Bow Ties


My husband is the original hipster. Mainly because he wasn’t hip in the least when we first met 30 plus years ago. No, he was a under paid journalist with wire rimmed glasses who wore his leftover clothes from the 70s. He wrote me notes on his father’s old portable Smith Corona typewriter and, despite his terrible shoes, he was adorable.

Not long after we married (and he bought some much needed new shirts) a friend returned from Scotland and gifted him a navy and white patterned bow tie. He has not worn a “regular” tie since.

He discovered that unlike his well-worn regular ties, bow ties were tough to spill coffee on. Working as a political writer, bow ties also got him noticed. Bow ties–self-tie ones only please–set you apart.

But that was the 1980s.

Today, our closet, as well as the tie racks of every fashionable male under the age of 40, is brimming with bow ties. Hanging alongside the classic Brooks Brothers club stripes are ties that feature the different facets of our lives: a Vineyard Vines Capitol design, a Southern Proper orange and blue Florida pattern, a bright High Cotton Polka Dot for summer and even a Bird Dog Bay tie that represents my husband’s beloved rescued white Lab, Buck.

For his office gift exchange this past Christmas, a co-worker, knowing his signature look, gave him a locally made and wearable Ella Bing bow tie carved out of African teak. Glorious!

In the years since that first gift from Scotland, my husband has taught numerous men the fine art of tying a bow tie, including our son and his groomsmen who all wore bow ties to honor his Dad.

Sometimes on a nice evening my husband can be seen, still wearing his work clothes, bow tie undone, sitting at a table in the backyard with Buck at his feet, pounding away on one of his portable typewriters. And he’s too hipster to be doing so ironically.

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