Welcome back to the Gentleman's Gazette! Today, I'll show you my bow tie collectionand I'll tell you the story of how I built it, what bow ties I'm always looking for,what colors, how I wear them, and anything else you wanted to know about bow ties.
So most bow tie wearers love them becausemost other men don't wear them.
Up until maybe 10-15 years ago, bow ties werejust a fraction of the sales of regular neckties.
Personally, I love to wear neckties and bowtiesbut it wasn't always like that, however, that all changed when I started wearing bow tiesmore frequently.
In the beginning, it was slightly uncomfortablebut I had seen other men pulling it off in a very sophisticated and elegant way and sometimes,you have to do things that make you uncomfortable to improve your style and grow.
One thing I noticed at first was that mostbow ties all had pretty much the same shape and size.
While I was going through my archives of vintagemen's fashion magazines, I saw that there were hundreds of different shapes and alsodifferent sizes.
If you read men's style books, most peoplewill tell you that a bow tie should be proportionate to your face and they show like the widthof your face, should be about the width of your bow tie.
Personally, I don't adhere to that theory.
I believe that you can wear different bowties, different sizes depending on your mood because after all, it's a way to express yourselvesand if you go back in history, you see men wearing different bow ties and different sizesas well.
So without further ado, here's my collection.
Let's start with the red tones because redin bow ties is one of the most popular colors.
Obviously, I have a bunch of them and evenin our shop, we have quite a few Fort Belvedere bow ties in red, however, before I starteddesigning our own bow ties, of course, I had my own collection.
Probably the most common pattern is a micropattern;it's what I'm wearing here right now and it's basically a red background with either dots,little paisleys, or small motifs that are repetitive on the bow tie.
They are so popular because they're easy tocombine with striped shirts, solid shirts, as well as solid suits, andit just add a little bit of pattern to your outfit without being overpowering.
If you're a follower, you know that I onlywear self-tied bow ties and so everything in my collection is self-tie.
The bow tie I'm wearing is made of a red maddersilk and you can find it in our shop here.
It has those diamond ends which are pointedwhich allow you to tie your bow tie in a way that always looks a bit non symmetrical whichis exactly what you want to achieve, otherwise, it looks like a pre-tied bow tie and that'sthe hallmark of a schoolboy.
This one is made out of wool challis in avery muted red.
This shape here is slightly bigger with asomewhat more shiny silk but it has a chalky grip.
This one here is lightly a madder silk.
It has blue and silver tones, very subduedworks well with Blazers.
This one has yellow tones, it's more contrasty,I like it in this summer.
This one is more chalky again which is greatfor tweed outfits.
This one's a classic red with a standard micropatternthat is spaced a little more apart.
This one is a very dark burgundy with paisleysand it's a good option if you want to wear a bow tie without standing out too much.
These dots here are very bold and it's onlysomething if you're willing to make an even bolder statement other than just wearing abow tie.
If you want to top it off, you can even gowith this kind of a bold spot but it's really only for people who are comfortable with whatthey wear.
Another pattern I like quite much in a smallersize with a larger pattern is this one.
A typical vintage English madder silk andwe still offer that kind of silk in our shop.
It's a process that takes much longer, ismore expensive, but I think it's worth it.
This is kind of a bold paisley tie.
Paisley is a traditional pattern with originsin India that you can find all over in classic menswear.
this one is oversized so you don't see a fullrepeat in the bowtie which is rather unusual which is why I added it to my collection.
Here's our paisley with kind of an all-overpattern.
this one here is quite cool because of it'sunusual geometric pattern.
Another favorite of mine is this bow tie.
it's a red tone it's a mix of wine and maybepurple.
it is very unusual and hard to find.
also the motifs on it appear like they'recircling and repeating.
this one here is more repp striped inspiredvery classic something you'd wear with a preppy outfit.
this is a red velvet bow tie which is a prototypefrom Fort Belvedere which I like to wear for evening occasions and it's different thana black bow tie yet it's very festive and it sparkles in the light which is just beautiful.
this one is another one of our designs.
it has a very bold houndstooth pattern itis made out of a matte silk bourette silk which is very hard to find because most ofthe time silk bowties are shiny and at Fort Belvedere we always try to be different andadd things to your wardrobe that are not just run-of-the-mill.
this one here has a classic stripe that youmight know from a repp bow tie but we use a very soft shantung silk with blue and redas a background so it has a very nice color depth and it works well with any kind of blazeroutfit or business suit yet it's a bit more casual because of its texture.
next up let's talk a bit about my black bowties.
black bow ties for most men are probably thefirst bow tie they wear because it's something they need maybe in a prom and a wedding orwhenever they wear a tuxedo or the dress code requires a black tie.
to learn everythingyou need to know to look your best please check out this video here and we also havea free black tie PDF guide.
we even went so far to create a guide aboutwhat black bow tie is best for your requirements so you can check it out here.
so my collection obviously includes all theblack Fort Belvedere bow ties which are quite a lot.
