May 31, 2012

Elements of Glamour :: Stylish Dressing :: Bow Tie

It hardly needs to be stated on these pages,
where glamour is celebrated in all its illustrious forms,
that a hand-tied bow tie,
worn by a handsome gent,
in an impeccably cut black suit,
has got to be pretty high up on the list of stylish dressing.

What on earth else would James Bond wear when ordering a martini?
Would it be the same if he were wearing an open necked checked shirt?
(My son tells me that in the new JB, though,
martinis have been tossed in favour of beer.
Are they serious???.
But, I digress...)

Perhaps it is the almost-vulnerable appeal of a soft ribbon,
contrasted with the severe simplicity of a black suit/ white shirt,
 which makes this item work so well. 

My own handsome husband wore a hand-tied white silk bow tie
for our wedding - which luckily went just as well with my going away dress
of spotted blue,
as it did with my wedding dress of white silk.

The bow tie first appeared in fashion history in the 18th century,
and is believed to have developed from the military cravat.
Of course, the art of hand tying a bow tie is an exacting one,
but a clip on version is absolutely out of the question, to my way of thinking.

Conor Whelan Design have even made it much easier,
by simply following these charming illustrations. 

And truly, is there anything more dashingly handsome,
than a black dinner suit, white french-cuffed shirt,
and bow tie?

my own wedding // on the red carpet // illustration by conor whelan // ed westwick as chuck bass in a bow tie & tux


  1. The only thing more dashingly handsome
    than a black dinner suit, white french-cuffed shirt, and bow tie is Ryan Gosslin in a black dinner suit, white french-cuffed shirt,
    and bow tie.

    Thanks doll,
    The Glamorous Housewife

    1. yes, i agree gosling scrubs up pretty well in such attire - suits his boyish face.

  2. Oh my Virginia.....I'm weak at the knees, and if all is then accompanied by an excellent aftershave....well then I'm truly done for! What a beautiful post yet again.

    1. mmm....absolutely spot on observation Sylvia... the excellent aftershave is truly the final touch of perfection!

  3. Hello Virginia:
    We do absolutely agree about a bow tie, which should always be hand tied, for formal occasions such as when a dinner jacket is to be worn or, indeed, white tie and tails. Where one is worn casually, we always feel that it never quite works and can, in our view, make the wearer appear slightly at odds with the times.

    But, far more importantly, what an absolutely wonderful photograph of you, with your husband, in your going away dress. You look lovely and so very, very happy. And the hat, perfect!

    1. I think it takes quite a bit of confidence and panache to pull off the successful look with a more casual outfit - I tend to agree with you. Although some men can do it. My uncle, who was an architect of the old school, could, as he wore the traditional architect's bow tie from the days when drawings were made of wet ink, and it was simply a matter of practicality to wear a bow tie.

      On the other hand, any man, it would seem, looks fabulous in a white or black silk hand-tied bow tie with a fomal suit.

      And thank you for the kind words about my husband and I. We are lucky to still be very happy, after 22 years. Of course, we haven't aged a bit!!!

  4. You are such a glamorous gal Virginia ... love the pic of you and your husband looking very happy on your wedding day!
    Plus drooling over the suave Daniel Craig and the ever so dapper Ed Westwick!

    1. Oh Marina I adore that word "dapper". And "ever so dapper" is just utterly delicious. You have been in England for a while to talk so! Love it.

      And thank you for the lovely compliment! VB

  5. Mel@Georgica Pond31/5/12 7:39 PM

    I love bow ties, the epitome of style and panache in a man. And nothing better than a photo of Daniel Craig in one. My obstetrician wears a bow tie every day and I think it's charming. Wish we saw more of them in all manner of colours and patterns. Love the preppy look too.

  6. LOVE the pictures from your wedding Virginia - gorgeous couple :)
    Have a glamorous day sweets

  7. what a fabulous photo of you and your husband Virginia!
    Agree with Marina, Daniel looks extremely yummy!!

  8. What a handsome couple you make, I must say. Here in Atlanta it is rare (once in 19 years) to see black tie in a restaurant and I think it would be good to revive the practice. The look I cannot bear is the regular tie worn with a tuxedo instead of a bow tie – makes all who wear it look like funeral directors or club bouncers. I've never mastered tying a bow tie (buttons and shirts and pillow cases also flummox me) so the Celt stands behind me in front of a mirror with me grousing the whole time and he nearly strangling me (by accident, I think).

    1. I keep re-reading your comment because it makes me chuckle every time. I jolly well hope it is "by accident!"

      Have to tell you, when I read your comment out loud to my husband, when I got to the bit about wearing an ordinary tie with a tux, he jumped in with "oh, yes, it's awful. Just like footballers do!" Well they do here, not sure if they do in the US as well?

      And perhaps you can set the tone in Atlanta then, by wearing a black tie next time you go out for dinner? If you are not strangled in the process...that is...

  9. It is said that clothes do make the man but it takes a certain panache to carry it off as without the suit and the attitude the bow tie can make one look like the corner grocer.

    I love your wedding picture - at first I thought 'what Hollywood couple is this?' Gorgeous!

  10. Swoon! I'm such a swooning sucker for a guy in a black tie and tux. There is no saving me!

  11. gorgeous Virginia! you guys make a very glamorous couple xx


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