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Bow ties, not only for fashion daredevils

China Daily Asia | Updated: 2017-03-07 10:08
Bow ties, not only for fashion daredevils

Mickaël-François Loir (upper left) with friends. [Photo/MImages: Marine Orlova]

Historically, bow ties were worn by surgeons and architects because, unlike neckties, they didn't drop into their work.

Long cherished by all sorts of dandies such as Oscar Wilde, Fred Astaire and the Duke of Windsor, bow ties have suffered from unfair stereotypes for many decades.

"It's often considered to be a daunting fashion accessory, but it's not," says Mickaël-François Loir, the Frenchman who created acclaimed handmade bow tie brand Le Loir en Papillon five years ago. "If it's mandatory for a dinner at the White House, a bow tie is also appropriate for casual wear. I never go out without one, even to fetch croissants."

Bow ties, not only for fashion daredevils

Bow ties [Photo/Le Loir en Papillon]

Tie it yourself

There are three basic kinds of bow ties: self-tied, pre-tied and clip-on.

"Please forget about the childish clip-on ones; they are a fashion faux pas," says Loir. "And to be honest, I'm not fond of pre-tied ones, either. They deny you the pleasure of tying your knot in a personal way."

You may find a plethora of online tutorials explaining how to properly tie your bow tie, but have no fear and keep it simple – a shoelace knot does the job effectively. Still, there's one hard and fast rule to remember: the width of the knot must not exceed the width of your eyes.

Night and day

White tie is required for the most formal of gatherings, while many an elegant evening requires black tie instead. For your daily elegant routine, however, ditch the etiquette and showcase your personal style.

Dare to don a colored bow tie made of a unique fabric – burgundy wool is perfect with a tweed jacket for a stroll in the countryside, while blue striped linen is a nice pick for a sunny walk along the seashore. And ladies, you don't need to be left out of the loop. Why not get inspired by the quirky guise of Marlene Dietrich and steal your man's favourite bow tie from time to time?

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Bow ties, not only for fashion daredevils

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