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Interview and Feature in Varsity

Bowtiful Ties was recently featured in Varsity – Cambridge University’s independent student newspaper – with a photo shoot – including some of our hottest summer ties, and an interview with the founder, Moses Hoyt.

Enjoy the interview below:

When did you realise bow ties were your calling?

I was in Cambridge, basking in May Week and realising that everyone was wearing boring black bow ties. I wanted to make something far more exciting and individual and come up with an awesome little brand.

What makes bowtiful different to other brands?

Regular neckties are boring. We want to make ties fun again. We specialise in cotton hand made British double sided bow ties. Tie something new.

Is there something distinctly Cambridge about your designs?

Other than the fact that they look super awesome when worn in May Week, probably not. Most of our ties are double sided. Serious on one side, party on the other. I think that represents Cambridge life pretty well.

Do you have any advice for students wanting to start their own business?

Get out there and do it. Don’t just sit around on your ideas, the barriers are so low, and it’s an unbelievable amount of fun.

When’s the perfect time to wear a bowtie?

When you want to stand out from the crowd and add that tongue-in-cheek level of formality to your outfit.

What inspires your designs?

Contrast. I love great textured materials, and contrast. Lots of contrast. And maybe a little harmony.

Any advice for people who struggle with self-tie?

Youtube, a mirror and ten worthwhile minutes. Even a messily tied self-tie has that aura of originality that no pre-tied tie could ever match.

How did Cambridge influence your designs?

So many opportunities to wear bow ties, but so few original ties out there. I wanted something more exciting. College striped bow ties were a start, but I wanted to take it to another level.

What’s behind the names?

I started naming the ties after people that would love to wear them, and then realised that each design had this style of its own—so I just created these names and personalities to go with them.

Which is your favourite tie, and what does it say about you?

My favourite is constantly changing. At the moment it’s Freddy. It’s loud and garish in so many ways, sort of like me.

Design plans for the future?

More outrageous double sided ties, and maybe some more cool new materials.

Caring for your Bowtiful Tie

From time to time your Bowtiful tie will get creased from all those loving times that you wore it. While a creased tie is a great look for some, it won’t float everybody’s boat. A quick iron on a not-so-hot heat should help you out and remove those crinkles and creases.

A creased tie is not for everyone.

A creased tie is not for everyone.

On occasion you may even get far too excited and spill some soup, jus, or even mustard on your tie. Fear not, this can be easily remedied! Use a damp cloth, maybe a little warm water and a touch of soap and your tie should be as good as new.

While most of our ties (not the silk ones!) have been tested on a delicate wash in the washing machine, and have survived, we recommend only using this as a last resort.

And finally, while it is nice to have a warm neck, especially in the winter months, we don’t recommend tumble drying your tie.

Share and WIN with Bowtiful

New Plaids Words

Share me and WIN one of the NEW PLAIDS

We’ve launched some awesome new plaid bow ties in the last week and want to let the world know about them. So we’d thought we’d better try something new to promote them. Share this post on Facebook and add a comment to be entered into a contest to win one of the new plaid ties of your choice.

I’ll pick a random winner in a weeks time (specifically 5pm GMT on 10/9/13) and ship them out an awesome Bowtiful Tie of their choice.

Meanwhile, check out Tom, Dick, Harry, Chris and Lincoln — the new plaid ties from Bowtiful.

Happy sharing.

New plaids from Bowtiful

New Plaids Words

New plaids from Bowtiful

Meet Tom, Dick, Harry, Lincoln and Chris.

Have a gander at our wonderful new plaid bow ties. Just in time for the end of summer, Labor Day, or even the beginning of September. Get your perfect plaid today.

Not a plaid kinda guy? We do have other awesome bow ties available!

Dartmouth Med School Custom Bow Ties

Smith Red

When I asked Bowtiful Ties to help us find a representative bow tie design for our institution, the company responded enthusiastically with an array of wonderful designs to chose from, altering and tweaking as requested with such diligence and attentiveness. I couldn’t be happier with the way all of these turned out! I ordered over 25 bow ties and got them delivered within a week’s request all the way over to the States. We will be wearing “The Dartmouth” for years to come. Thanks Bowtiful!

– Khushboo Jhala, Giesel School of Medicine, Dartmouth

For more information on custom Bowtiful Ties, get in touch here or through hello at bowtifulties dot com.

Are Bow Ties in Style 2013

TL;DR version:
Yes, of course bow ties are in style in 2013. They’ve always been in style.

Long version:

Firstly, understand that coming from my perspective I have a somewhat vested interest in saying that, yes, bow ties are, in fact, in style. So perhaps take anything I say with a little pinch of salt.

But I don’t say they’re in style that lightly. I actually believe they are. Perhaps they’ve always been. Black tie has been the de facto pseudonym for tuxedo/dinner jacket/evening formal for a long time now. And black tie refers to a bow tie obviously. Black tie is always in fashion at the right events/occasions, and provided you wear it with an awesome fitting suit, then you’re going to look as fly as (or maybe even a little bit more fly than) the next guy.

