There is something about a hand-tied bow tie which stops people when you walk past them, be it in a bar, a bistro, a shopping mall or at an event. There is a natural elegance about it that trumps a tie and gives off a sort of nonchalance snobbery that suggests 'yes, it's a genuinely lovely silk, and yes, I tied it myself'. In my personal world, outside of my dealings with my bow ties customers, I know mostly long neck tie men at best. I like long neck ties, on some men they look the business, as though it is character defining and deeply rooted in that person's character. Those men, I never try to persuade into bow ties. You can tell them a mile off. Instead, the bow tie wearer needs to be slightly more chameleon and less steadfast, he is more likely to experiment and step out of the confines of the world that he has been told to conform to. Is that strength of character? Perhaps strength of character is the resolute long neck tie wearer who absolutely unequivocally will not move across to bow ties. No Sir! Or perhaps real strength of character is having the ability to cross that threshold, to allow oneself room to move in the world. I am more like that myself. This past week I have not been one thing or another. I wore bow ties on two occasions, an off white suit and tie to a wedding and in between, as I darted around the Victorian countryside and across Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula I oscillated between jeans and sweaters and athletica finished with Nike basketball shoes. If you caught me on one day and compared me to the next, there was a common thread but you might have thought you were in front of a completely different person.
What we wear should not define us, but rather express how we feel at any given moment; relaxed, strict, comfortable, guarded, pensive, sporty, jovial, forlorn.
The world does not need more bow tie wearers, it needs more men to experiment with their dress, to break free from the confines of what they are instructed to wear and to be playful with their dress and explore different facets of themselves. The idea, as some modern entrepreneurs often espouse, to dress in the same outfit every day in order to save valuable time thinking about dressing and moving onto your business affairs instead, defeats the purpose of life in my opinion. It lacks one of the fundamental things that I learned whilst driving the Victorian countryside, we work so that we can enjoy life and celebrate it. It doesn't feel right for me to do that in a grey hoodie and black jeans.
The final days of the racing spring carnival in Australia approach - how will you dress yourself?