Handmade Bow Ties For Every Occasion!

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Welcome to Fly Guy Bow Tie, home of fabulous, fashionable bow ties. Your appearance, style, and elegance is of our utmost concern, and we desire to not only offer you the finest neck wears available, but also to assist you in releasing your inner sprezzatura so that those around you will be held captive by your ingenious, effortless ease of appearance, you stylish devil, you! If you’re new to seriously amazing neckwear, we offer a broad selection of pre-tied bow ties that will transform your attire into a marvelous, resplendent wardrobe of hope and inspiration to all of mankind.

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Our Brief History Of Bow Ties...Or Not

Montesquiou,_Robert_de_-_BoldiniIf you’ve been shopping for the perfect bow tie, you’ve undoubtedly already been exposed to the same dry “history of bow tie” tale, time and time again. We know you know that bow ties were first worn by Croatian mercs in the 17th century, and from there, how the French got a hold of it and took it to seed in their upper class fashion circles. We also know that you know Sean Connery (acting as James Bond) frequently wore a bow tie, so we’ll spare you from seeing another picture of him.

You’re most likely also familiar with the lore and stereotypes of old, cerebral fuddy-duddies sporting bow ties, whether it’s Colonel Sanders and his legendary Kentucky bow tie (which all chickens inherently fear, by the way…), or Albert Einstein with his modest bow tie, wild hair, and pipe smoking. Yes, Winston Churchill wore a bow tie quite often, too, and so do many brave and courageous college professors entrenched within the ivory walls of humanist, academic progress - truly, they’ve never looked better! None of this really matters, however, because we know that you’re the type of person (like these other exceptional individuals) who sets themselves apart from the chaff of fashion trends and bandwagon shenanigans, and your personal appearance gallantly marches to the beat of its own drum. So, we welcome and applaud you! We’re not here to discuss where the bow tie came from, but instead, to assist you in all practical matters: where the bow tie shall be in your near future, flowing with epic effulgence, uniqueness, and magnificence. How, then, may we assist you, Chosen One?


Bow Ties And Your Wardrobe

We are truly living differently today when it comes to the liberty of fashion versus the days of old when few men dared to modify or experiment with the staple attire of their time. In countries like the United States, Canada, France, and England, it wasn’t until the mid 1960s that people began to break conservative fashion trends through the experimentation of radical color schemes, and the mixing of apparel genres and fabrics; thus, switching the aim from “conforming to...” to “standing out from the crowd.”

Today, it’s not an anything-goes climate when it comes to fashion - there are still many occasions and events calling for the traditional wardrobes (i.e., formal weddings, job interviews, etc.); however, we seem to be at a point in time where we’re quite comfortable re-creating, mixing, and modifying the attires and styles of the past, yet not ready to look like the futuristic, purple-haired dandies and tigrises found in Hunger Games.

We want to layout some well know fashion foundations for building an exuberant attire with a bow tie, whether it’s for a special occasion, or a your new, every-day look. We’ll cover the way colors work with your mixing and matching of bow ties, pocket squares, shirts, and coats/jackets so that you can become a glowing beacon of supreme, stylistic excellence.

willy_wonka___gene_wilder_by_94cape69-d7b1h0cNowadays, bow ties can be worn with just about any collared shirts; they can be short sleeved or long sleeved shirts, and there is a no-holds-barred policy when it comes to mixing fabrics, colors, textures, and pocket accessories. Some might tell you otherwise - that only specific colors and patterns can work with others. It’s highly probable that these people are cowards; thus, you shouldn’t fear or respect them to any degree. Instead, we encourage you live by the esoteric teachings of Willy Wonka who bravely proclaims “we are the makers of music and the dreamers of dreams.” By the way, what’s that Wonka’s wearing around his neck?

For formal occasions like a wedding, a special dinner, or a ceremony calling for a tuxedo or suit, fashion is expected to complement the event instead of elevate the individual who is attending. The famous black and white penguin colors are always tested and true. For a jackets-off scenario, we’d recommend a solid color bow tie with a contrasting color from the shirt. For example, if your shirt is white, then a black bow tie would be the ideal choice. For a jacket’s-on scenario, the same color scheme will work, but you can consider a red bow tie or a white-on-white bow tie. Jumbo bow ties also look splendid with jackets.

For informal occasions (sometimes even a job interview), take the liberty to try wearing a variety of combinations. Just checkout your look in a mirror for a quality test before heading out in public. Shirt collars, color schemes, and patterns are important, so let’s cover the basics if you’re not already familiar with them.