But the use of bow ties in super formal environments doesn’t stop there. White tie is obviously a stable for the big summer balls and weddings. And once again, it’s a bow tie. The white marcella bow tie is the tie to go for.

So now that oscar/bafta/wedding season is in full swing, you’ll see a large enough number of celebrities and average joe’s wearing bow ties elegantly. A large enough number even to make you think bow ties are in style. You’re right. They are. But you’ve got to wear them at the right time.

But then again not everyone wears a tuxedo all the time. The occasional, lucky few, do. But let’s be realistic here.

So that leaves us with the (awkward) situation where you could wear a bow tie in a somewhat formal occasion. With a suit perhaps, and possibly to work. Or in an even more casual environment.

Depending on your workplace, this has been happening more and more. You’ll get the Dr. Who wannabes and the Beau Brummel aspirants more and more. And now that summer is starting to rear its beautiful head (at least here in Scotland it is…) you’ll find innumerably more occasions to rock out in a bow tie. Use them wisely. Garden parties, may balls, summer soirées all count. Wear an awesome Bowtiful Tie, pair it with a perfect shirt and be happy that you’re doing something a little different to everyone else and tying something new.

Here’s a little inspiration for some classic bow tie/shirt combos. Enjoy.

A wooden bow tie experiment paired with blue stripes

A wooden bow tie experiment paired with blue stripes

Flash Gordon in Green with a pleated white shirt and dinner jacket.

Flash Gordon in Green with a pleated white shirt and dinner jacket.

The Charles with a light blue Oxford.

The Charles with a light blue Oxford.

The Charles paired with a classic pink Oxford

The Charles paired with a classic pink Oxford

The Archy 2.0 paired with a classic blue Oxford

The Archy 2.0 paired with a classic blue Oxford

A fall coloured pointed tie with a blue Oxford

A fall coloured pointed tie with a blue Oxford

Adjustable Bow Ties

One of the early things that I realised when making bow ties was that people’s necks are different sizes. Totally different sizes. This obviously has an implication on tie production, and may be one reason why the traditional necktie is more popular that the bow tie. The traditional necktie is a one-size-fits-all design. It’s inherently adjustable—unlike most other items of clothing—you decide how to ‘size’ it as you tie it.

The bow tie is less so. It’s not totally unadjustable, though it can be made to be. In general though, compared to the traditional necktie, it’s a little harder to instil a one-size-fits-all design without additional engineering and material usage. At first, when starting out with Bowtiful, I opted for the easy way out and made ties a fixed length in what I deemed were the most popular neck sizes – 15, 15.5 and 16 inches. This obviously had its implications, but some were more far reaching than I initially thought. A selection of them include:-

  • A portion of the market is immediately being excluded by not making ties in all sizes.
  • The amount of stock required, and the numbers of ties in each size is a total unknown.
  • Minute adjustments once a bow tie is tied are generally impossible with a fixed length tie. You lose the opportunity to tighten the tie by pulling the neck strap on either side of the bow. This generally makes the ties (when tied) not have as much immediate potential to look AWESOME.
  • The potential to tie a tie off your neck and then fasten it on to your neck once (perfectly) tied is lost.
  • People like to wear their bows in different sizes. With a fixed length and a fixed neck size (this is assuming people aren’t able to change their neck size on demand) there’s little room for bow size variation
  • The manufacture is a whole lot harder when you have to worry about custom sizing.

The traditional method of allowing adjustability in a bow tie is with a little hook and eye sort of mechanism. One end of the tie has a hook which can be inserted into a number of different holes/eyes on the other half of the tie to allow for different neck sizes. It’s not elegant, but it works. It’s also pretty fiddly, and actually lacks a whole bunch of adjustability if you want to change the neck size slightly once you’ve tied the tie. It’s not really ideal, but it’s the accepted norm in the bow tie industry, and 99% of manufacturers use it.

Here at Bowtiful we hate to follow norms and ideals. Challenging the preconception is where the fun is at, so we figured we would do the adjustable bow tie a little differently (and frankly far better). To do this, we borrowed a nifty fastening mechanism from the bow tie’s friend in the ‘mens accessory’ family, the belt. In particular, the summery canvas belts that use 2 D-rings for fastening. Frankly I was a little surprised that no-one else was using such a fastening method when I first thought about the idea. It’s so simple, requires easily available, sturdy and cheap raw materials, and it actually works.

Bowtiful ties are made in two halves, both of roughly equal length. One half has two D-rings attached to it, and the other half is threaded through, allowing ultimate and previously unforeseen levels of adjustability. Here’s a photo example of what it looks like. From our friend Uncle Sam:

Uncle Sam Fastening

And another great thing about it, it works with all tie materials (so far that I’ve tested). Cotton tends to be a fairly rough material (at least compared to silk) so it was bound to work with that, but it works equally well with silk (despite the reservations that tie aficionado Thomas Fink had). All Bowtiful ties now use this method to provide awesome adjustability. They fit all neck sizes from sticky to stocky. Try one out today!