There are a few clothing items that catch people's attention in both positive and negative ways: overalls, skinny jeans (not so much now, but it was the case at one point) and fedoras are among a few.
The history of the bow tie dates back to the 1700's; now they're becoming a common uniform in fraternities in the south, while our colleagues up north are still trying to catch on. The most common piece that draws attention, which is probably worn more and attracts more attention than any other menswear piece is the bow tie.
If you're one of the brave few who decides to wear a bow tie, you're a confident man (or woman) and you're sure to make a fashion statement. A bow tie signifies independence, elegance and not being willing to follow the crowd of neck tie wearers that make up most of the world. As someone who only wears bow ties(for about three years now), I must say that there are downsides to making the leap. Here are some pros and cons before you make this change in your wardrobe.
Independence - Based on what I've observed in person and on social media, I'd say 90% of men wear neck ties. Its conservative, its 'safe' and you'll look nice without drawing too much attention to yourself. Some of us (like myself) aren't satisfied with this, and don't mind (good) attention/compliments drawn to our oufit.
Elegance - Bow ties are usually reserved for formal occassions (proms, galas, etc.) which implies how dapper and man chic the bow tie is. Some people can't handle this level of elegance on a daily or weekly basis. On the other hand, if being stylish is a way of life for you then the prospect of wearing a bow tie on a consistent basis fits in perfectly with your lifestyle.
A Good Conversation Starter -
Convo 1 -
"You look nice!"
Convo 2 -
"You look nice! And I love your bow tie"
"Did you tie it yourself? I can't get my husband to wear one! How did you learn?"
Credibility- there will be cases when people don't take you seriously because you're wearing a bow tie. Bow ties give off a 'fun' vibe more so than a 'I'm here, where's the contract' vibe. For example, some people reccomend that you don't wear bow ties to interviews because you won't be taken seriously. I disagree with this, as I've worn a bow tie to every job and scholarship interview in my life (and every single time I always got what I was interviewing for). In fact, I was once told "As soon as you walked in the room and we saw your bow tie, we were sold!".
Bonus Tip: For interviews, ALWAYS wear a solid bow tie. No patterns.
Potential Awkwardness- People will stare at you. I'm here to tell you that I promise its for a good reason. Don't get offended or say "What's your problem? Never seen a guy in a bow tie?". Just smile and go about your day!
DJ Hargrave | Founding Editor of College Style Guy