Brooks Brothers’ Blog was asked this question:
I learned many things while growing up in the South, one of which is that ever proper Southern gentleman ought to have a bow tie. Aside from horse races and Easter Sunday, when is sa good time to bust out the bow tie?
-Jeffrey, San Antonio, TX
Who better than K. Cooper Ray, Southern author of the blog Social Primer (and bow–tie wearer), to tackle this question?
“Yes, growing up in the South does come with a few mandatory rites. Along with knowing when and where to drink Bourbon (outdoors) and Scotch (indoors), wearing a bow tie is right there, firmly ensconced in the pantheon of the rites of man.
But your question makes me wonder why wearing a bow tie should be reserved for special occasions only. We are not talking about a bottle of Dom Pérignon ’72—that one, you should save for a historic occasion. We are talking about a little piece of fabric that sits below the chin, jauntily perhaps, but sits there all the same.
Perhaps the save-it-for-a-special-occasion attitude comes from the fact that many men don’t know how to tie a bow tie and hence shy from anything that makes them feel frustrated or not completely in control. This is easily remedied with a little practice. Bow ties are for any occasion when one would wear a regular tie. Work, church, dinner, a meeting, a date, or even on a night out when one desires a little extra pep.
Now head out on the town and tie one on.”
K. Cooper Ray