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Why the Bow Tie is ALWAYS Better...
Posted On 11/19/2014 By Lauren Allison
boys suits, boys tuxedos

From the moment I was old enough to really begin to appreciate men’s fashion, my eyes have always been drawn to the man in the bow tie.  After a traditional upbringing in the heart of the South where the art of being a gentleman is not yet lost followed by a proper initiation into life as a lady of one of the oldest and certainly most distinguished women’s fraternities in the country, my affection for the bow tie, whether pre-tied or self tie, remains positively unfettered, and I am all the more convinced, as an individual, every person, if they really thought about the message of the bow tie, would want to be the man in the bow tie, would want to be on the arm of the man in the bow tie.  As I venture forth into my thirties, I continue to tell my single friends they most assuredly want a man who embraces the bow tie, and I know, as a mother, I aspire to be the sort of mother that raises my five year-old son to be a man that wears a bow tie.  Perhaps my aspirations seem moderately silly, but allow me to share a few reasons why the bow tie should trump the neck tie or dress tie in your fashion lineup every single time:

 

  • Wearing a bow tie communicates you are a composed gentleman: The bow tie has been around far longer than then traditional necktie or dress tie, originating with Croatian warriors fighting in the 16th century Prussian War who used a brightly colored scarf looped through the top holes of their shirts to keep them closed during battle in lieu of buttons.  When Louis XIV, otherwise known as Louis the Great or the Sun King, who reigned in France for 72 years, spotted the accessory, he ordered his tailors to make similar scarves for him and encouraged members of the fashion forward upper class to wear them in his court and for special occasions.  Some 500 years later, the bow tie remains the go-to formal accessory for men and boys from all walks of life for special occasions like weddings and Bar Mitzvahs.  A bow tie remains the embodiment of propriety, yet as lovable hipsters and fashionable up-and-comers begin to use them to properly accent less formal attire like a boys’ dress shirt, I am pleased to see my generation and the ones that follow returning to the sophisticated attire somehow lost by the a few of those in the generations following the baby boomers who somehow wrongly decided wearing tattered denim and a ball cap to work projected or promoted self-confidence or success.  On behalf of women everywhere, let me simply say this to those man boys who elect to still wear cargo pants and a college football t-shirt to office-You don’t look like an ambitious go-getter, a future CEO (unless you, uh, invented Facebook), but instead, you look more like someone who did not care enough about your duties to roll out of bed more than thirty seconds before you had to leave for rush house traffic.  You make me question whether you bothered to brush your teeth, and frankly, in a professional setting, that is really something I should never have to question.  Prospective romantic partners, investors, customers, grandmothers, and employers love that image, right?

  • Wearing a bow tie shows you are a gusty leader: I remember reading a terrific quote about bow tie wearers in The New York Times, and as I recall, it said something like this, “Bow ties are worn by doctors, lawyers, and professors, and by people hoping to look like the above…but perhaps most of all, wearing a bow tie is a way of broadcasting an aggressive lack of concern for what other people think.”  A bow tie wearer is a man brave enough to stand out in the room, especially when something like 93% of the American male population hides in the herd of department store neckties.  A bow tie wearer is a man bold enough to embody propriety, a classic formal accessory that has stood the test of time, a man absolutely unwilling to abandon class or tradition or yield to the fickleness of mere trends.  People remember the man or the boy in the bow tie, his independence, his confidence, especially if he is dressed in a pre-tied or self tie bow tie by Extras So Sweet, LLC.  Think about it: Have you ever heard people talking the next day about the man at the party in a golf shirt and Dockers or the guy in a brown necktie when both spent the evening being utterly overshadowed by the man in the bow tie?  If I rallied off some famous bow-tie wearers, it would undoubtedly sound like a Who’s Who of gusty leaders.  Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and Winston Churchill all wore bow ties, and that duo defeated Hitler.  Abraham Lincoln was a bow tie devotee, and he ended slavery, united a divided nation after the Civil War, and remains arguably the best President in American history. As a general rule, if the bow tie was the go-to formal accessory for men brave enough to literally save the world, it is probably something worth adding to your son’s wardrobe.

