1001 Black Men–#271

Brooks Brothers, San Francisco, November 2011

Every few years, someone in the world of fashion punditry proclaims that the bow tie is back. For those who don’t have my nerdy fixation with ultra-preppy menswear, I should probably explain that these proclamations seem to happen every couple years, at least since the 1980s (when I started paying attention). So far, I haven’t seen a run on bow ties at Brooks Brothers, J. Press, or anywhere else; and God bless the women at Southern Proper, but I just don’t think that their cute but (uncomfortably) Confederate-friendly designs have transformed the fashion sensibilities of young college men for whom their designs were intended.

Maybe, though, that is really as it should be. If the bow tie became as common an accessory as the standard neck tie, it would lose some of its impact as the witty exclamation point of style, conveying both vanity and the ability to find humor in one’s own affectations.

Ajuan Mance

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