International Bow Day is celebrated annually on August 19 to honor the accessory that has influenced fashion for ages — bows! Adding accessories to almost any outfit improves it significantly. Without a doubt, International Bow Day would be incomplete unless it was worn on the head, neck, wrist, or finger. Celebrating International Bow Day will encourage each of us to wear a bow, allowing us to share the beauty of wearing one with the rest of the world. Bows can be made from a variety of materials, including thread, exquisite velvet ribbon, raffia, and more.
History of International Bow Day
The bow tie can be traced back to Croatia in the 17th century. Croatian mercenaries tied scarves over their necks to keep the opening of their shirts together during the Prussian wars. The French upper class quickly adopted the Croats’ scarf-tied-around-the-neck notion, coining the term ‘cravat’ to describe it (French for ‘Croat’). The cravat’s popularity soared throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, thanks to France’s role as a fashion pioneer at the time.
Over time, the cravat evolved into the bow ties and neckties that we know today. At the beginning of the century, bow ties were an essential part of men’s formal ‘full dress’ attire, and by the 1900s, they had become a staple in any fashion-conscious man’s wardrobe. During this period in history, bow ties were mostly used by academics and medical professionals. Following World War II, bow ties became less popular in everyday use, but they remained fashionable in formal attire.
The bow tie has lost much of its ‘stuffy’ reputation in recent years. The quirky and confident style of a bow tie is finding its place across a variety of both fun and formal settings, from business to weddings to casual everyday wear, and is regaining some of its historic popularity among fashion-aware men.
Traditional bow ties are usually of a fixed length and fashioned to fit a specific neck size. Sizes may range from 14 to 19 inches, as with a corresponding shirt collar. Fixed-length bow ties are recommended while wearing the most formal wing-collar shirts to avoid revealing the buckle or clasp of an adjustable bow tie. Adjustable bow ties are the usual when the tie is to be worn with a less formal, lie-down collar shirt that conceals the neckband of the tie. Adjustable one-size-fits-all bow ties are a later invention that helps to cut production costs.
Bows can also be tied in ribbon, latex, plastic, or even grass. In every case, they improve whatever you put them on. Presents are also tied with bows, and we all know that presents are the best. They can be anything, just like bows.
What a beautiful day that would be! You can also tie a bow to remind yourself of something, as is commonly done with a piece of red ribbon wrapped around one’s finger. With its jaunty loops, this little reminder fits on your finger as a continual reminder of the little things you mustn’t forget.
International Bow Day timeline
Croatian military personnel wear scarves knotted around their shirt collars to keep them together.
Pierre Lorillard IV, a French-American clothes designer, wears a different style of the black and white suit with a bow tie to a social function at New York's Tuxedo Park Country Club.
The French upper class continues to experiment with the cravat, which eventually gives rise to the bow tie.
Starlets like Marlene Dietrich and Katherine Hepburn are seen wearing bow ties as cinemas became increasingly popular.
Winston Churchill, the first Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, wears the renowned navy blue and white polka dot bow tie throughout his first term as Prime Minister, and inspires the mass production of the Blenheim bow tie.
International Bow Day FAQs
What looks better, tie or bow tie?
The formality of the occasion or the dress code dictates that you wear a tux. If the dress code requires it, a black tie with a bow tie is appropriate. If the occasion is more casual, a necktie is okay (black tie optional, creative black tie, or casual).
Aren’t bow ties out of style?
No, they aren’t. Silk bow ties are the type of fashion accessory that will always be in style. People are still wearing them in 2020 and will continue wearing them in 2021. The fact that bow ties are so uncommon in men’s fashion is part of what makes them so appealing.
Can you wear a chain with a bow tie?
Necklaces worn under ties look best when the garment is not covered by a jacket or sweater.
International Bow Day Activities
Learn to tie a bow
The best approach to celebrate International Bow Day is to learn the various ways a bow can be knotted for various occasions.
Host a bow tie party
Starting with a bow tie as a must for entry, celebrate your favorite fashion accessory by throwing a party. You could play bow tie trivia, watch classic bow tie-themed movies, and serve bow tie spaghetti!
Share some moments on social media
Whether you're tweaking or recreating your look, don't forget to add a bow. Take photos of you and your friends wearing your favorite bow accessories and share them on your social media profiles.
5 Amazing Facts About Bow Ties
Croatians invented it
Croatian soldiers were the first to wear a knot after the Thirty Years’ War to hold their shirt collars together.
Iran banned them
The country was designated as an Islamic Republic, and bow ties and neckties were judged to be un-Islamic, decadent, and ‘signs of the Cross' and the repressive West.
Bulletproof ties are available too
Some talented artists have created bulletproof and sword-proof bowties that are not only fashionable but safe too.
The were used for fight challenges
At one point in history, touching another person's bow tie signaled you wanted to duel or battle them.
How do you tie your necktie?
There are 177,147 distinct ways to tie a necktie.
Why We Love International Bow Day
Bow ties are the original statement pieces
Nothing says "I'm a man with a plan" like a bow tie. These famous abettors are not oversaturated in the same way that wallets, watches, cufflinks, and other men's accessories are. A man wearing a bow tie will always stand out in a crowd.
It’s the perfect excuse to wear a monocle
Without a bow tie, it's impossible to wear a monocle. Adding a little eyewear to your outfit can help you get the most out of your bow tie.
There’s a bow tie for every occasion
Bow ties are no longer just for weddings or formal occasions; they are now available in a variety of materials and textiles, making them a wonderful go-to for every event. Keep things casual for the day celebration by wearing a bright design and a loose tie. For formal occasions, darker tones and a stiff tie are preferred.
International Bow Day dates