, four for the equivalent of $30, but I had no idea how to tie them. The vendor demonstrated, the loop and pull6 necessary for a quick and tidy knot. I tied my own bowtie running7 back to the restaurant. It was quite messy, but, I thought, jauntily so. The restaurateur, who had kicked me out minutes earlier, sized up to8 my appearance, gave a reluctant nod, and granted my entry. From that point on, the rest has been history.

I am proud to be in the distinct minority when it comes to menswear. I also happen to be partial to patterned summer blazers and wacky striped slacks. Yet despite what is seasonally appropriate9, I have never put on bolo ties, I do10 have sartorial limits, believe it or not. My preferences have become my trademark, and my former naysayers have come to love my choices: one such friend actually commented on my not wearing a bowtie to a recent function. Instead, there’s11 nothing wrong with mixing it up once in a while.

Friends have told Albie, a fellow bowtie convert, and me to design our own lines of bowties and sell them on the internet. [12] However, him and I13 are perfectly content simply to have our own collections. Perhaps our collections will one day inspire some great artist, but the only art that I’m capable of is looking good. [14] [15]