So so far Derek has extolled the virtues of the knitted tie and denim shirt in his Stylederektor basics series. And the time has come for us to once again to go on a merry romp through his wardrobe in search of a key item (complete with the liberal use of quotation marks and upper case which we are coming to expect when he gets really enthusiastic about something).
So Derek, begin!
“After the prosaic workwear of the denim shirt, the next item inducted into the Stylederektor basics is “the bow tie”. The Bow Tie for day wear is a terrific look on a more mature man. It’s smart, stylish and slightly eccentric, what more can you ask?
Now I did wear them in the Seventies usually as part of my “Austin Powers” evening wear look. But I had one big secret, in those days they were pre-tied.
*Warning* The following picture contains images of a pre-tied bow tie which some readers may find distressing:
“Fast forward to the late noughties, it was my niece’s 21st birthday and my Brother and Sister-in-law arranged for a grand dinner in China Tang at The Dorchester. Knowing it was black tie, my youngest daughter expressed surprise that I couldn’t tie a bow tie. So it was off to Jermyn Street to purchase an untied bow tie. I could not make head nor tail of the printed instructions. YouTube to the rescue, and Lucky Levinson of The Carolinas was my saviour. I’ve recommended this site to staff in Brooks Brothers and nearly every shop in Jermyn Street.
Well since then several silk bow ties have been purchased, and they do really look good with everything from linen suits to blazers. I’ve yellow, blue, red and several in my cricket club colours. Matched with classic cutaway collar shirts they always look great. The windows in Jermyn Street are a wonderful inspiration of what co-ordination can work. Favourbrook, New and Lingwood and Hackett’s are always inspiring.
It’s also great on Cruise Ships’ formal nights to affect a certain insouciance when the other diners ask if I can tie a bow tie. Usually later in the evening I can casually undo the tie and look a little like Daniel Craig in “Casino Royale” (In response to this Mrs Stylederektor will no doubt say I now need stronger spectacles).
The bow tie bestows some sort of social cachet. I’ve been asked on several occasions when wearing one if I’m a professor, my reply is normally an enigmatic smile and a no comment. It’s also a “babe magnet” – well older ladies have often complimented me on being so smart.”
Hmmmm. If Mrs Stylederektor was getting riled about the fedora, I can only imagine what she’s going to have to say after reading this number. Clearly the power of the bow tie is such that one wear can give a man of mature years the look of an enigmatic professor with a hint of Bond about him. No wonder he becomes a babe magnet – watch out on those cruises Mrs SD!
Derek, pictured on formal night on a Caribbean cruise last spring.