There are four principal types of bow ties, in my opinion. There are the wool challis and ancient madder designs that some of us love to wear with tweed. There are black and midnight blue grosgrain and satin bows for our dinner clothes, as well as the inexpensive printed silks often worn with seersucker in the American South. And there is a rarer group of beautifully woven silks that add panache to worsted suits and blazers in the evening.
This latter category is the newest of them, as men did not begin wearing lounge suits and blazers after the sun set until relatively recently. It is a look with multiple things going for it: attractive, evokes the past, and steps on no customs that I am aware of (which wearing patterned bows with dinner jackets certainly does). The key to it is the quality of the silk, which should be exceptionally rich looking under artificial light.
I know of few domestic sources for these bows. My first came from Charvet in Paris twenty years ago and I have been wearing them ever since. The ties in the photos are of course at the ASW store.
Réginald-Jérôme de Mans
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