We have styles in a classic silk satin whichis a very high-end satin from Italy we also have a barathea which is more matte we alsohave a fine rib grosgrain and a really wide ribbed grosgrain which is very unusual andhard to find as well as velvet bow ties.
all them come in different sizes and shapesand we're also one of the few stores that offers them in a single-end bow tie whichwas something that very elegant gentlemen wore particularly in the thirties and in the20s.
one thing that sets our black bow ties apart from others is they come with a fixedneck size.
most bowties today have an adjustable sizerwhich is quite handy and it's also better to stock things otherwise it gets quite expensive.
now we go to the extra effort to offer youa fixed-length because it's a traditional way and when you untie your bow tie and takeit off you can see and you can show that it's actually made for you just like a custom piecewould be made for you.
also if you wear a wing collar you don't wantthe adjusters to be visible which is why you want the continuous neck band.
before we offered our velvet bow ties, I actuallyhad quite a few prototypes made from different fabrics and I still always keep it and I wearthem because I test them but ultimately what ends up in the shop is only what we like themost.
So other black bow ties that I like that arepretty cool is this one it's kind of a pointed end with a somewhat asymmetrical shape andit's a vintage tie I think from its Carconi.
this one is a vintage moire a silk out ofa very fine fabric.
it's called moire because sometimes you seethat effect on screen if you have a very small pattern and it's also called watered silksometimes.
To achieve this effect you take two layersof fabric and run them through a press it's a special process and you don't find it veryoften.
the shape you see here is a very classic shapeit's like rectangular and when you tie it you get a slightly thicker knot.
if you usea thicker fabric sometimes a knot can be too big so this works best if you have a thinnerfabric.
personally my favorite evening bow tie shapeis this one here which is based on the 1930s model and it has just wonderful curves andit's very elegant.
Another cool bow tie is this one from theGatsby collection from Brooks Brothers.
it has white tips, as well as white areas,were you knot it so when you knot the bow tie you have white at the ends as well asin the knot and it's like a vertical white strip so you have four vertical white stripswhich is quite dashing.
next up let's look at the blue bow ties.
Again just like with the regular necktiesblue is so popular in menswear that a lot of bowties also come in blue.
here we have some bold spots again which isnot something I'd suggest if you are just starting out with because it's quite loud.
For a beginner and something like this one or this one would be much better.
once you have the small micropatterns covered,you can slightly move in size and go with something like this one here with green andred or this one here out of a more twill kind of jacquard silk with red and white accentsor you could get something with smaller items but a higher contrast.
However, you can also find them in other colorssuch as here with kind of a cream with the green which really changes the overall lookquite considerably.
of course, it's also good to have some reppstripes or you can go with checks like in this bowtieas you can see this bowtie has an asymmetrical cut it was a prototype we made and we stillhave some bow ties in this shape they weren't quite as popular with people I think theydidn't quite understand the big advantage is you can tie them in two different waysthe rounded part can be up or down which creates a different look and people can't quite tellit that's it but it's exactly the effect you want to achieve which is not being too symmetrical.
obviously these are also more unusual colorsthis is kind of a very faded light brown.
this is kind of a purple that works reallywell in summer Another good option for summer is a linenbow tie such as this one which is very light blue another favorite of mine for summer is thisone here which is very dark with some red background so it peeks out and it's the samestripe you can see here on a mannequin it's just a different color most of the time, striped bowties are angled,kind of a 45-degree angle so we try to do something different and created this one.
it's not something I wear a lot but I wantedto have different things for different occasions.
this one here came with the vintage tuxedoI bought and it's navy blue it has a diamond shape it's kind of a barathea but for black-tieyou should always go with black bow ties even if the fabric is midnight blue.
here we have some navy velvet prototypes insingle end and regular.
Another great color for bow ties is purpleso this one here has white dots which are quite contrasting this one here is from Fort Belvedere it hasmuch subtler paisley patterns and because of that I like it a lot it works well withgray or navy charcoal but you can even wear it with green so it's quite versatile.
it is different but it's not super loud awonderful addition to any gentleman's bowtie closet in my opinion.
this one is also cool it has kind of a verysubtle butterfly shape so the knot looks different and because of that I wanted this bow tie.
as you may have seen we also have bowtiesfor white tie ensembles and I believe it's the largest selection you can find in theworld.
of course they're all either single end orcome in fixed next sizes because when you wear white tie you always have a wing collarand an adjuster would always show.