 

  • Wearing a bow tie proves you are practical: How many times have you spotted a man at the office with a coffee stain on his necktie?  Or perhaps your toddler leaned over his plate at brunch after church and managed to soak it in maple syrup?  From a sensible standpoint, a bow tie simply does not get in the way of life, even in situations when a tie clip on your neck tie will not save you.  Pediatricians have long elected to wear bow ties because they remained out of grabbing range for patients.  Gynecologists often choose bow ties as well, perhaps for the very same reason.  A bow tie will not get caught in the car door when you turn and grab your cup of coffee on the way to the office in the morning.  A bow tie will not get trapped in the subway door.  A bow tie will not get caught in the cog of machinery like a shredder, garbage disposal, fax machine, or printer.  If you have a toddler, a bow tie also will not get in the way or risk getting sprinkled when your little man decides to slip out of the reception and perch himself over the urinal on his own.  As the chief overseer of household laundry and mother of a five year-old determined to establish his independence, particularly in public restrooms, that reason alone is enough to make certain that he is always dressed for church or a special event in a bow tie.  If the guy in your life is acrobatic enough to still manage to get a stain on his bow tie, Extras So Sweet, LLC has you covered, in that, all of the bow ties are washable and come packaged with special instructions on how to spot clean them.  View the entire Extras So Sweet, LLC line of bow ties here: http://www.tuxgear.com/cart/handmade-bow-ties/handmade-pre-tied-bow-ties-c-227_233_249.html

  • Wearing a bow tie projects both intellectualism and masculinity: Bow ties have recently experienced resurgence in the fashion world with many labeling them “Geek Chic,” perhaps a tribute to the list of impactful intellectuals and Nobel Prize winners who proudly wear them.  Albert Einstein always wore a bow tie.  So did Thomas Edison, Mark Twain, and Sigmund Freud.   There is fierce debate among bow tie aficionados about whether a man should select a self tie or pre-tied bow tie, and even though our Tuxgear Style Experts can easily show you how to tie a self tie bow tie, I think some of the intellectualism among bow tie wearers comes from simply being able to prove that the wearer is capable of tying the self tie model!  (Hint: It isn’t hard at all and never has to be perfect, but self tie devotees, we’ll keep your secret.  You are elite and awesome!) At Extras So Sweet, LLC, we let you come down on either side of that debate without any judgment as every single model of our bow ties is available in self tie and pre-tied varieties!  Modern media moguls like Jay-Z and professional athletes like Cam Newton, Richard Sherman, and Russell Westbrook often sport bow ties.  Apple and Pixar co-founder Steve Jobs wore bow ties whenever he elected to forego his infamous black mock turtleneck.  The bow tie allows its wear to demonstrate he is a bit of a Renaissance Man-a man with respect for classic style yet brave enough to stand out from the herd, a leader engaging in an act of defiance surrounded by sheep in department store neckties.  Movie screen renegades like Humphrey Bogart always preferred bow ties as did Rat Packer, Frank Sinatra, who always did things his way.  Even beloved fictional characters embody the bold truth that the bow tie projects a perfect combination of intellectualism and masculinity.  Dr. Who wears bow ties.  Indiana Jones wears a bow tie.   James Bond wears a bow tie.  Professional athlete Dhani Jones, a strictly bow tie man, perfectly surmised the power of the bow tie: “When you wear a bow tie, doors open for you.  Your posture is a little more erect.  Your shoulders are a little further back.  Your style is a little more dynamic.  It’s about the re-establishment of the gentleman.” 

 

Have I convinced you yet to add a bow tie or ten to your wardrobe?  To put your husband or your sons in them and to watch their swagger come to life right before your eyes?  If so, I can unabashedly say that you will not find a better handmade bow tie on the market than those created by Extras So Sweet, LLC.  Every variety is hand sewn in the United States, available in all sizes from infant to adult, and every pattern is available in self tie and pre-tied varieties.  Our prices are always reasonable with almost every single bow tie less than $20, and we have some amazing Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales coming up!  Since I am betting my supervisor may not make it this far through my blog entry, I can also let you in on a little secret.  Since November is the month of thankfulness, you can save 10% on your bow tie right now by typing the promo code, “Thanks,” at check out!  And if my boss asks, you did not hear that from me…

When I started writing for Tuxgear, Inc. and Extras So Sweet, LLC, I was surprised at the number of men who sheepishly told me they did not see themselves as “bow tie guys.”  Since I have been told that I don’t really have a filter, I wanted to ask them: So, you don’t want women like me to see you as an intellectual?  A gentleman? A hero?  A masculine, confident leader?  A practical guy? A game changer?  A man that changes the world?  Oh, ok.  To those men a little hesitant about embracing the bow tie, I challenge you to reject the herd and choose a bow tie.  Keep company with great men and great minds.  The first step in making a change…well, in this case, is really just putting on the bow tie, so pick out a handmade bow tie from Extras So Sweet, LLC and let the world see you for the man you really are, the man you aspire to be.  When I see a boy in a bow tie, especially for the first time, I cannot help but smile, and in my mind, the words of one of my favorite bow tie devotees immediately come to mind: Here’s looking at you, kid!

