Bow ties have often been considered an accessory for nerdy math professors. They may also be a telltale sign of a well-versed museum curator or an obnoxious clown. But lately they have made a wake in the fashion community.
At Florida Gulf Coast University, bow ties can be found strangling the necks of the business causal and semi-formal alike. They’re most prominently displayed by frat brothers over pledge week as well as the ever-astute professor.
The Men’s Wearhouse in Miromar Outlets shopping center has reported a drastic spike recently in bow tie sales.
“They’ve been pretty popular among the younger crowds lately,” said Matthew Weaver, consultant at the clothes retailer. “We’ve never had this kind of response to ties like this. They really add to the professional look that’s just different from the standard necktie.”
The bow tie was originally introduced by 17th century Croatian mercenaries who used their scarves to fasten their shirt collars. After 300 years, the bow tie eventually made its way into the American wardrobe in the 1900s. However they quickly became absorbed into the realm of academia apparel and as a result fell out of popular style.
“I’d say the recent movement is a result of a push from a casual to a more classy professional style,” said Sean Hetherington, a philosophy major at FGCU.
“It’s a bow tie epidemic,” FGCU alumnus Hayley Bennett said. “I see them everywhere, and when I’m on campus I see them all the time; I like them. They’re really different and they make guys like unique.”
It’s hard to say for sure what brought the bow tie back. It may have been when Justin Timberlake donned the tie for his latest album cover, or maybe it was Matt Smith’s role as the eleventh doctor in “Doctor Who” with his catch phrase “Bow ties are cool.” Either way, they’re here to stay for the foreseeable future.