Couple playing croquet in a yard

Croquet and Bow Ties

Several days ago, Buzzfeed’s Benny Johnson wrote about the St. John’s Croquet shindig in Annapolis, Maryland. This event pits St. John’s College against the Naval Academy.

This April’s match marked the 32nd. According to St. John’s College:

According to legend, the rivalry began in 1982 when the commandant of the U.S. Naval Academy was speaking with St. John’s freshman Kevin Heyburn and remarked that the Midshipmen could beat the Johnnies in any sport. “What about croquet?” was the Johnnie’s retort. He later proposed the match to a group of Midshipmen in the interest of fostering better relations between the schools.

Croquet may not be the biggest and most popular sport in the United States, but that fact doesn’t stop the peeps of the Middle Atlantic region — particularly students at liberal arts colleges and military colleges — from reveling. The rule at such institutions when it comes to events like this is go big or go home.

That includes attires.

As you can see in the Vine video above from Johnson, people are dressed to the nines. As Johnson puts it, the event will make people feel like they took a time machine back to a fancy party during the Roaring Twenties when F. Scott Fitzgerald’s influential book, The Great Gatsby, took place.

So, when it comes to mens fashion, bow ties seem like the neckwear king there. In fact, if one searches for bow ties and croquet, it isn’t hard to find pictures from spectacularly Southern-themed weddings. Further, the sport typically has a rather formal feeling to it, so that’s why men typically dress up for playing it.

Now, while extravagant occurrences such as this seem like elites only events, but appearances aren’t necessarily reality. When someone takes a gander at an event like St. John’s Croquet, instead of fixating at how over the top the event seems, it is probably a good idea to keep in mind that the name of the game in this instance is fun.

Of course, the neckwear is an essential element of the fun. So, let’s rejoice — even if you celebrate by doing something by hitting plastic or wooden balls with a mallet through wickets.