Why Winston Churchill Wore Bow Ties
Perhaps one of the most famous people with a strong penchant for bow ties is former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. He certainly had a colorful life. Soldier, Boer prison camp escapee, war correspondent, author, national hero, politician, statesman, cigar chewer, and dandy are several terms that describe this distinguished — yet complicated — bloke who enjoyed great highs and deep lows throughout his life. Ultimately, for his country, The Churchill Centre notes, “He was the lion who roared when the British Empire needed him most.”
Winston’s relationship with his parents was not ideal. While a youngster, he had limited contact with his mother, Lady Randolph Churchill, but enjoyed a strong friendship with her as an adult. He and his father, Lord Randolph Churchill, had a distant relationship. However, according to Barry Singer, author of Churchill Style: The Art of Being Winston Churchill, Winston wore bow ties partly because…
He said his father wore spotted bow ties and he wore ones [purchased at Turnbull & Asser] in tribute to him. He was distant and unavailable to the young Winston and they had a difficult relationship. I think Churchill always wanted to please his father. After he died, he wrote his biography and a short story, ‘The Dream,’ about him.
So, he wore his signature neckwear as a tribute to his father who was also a statesman, which is rather sweet. What a way to show love to one’s father.
While bow ties were likely worn more frequently in the Churchills’ times than in the contemporary period, either passing along a fashion tradition from father to son or a son emulating his father’s style is a wonderful way to show love and tie generations together. The fact that bow ties aren’t as frequently worn now as long, traditional ties only enhances the devotion and bonds that sharing this common fashion statement can make between multiple generations.
Following a similar theme, the Aficionado has a tie to his beloved grandfather. After his grandpa’s death, one of his aunts placed his ties in protective cases as if they were artifacts found in a museum. Such ties serve as a fitting tribute to this university professor. The Aficionado hopes that his descendants will have bow ties that they’ll display in their homes next to family pictures and other knickknacks in order to tie them to him.