Shirt Collars

The collars of a shirt will absolutely affect the position and appearance of your bow tie. Two of the most popular collar styles for shirts that accommodate bow ties are the button-down classic and the wide cut Oxford. The button-down classic collar has sharp, flat lapels that blend in nicely with a bow tie. The most common shirt collar type is the classic button-down, so chances are good that most dress shirts you buy will work great with your bow ties. The wide cut Oxford collar has lapels that are tapered back so that you can actually see distinguished collar lines when wearing a tie. It’s sleek design doesn’t get in the way of the bow tie, and they are quite comfortable, too.

Color & Patterns

Your color schemes and patterns are very broad when it comes to discovering that special, personal look that makes others worship you like the ancients did with hedonistic idols. In our Ultimate Guide To Matching Shirt and Bow Tie, we suggest color pairing through 3 color wheels to make superior match-ups between bow ties, shirts, pocket squares, vests, and jackets. Going overboard on too many different patterns and textures will unfortunately oversaturate your appearance and make you look like a piece of living wallpaper, so tread lightly when combining more than two different patterns and textures together.

White and black shirts are incredibly flexible when it comes to color and pattern pairing. Nearly anything will work together, but watch out for the color and pattern of a jacket. The last thing you want is for everything to look too complimentary. Jackets and vests typically contrast your shirt in color. Remember that a solid color theme only works for the Jolly Green Giant and the Michelin Man. For non white/black shirts, use the complementary, analogous, or split complementary color pairing.


Throwback: Men’s Fashion, 1900s to Present

800px-Morning_dress_1901We’ve always been fascinated, here, at Fly Guy Bow Tie with the history and evolution of men’s fashion - especially regarding formal wear like the suit. To see how the preferences and styles have changed throughout the years - even just from the 1900s to present - is truly astonishing! It’s also extremely interesting to see how economic factors such as World War II, and the conservation of certain materials, radically changed the materials and style of men’s suits during that time period.

Well, our presentation below is by no means an exhaustive account on the evolution of men’s fashion, but we hope it gives you an idea of what suits looked like in the recent past, what were the popular styles, and what brought about new changes in future suits. While suits have always been a symbol of status, independence, and power, and wealth, they’ve also always been subject to context, and this brief examination details how men’s suits were crafted within the ebbs of time and culture.

Before the early 1900s, England’s Victorian era was teetering to an end, and her social trends (including men’s and women’s fashion) were especially influential to upper-class Americans, for apparel was a means to distinguish one’s social class from the others, and to demonstrate wealth and virtue. The elite’s clothing, however, was beginning to transition from regal, over-the-top uniforms that provided little physical comfort to more stylish, loose fitting attire (mostly darker colors like black, charcoal grey, and brown). The steampunk fashion trend today builds its foundations upon the clothing styles of this period (if this gives you an idea of the appearance). The frock coat (a slim, but long day wear coat) was most popular amongst the elites, as were waistcoat vests, factory made shirts with detachable collars and cuffs, pants with button flies, tall black top hats, and solid color bow ties.

Leyendecker_arrow_color_1907_detailWhen Queen Victoria’s reign came to an end, Albert Edward VII took the throne and men’s fashion changed once more to reflect the new King’s attire. The luxurious styles didn’t change in appearance tremendously, but the materials certainly did. King Edward was quite the hunter and sportsman, so he wanted to look stylish, while at the same time, having warmth and flexibility. Wool pants called knickers came into style for fox hunting, as did tweed jackets. In the United States, the middle class was influenced by England’s fashion, so Edward’s clothing became popular amongst golfers, tennis players, and cyclists. The average day hats shrunk in size; brawlers (newsboy caps) and wheel hats were the norm for daily activities, and drivers sported goggles and gloves.

389px-BenjaminSuitsNOLARiverfront1912Other elite fashion trends of the period included the three-piece suit called a sack suit (sack coat paired with a waistcoat and trousers) and a small hat. The sack coat was at hip’s length unlike the longer frock coat, and it became the primary apparel for both upper and middle-class men.

