As previously noted on this web log, bow ties are cool again (as if they ever weren’t). Alexis Petridis of England’s venerable The Guardian disagrees, and notes it here. His words on the subject, though incorrect, reprinted below for the sake of balance:
I can’t think of many adjectives I’d less like to have appended to my name than “zany”, which is why I’ve never worn a bow tie outside of evening dress. Divorced from the tuxedo, it just screams, “Also wears novelty socks and does catchphrases from The Fast Show, run for your life”. You may as well hang a sign around your neck that reads: “You don’t have to be mad to work here – but it helps!!!”
I suppose this state of affairs has something to do with flouting convention – the standard shirt and tie combo – and instead introducing a knowingly archaic, excessive formality. Wearing a bow tie is the menswear equivalent of smirkingly saying “methinks” in everyday conversation: what Sir Kingsley Amis would have called an infallible wanker detector. So I salute the bravery of those attempting to rehabilitate the tux-less bow tie. Their cue came from hip-hop: Pharrell Williams wears one, and whatever else Pharrell Williams may be, he’s not one of life’s methinksers. Then bow ties turned up on the catwalk. And last year, eBay sales of bow ties rose by 34% in two months.
Emboldened, I gave it go. As I walked into the room, I sensed everyone’s wanker detector going off in unison. “Have you joined The Nation Of Islam?” chuckled the photographer. “You look like Mr Bean in that film where he was a spy,” offered the make-up artist. “Johnny English.” That sealed it: if there’s one function I don’t need fashion to perform, it’s to help me look any more like Rowan Atkinson than I already do. Bow-tie revival? Methinks not.