I have all of them in my collection and Iwear them whenever a dress code requires white tie but I also have different ones that arevintage in different sizes.
for example this one here came in cotton ina different shape kind of a medium size this one here on the other hand was much smallerin a Marcella cotton.
now if you compare the sizes of those two,this one is from the 30s, this is probably more 60s or 70s inspired.
that being said, probably in the 30s no onewould have worn a bow tie that big but you definitely found difference in sizes a manwould wear from very small to medium size just somewhat larger.
Another underrated color in bow ties is greenand it's underrated in menswear in general so you can check out this video here if youwant to learn how you can incorporate green into your wardrobe.
so here is a very summery green bow tie witha vertical stripe from Fort Belvedere and it was a limited edition fabric so I don'tthink we have it anymore but sometimes when you have bow ties especially if they're ina coarse weave such as a jacquard weave and you have a beard you will find little threadspulling on the bow tie.
just think of it like your beard being sandpaper next to a verydelicate fabric and over time you will get pulling threads.
now you can cut them off I use our nail clipperfrom our set because it allows me to get very close and be very accurate so I don't accidentallycut into the fabric it's always good to have in mind when you wear bow ties try to shavebeforehand it's good for your bow tie and if you have a beard definitely go only withprinted bow ties because they have a much finer tighter weave than like a jacquard wovenbow tie where you can actually see the weave because that was much more prone to pullingthreads I have different greens like this forest green a striped green kind of a medium green paisley pattern a classic houndstooth bourette pattern fromFort Belvedere as well as this unusual kind of turquoiserepp stripe style silk last but not the least I have a bunch of bowties that are all a little bit different there are tones of brown yellow and orange or interestingpatterns.
first it's like this tartan pattern here whichis something that works really well for Christmas parties this one here is a bold dotted stripe madeout of a limited edition silk by Fort Belvedere that we don't offer any longer this one was a prototype out of a knittedbow tie it's a knitted wool but I found it was much toosoft and flimsy this one I thought was quite cool becauseagain it has this super large pattern on an unusual kind of creamy yellow background this one here is a summery pattern from FortBelvedere that we don't offer anymore it's kind of Madras inspired and you can learnmore about the Madras fabric in this guide here.
Another cool bow tie with a really large oversizedpattern without repetition and then another Madras bow tie in a slightlydifferent color scheme this one here I like a lot because it hasthis pale beige or buff background with elements of blue orange and green very unusual buteasy to combine this one here is much bolder and kind of abronze tone with blue dots this one is more yellow and has white dotsbut it looks very different than this one even though both are dotted or spotted bowties this one here is a brown and pale blue Paisleyone in a very bold diamond shape this one hereI like to wear especially withlight blue shirts it provides contrast it's a great option for summer it lightens up yourputfit and then of course there are other silk bouretteties from Fort Belvedere which I'm a big fan of at the moment, of course, I have all FortBelvedere bow ties in my collection but I didn't just list them here because we've mentionedthem in other places.
for a full selection please go to our shopand check them out here obviously this is a larger bow tie collectionand it took me years to build it.
I've had great luck at estate sales becausepeople who are into bow ties tend to have a lot of them and since not many are interestedin them, you can pick them up at a very inexpensive price point.
so if you want to build a bow tie collectionmy tip is take it slow think about what you have in your wardrobe get different pieceswith different textures different colors and different patterns and build something thatworks for you overtime.
if you like the glimpse into my bowtie collectionchances are you also want to continue this wardrobe tour and check out my boot collectionshoe collection cufflinks rings and so forth In todays outfit I went with a classic blazercombination with a twist first of all the top part is part of a suit it's a lightershade of navy it's double-breasted and I paired it with a Winchester shirt that is stripedin gray and white and added this red micropattern bow tie from Fort Belvedere it's made outof silk and you can find it in our shop here it has diamond ends makes the overall lookvery casual yet still sophisticated my pocket square is linen it picks up the blue tonesfrom the bow tie as well as the red but it's quite contrasting and it still stands outfrom the blazer without being too flashy when you wear a bow tie, it's already louder thana lot of other things so it pays to tone the rest down a little bit for my slacks I optedfor a small summery wool linen blend it's kind of a little houndstooth pattern so fromafar it looks like a lighter gray when you come up close you can see the pattern it alsowrinkles in a certain way especially if you sit all day but that's part of the linen opticsand that's good for summer to tie the whole outfit together I opted for burgundy Derbyshoes and I combined them with a great pair of shadow striped socks because they're solidwith a clock pattern on the side which always goes well with patterned pants Last but notthe least, my cufflinks are from Fort Belvedere they are gold with lapis lazuli again youcan find them here.