Bow Ties Are Not Cool
With apologies to the eleventh Doctor from Doctor Who, Bow Ties are NOT Cool.
“Cool” is an unflappable confidence tempered by a calm reserve. It’s what made a somewhat trollish man like Bogart a star and alluring to women. Cool is often attractive…but not necessarily so. Some people are intimidated by confidence. Some can’t stand the quiet that comes with a calm reserve.
By this definition, “cool” is something only a person can be. An article of clothing can’t be cool. The cuffed jeans on 1954 Marlon Brando is beyond cool. Jeans on 1987 Brando…not cool at all. Although the man, buff or bloated, still managed to be cool.
No, a bow tie can’t make you cool. Or interesting. To be interesting, you have to do hard work. You have to read challenging books, talk to smart people doing unique things and be able to speak your own thoughts in a manner that engages people.
Now, how you wear a bow tie can signal like a beacon that you are not cool. You can’t wear the bow tie with a “Hey look at me” attitude. If you’re wearing the bow tie to stand out, people will notice it like a klaxon sounding at midnight. The very clear message in wearing a bow tie this way is that you are flappable, not confident and likely don’t have that calm reserve. In other words, not cool. If you’re wearing the bow tie with a cloying “I’m interesting because I wear a bow tie” attitude with nothing to back it up – you do nothing interesting and say nothing interesting – you won’t be considered “cool” but a posing dullard.
Wearing a bow tie can be cool or not cool. But it doesn’t bestow traits on you. It will only amplify them. If you’re a big ol’ dork, wearing a bow tie will only make you look like a big ol’ dork wearing a bow tie. If you’re boring, you’ll just be a bore in a bow tie. If you already have an unflappable confidence tempered by a calm reserve, then you’re that cool guy in a bow tie.