It’s a Bow Tie…not a Bow Untied
You’ve been there: It’s ’round midnight and the wedding reception has been going full tilt, the alcohol has been consumed and even the most self-conscious of men have been coax onto the dance floor. They’re hot so first thing that happens is off come the coats, the shirts become untucked and, most egregious to me, the bow ties become bow unties.
Unlike long ties which can be loosened, people go for the full untie of the bow tie at a certain point. I think oftentimes, they are trying for a cool, relaxed, Sinatra-rat-pack vibe.
If so, they miss.
When people think bow ties, they often think of two Brits. Churchill…and Bond, James Bond. Bond is famous for his tuxedos. You will rarely find a scene where Bond is wearing his tie loose. Bond has been the epitome of cool for several decades. Part of looking cool is never letting them see you sweat…letting your bow tie loose shows you’re not cool. The obvious, glaring exception to this is the Casino Royale film poster. However, keep in mind what the producers were trying to communicate in introducing the Daniel Craig-version of Bond – more Bourne-like action with less Moore-level camp. In that same film, the final, late night, intense poker game that sets the bad guy up for all kinds of bad things, bond is coat-less…but his bow tie is firmly in place.
As a contrast, take a scene from the Pierce Brosnan non-bond film The Thomas Crowne Affair. Due to contract restrictions, Brosnan was not allowed to wear a tuxedo for any non-Bond film. Bond plays a character of style and elegance but with his bow untied in this scene (with excellent commentary). The scene simply doesn’t work as well.
The other time Bond’s bow tie is untied is when he is dressing or undressing. The former makes sense and is done in the privacy of his own room. The latter is often done with a Bond-girl. The message of the second is clear: a loosened bow tie equals…intimacy. In Casino Royale’s most touching scene, Bond removes his bow tie as a show of intimacy. The bow tie – and you – don’t come undone for just anyone. It comes undone for those close to you. Consider the bow aspect of your time. You are the present. Let the one you’re giving yourself to pull the ends of the bow.
Follow Bond’s rule: unless you’re fighting baddies or bedding beauties, keep your bow tie tied.