The bow tie, cravatta a farfalla, papillon… Whether said in english, italian or the rather posh french vernacular, it’s a timeless classic. It’s also rather short, but holds a long history and distinct reputation, one I’m beginning to question.
This Croatian creation, originally known as the cravat, was born out of necessity during the 17th century Prussian wars when clever mercenaries came up with a way to keep the tops of their shirts from opening. How practical, but it was a century later when the French upper class thought “zis is jus too fabulous” and made it très chic.
Et voilá! The bow tie has now become the unofficial neck accessory of financiers, architects, legal minds, notable academics and politicians.
American author and former journalist of the New York Times, Warren St. John, believed bow ties suggest “technical acumen”…and in that, I agree! Have you ever tried tying one? Yours truly requires not only directions, but a cheering squad and prayers.
Superior motor skills and profession aside, there are those who regrettably associate the bow tie with stuffy elitists, who use them as a billboard, declaring their lack of interest in other people’s opinions.
My friends, to assume all bow tie lovers think themselves better than the rest is a real shame.
People come and go in life, but there are those that leave a lasting impression, the ones that you are so glad to hear from especially after they’ve moved on. I know a former colleague who lives for “Bow Tie Fridays”, a weekly tradition of his own making. He’s a well-respected media pro and family man, sporting an impressive resume, ivy league pedigree and has community leader written all over him. My business is all about identifying one’s brand and when Mr. Bow Tie left our office, he gave me one of his famous fashion statements. This wasn’t a Patrick Swayze- SNL Chippendale’s moment, a “here’s something you’ll need to cry on” parting gift or not-so-subtle rock star reminder that screamed “God am I awesome“.
This is the guy who when I was expecting my daughter, would regularly walk over to my desk and check-in with a grin. He also reminded me that soon-to-be dads need a little love too with a fantastic bottle of Super Tuscan exclusively for my hubbie.
Brownie points for me, brownie points for Mr. Bow Tie!
This is also the guy who hand delivered or blessed people by tossing bite-sized pieces of chocolate heaven over walls and down the halls. Even if “Father Cocoa” was trying to save himself from sugary sin, it was the way he did it that had us dying with laughter, not to mention willing to remove temptation.
And when Christmas rolled around, our annual holiday party wouldn’t have been the same if he didn’t volunteer to play Santa for the children. Saint Nick indeed. Those suits are as hot as crock pots! Total. Polyester. Hell.
Speaking of hell, this is the guy who on any given day would play emotional savior, sending group emails laced with just enough humor to make it until five o’clock… or in some cases, much later.
Whether he realized it or not, his timing was not just good, it was impeccable.
While I was pregnant, my late Uncle, or as we fondly called him, ZiZi Michele, passed away. Putting on a happy face was quite frankly torture, especially in the office. One afternoon I was caught a bit teary-eyed and Mr. Bow Tie took the time to pull up a chair, ask how my family was coping and offer a few kind words. Little did I know he had a client meeting the following day and stopped into St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Twenty-four hours later he presented me with a mass card bearing my uncle’s name (spelled correctly, I might add). Granted I cried again (definitely not what he was going for), but it was the kind of moment you could only share with “that guy”, the bow tie guy.
Yes. He is smart, has some serious educational chops, works in a fitting industry, and has somehow, Friday after Friday, averted self-strangulation. What a talent! But guess what? Even if you take away all of those credentials, Mr. Bow Tie is far from “stuffy” and surely doesn’t need to prove anything, never mind with a silk ribbon.
Before I launched this blog he told me to be true to who I am and what I love, just as I’m sure he does every Bow Tie Friday in his new office, at a meeting, or hopefully on a plane headed home to his lovely wife and kids. So in honor of all the brilliantly thoughtful, sincere, funny, and stylish class acts that defy the bow tie’s proverbial reputation, I give you an equally tasteful, “feel-good” bow tie pasta dish: Farfalle con Prosciutto e Panna. By the way, this is especially good on a Friday night paired with a nice Sangiovese, Pinot Noir or Chardonnay.
Cheers to Mr. Bow Tie (you know who you are) and thank you!
P.S. Keep it classy folks and viva le papillon! 😉