As the 1920s were approaching, men’s suits became even less formal. The long, two to three button jackets with tailcoats were being replaced by shorter and shorter jackets. The pinstripe fad was fading as well. A double-breasted vest worn with a single-breasted jacket was in style, and this was the era for wearing white bow ties, silk, black top hats, oxford shoes, and pocket squares. Post World War I military fashion additionally influenced men’s clothing during this time - jacket lapels were buttoned higher and far more narrow than they were previously, as were the trousers. Showing off socks was a trend, too, so men’s trousers were shortened in length to accommodate this. The elite, upper-class continued wearing tall top hats and homburgs, especially to evening events; and the fedoras and trilby hats were popular amongst the middle class.

The 1930s was a time in men’s fashion when those who could afford it attempted to dress like the celebrities. Theaters were influencing Americans to dress like the stars, and as a result, suits and dresses had a hyper luxurious look to them. Suits were made of more flexible, comfortable materials, light padding was being added to accentuate shoulders, and the London Drape suit (tapered sleeves with folds on the front and backs) were taking the stage.

During the 1940s, World War II was carrying on, and men’s fashion went from the fancy film star era to the minimal donegal tweed suit that was handwoven in Ireland. Due to the limit on various materials, the richer, decadent fabrics were scarce, so America turned largely to wool and cotton. The suits fit the body well, though men’s trousers were more spacious and long in design. The fedoras was still the preferred hat of the time, and it was common to wear a long coat with the donegal suit.

When the 1950s arrived, the country had nearly recovered from World War II, and prosperity drummed up more celebrity worship within cinema and music. It was like the 1930s all over again. The minimal suit trend reverted back to the fancy broad-shoulder, double-breasted suits with wide lapels and styled cuffs. The restriction on many fabrics and materials had ceased from the war, so suits were being made again from lighter cloths. The pleats on trousers were enlarged in the fronts to accommodate dancing, and jeans were being worn out of the offices by everyone during leisure time.

1280px-Sean_Connery_1971The 1960s came even more superstars and fashion trends; the secret agent, Sean Connery, was wearing a Savil row suit by the London tailoring company, Henry Herbet. Famous musicians like the Beatles also wore slimmed versions of the Savil - slimmer lapels, slipper trousers cut short at the ankles, slimmer, collarless jackets. By the mid 1960s, the hippie movement was throwing clothing trends into an upheaval by mixing eras and genres together, resulting in juxtaposing combinations like formal military shirts and coats with torn blue jeans, etc. While people outside the hippie culture weren't nearly as free and experimental with their wardrobes, it certainly had a powerful influence, for the 1970s were a horrific era of fashion.

Utter chaos and experimentation rained through the fashion world of the 1970s and early 1980s for men and women’s clothing. There were radical colors combined with new, highly flammable, synthetic materials like polyester and rayon which gave birth to apparel like the disco leisure suit. Putting all of this strangeness aside, the three-piece suit did return toward the end of the era, and looking like a boss, never seemed better.

Barroso-Byrne-Madame_Satã,_1986The three piece suits of the 1980s were very slim body huggers, and came in many colors; however, the classics were back: black, charcoal, and white. Suit jackets had narrow lapels, and men typically wore shirts with thick pin stripes, no vests, and the long tie was preferred over bow ties. Hats had started declining back in the 1960s, and by the 1980s, almost nobody was wearing them anymore. Wearing a tie with a crazy picture on it was also popular among businessmen, but the lawyers retained the conservative solid color ties.

The 1990s was a time when men’s fine dressing was far less formal than it had ever been. Polo shirts and slacks were more common than suits, and this was the era of upper class males wearing extra large, hyper color, button-up, collared shirts that were left untucked with a vest on outside. Even when men wore suits, it wasn’t uncommon to see jackets unbuttoned, or the absence of a tie.

From the early 2000s to present, suites from nearly every era have been resurfacing with great popularity. Films, musicians, and games have contributed greatly to the resurrection and promotion of forgotten styles. In cinema, a tremendous amount of the classic films are remakes (i.e., The Great Gatsby) that accurately capture the clothing of the times, but then overly romanticize them. It’s been several decades of a free-for-all fashion movement, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop any time soon. Even styles from the 1970s are sparingly used by musicians like Lady Gaga, Kesha, Laroux, and Lana Del Rey, so nothing is off limits right now, and that includes some of the best suits of the past, and articles of clothing like bow ties, cuff links, top hats, decadent walking canes, and pocket squares.

Resources and Inspirations: Wikipedia | Men’s Journal | ties.com | Bullandmoose | tie-a-tie | loveandrobots | GQ | Esquire | imgur | ArtOfStyle