Howard McEwen's Red Bow Tie with White Dots

Bow Ties Are the Practical Ties

Howard McEwen's Red Bow Tie with White Dots

Howard McEwen’s Red Bow Tie with White Dots

I’m a practical guy living a practical life. So I’m transitioning to becoming a full-time bow tie wearer because, hands down, bow ties are a practical while ‘traditional’ long ties are, in a word, frivolous.

I’ll walk you through my day to show you what I mean.

In the morning, I stand in front of my mirror. I tie my bow tie. Then I forget about it. Maybe it’s how I tie a Windsor or my half-Windsor or the occasional four-in-hand or how those knots combine with the top button of my Oxford but they are constricting. As the day progresses, I’m looking for an occasion to loosen my collar. I’ve no desire like that with my bow ties. I tie them and forget them.

This allows me to focus on my day with one less distraction.


I leave for the office about 7 a.m. My bride is usually sleeping so I bend down to give her a kiss. If I’m wearing my traditional long tie and I’m not being mindful, it will coil onto her neck or cheek or face tickling or otherwise disturbing her. The best case scenario is I am mindful and have to use one hand to hold the tie back. Which, depending on the mood, precludes a full embrace.

There’s none of that awkwardness with a bow tie.

Again, practical.

When I leave for work, I stop to smell the Kentucky morning air when often a breeze comes up…and my long tie flaps in the wind disturbing my Bluegrass Zen moment. So I tuck it down annoyingly and go on with my day. If it’s a nice morning, I like to drive into the Queen City with the windows rolled down. To do so without my long tie bothering me, I do this little maneuver where I tuck my tie into my shirt.

Bow ties? No such distracted driving issues.

Again, practical.

When I’m at the office I have to smooth the tie down when I sit at a conference room table or desk to keep the neckwear off the table or desk. I do it unconsciously dozens of times. I do it when sitting down for lunch. I do it when reaching across the table to shake a man’s hand. If I need to do something the least bit physical, I have to find something to do with the flaccid piece of fabric hanging from my neck. And, since I work with confidential information quite a bit, the terrors of the shredder are self-evident.

With a simple and stylish bow tie, I save all that energy and potential embarrassment.

Again, practical.

Finally, throughout the day the bow tie demonstrates that you know one more knot than the average Joe. I believe this projects to everyone a subliminal sense of competence. “Hey, this guy knows how to do something most people don’t.”

Maybe it will translate into something beneficial and profitable to you. I think it will.

Again, practical.

Howard has many interests. To learn more visit his blog and check out his books on Amazon.