People often make the mistake of thinking that a bow tie must be worn with a jacket. I might be inclined to think that of a neck tie but I am not in agreement with a bow tie. It was the illustrious owner of Carlo Riva shirting, Otto Mantero, who once strode into a summer time meeting in Como with me wearing no more than a pair of jeans met with brown derbys, a white shirt and a diamond point bow tie. He looked so nonplussed about the fact that we was wearing a bow tie. It was just a matter of getting up in the morning and tying a bow tie instead of a tie. Until that day I had always considered a bow tie somewhat ceremonial. The act of tying a bow tie had been so difficult for me to master initially that I had always held it in such a high esteem, the highest point of dressing well, so I thought. But as Italians often do, they rub off on you. And so it is that lately I have been less inclined to wear my bow ties with my suits but have taken to wearing them more casually. Not every day, I also like my scarves and on hotter days I still need an open neck shirt, but that odd day when you just feel its right. A cool rainy day. A sunny Friday in the city. A Thursday when I have meetings. With jeans, with a cashmere sweater, with a merino cardigan, with trousers, with or without a jacket. The bow tie isn't just for black tie. It's not just for cocktail. It's for every single day you feel its right, and I have Otto Mantero to thank for showing me how.
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