 



What You Need To Know About Boys' Knickerbockers and Boys' Knicker Sets
Posted On 11/01/2014 By Lauren Allison
boys suits, boys tuxedos

In an effort to continue to educate our customers on the latest trends in formal wear, especially for boys and young men, we talked with Tuxgear CEO, Sandy Lindley, this week about the ultimate vintage option for your holiday photos or your ringbear, boys’ knickerbockers or “knickers” (or “knee pants).  We asked Sandy specially why she thinks the “vintage” look seems particularly en vogue, even for young men, and what you should look for and important things to keep in mind when purchasing any knickerbockers for the little man in your life. 

Q: MY FAMILY DECIDED TO DO THE VINTAGE LOOK FOR FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHS, AND MY DAUGHTER WOULD LIKE ME TO HELP HER CHOOSE A PAIR OF BOYS’ KNICKERS FOR MY GRANDSON TO WEAR.  WHAT SHOULD I BE LOOKING FOR IN A PAIR OF KNICKERS OR A KNICKERBOCKER SET?  IS THIS A STYLE CHOICE THAT WOULD MAKE OUR PHOTOS LOOK DATED OR SILLY IN A FEW YEARS?

A: Knickerbockers, often referred to in the United States as boys’ knickers or knee pants, are a form of baggy-kneed trousers, popularized in the early 20th century.  Knickerbockers have long been associated with sporting endeavors, such as baseball, fencing, and even American football officiating, as they often allow the wearer more range of movement and breathability while preserving the formality of expected dress.  In recent years, boys’ knickerbockers or knicker sets have become very popular for those customers looking for a more classic or vintage look for photographs, parties, or other formal events, and most boys’ knicker sets should include (1) a pair of knickerbocker trousers in a cotton, wool, or deluxe microfiber blend, (2) a cotton, button-up, flat front dress shirt, (3) a pair of suspenders, and (4) a boys’ eton hat or newsboy-style hat to match the trousers.  To ensure the complete Tuxgear formal look, we always encourage our customers to make certain they order matching boys’ knee socks in white or ivory and Luna dress shoes to perfectly compliment your knickerbockers.  These boys’ formal accessories are absolutely essential for the finished look and may be difficult for shoppers to find, especially if they resort to ordering separates or a boys’ knicker set manufactured in China, constructed clumsily of mystery fabric, and deeply discounted on eBay.  For Tuxgear customers, we want to be the one-stop shop for the completely authentic vintage look for the special young man in your life, and our style experts visit with our customers personally to ensure they never forget important things like boys’ knee socks when they purchase any suit or set from our company.  Completing your formal look at the moment you place your order is part of the Tuxgear commitment to customer service.  The idea is to always avoid any last minute hunting in your home town for a specialty item or boys’ formal accessory you did not know you needed when you placed your order.  At Tuxgear.com, we do not expect our customers to have to ask the questions like, “Does my boys’ knickerbocker set include knee socks in ivory or must I order them separately?”  We strive to make certain our Tuxgear style experts inform our customers of exactly what to expect with any purchase and offer helpful suggestions to ensure our customers are not left scrambling to find boys’ accessories, like boys’ dress socks, boys’ belts, boys’ suspenders, locally at the very last minute in order to prevent some photograph where your kiddo is wearing thick, cotton, ankle socks and tennis shoes with his otherwise perfectly vintage knickerbockers.   We want those often overlooked but essential accessories to be neatly included in your order and delivered promptly to your doorstep from Tuxgear.  

-Knickerbockers are considered vintage attire, part of the recent trend that appears to have earnest staying power.  We often have Tuxgear customers inquire with us about whether vintage fashion is something we think will stand the test of time as parents and grandparents consider dressing the little man in their life in something like boys’ knickerbockers, boys’ suspenders, and a boys’ eton cap for family photographs.  At Tuxgear, we believe the historical homage of the vintage look will remain fashionable for the long term, and since fashion or style choices always offer an opportunity for self-expression, Tuxgear firmly believes that choosing a vintage outfit like boys’ knickerbockers for your party or special event certainly sends an important message.  Vintage clothing, including boys’ knicker sets, often refers to clothing popularized at the turn of the 20th century, often before the 1920s, although you may find the term “vintage” used generically to refer to anything old.  When you consider the historical implications of the time, a fashion item like boys’ knickerbockers became exceedingly popular during the “Roaring Twenties,” a time of rapid economic growth and social change for our world.  The First World War was finally over.  Cinema now with sound offered Americans an artistic escape.  Women, clothed in flapper dressers and head wreaths, celebrated the opportunity to pursue life as more than just housewives with new abilities to work and to vote.  In many ways, the choice to embrace a more vintage look for your special event or photograph seems to embody the go-getter, can-do spirit of a time of great optimism and hope in contemporary society.  Dressing your young man in vintage clothing like Tuxgear boys’ knickers is an ode to a very classic look with a particularly progressive message about life in our modern world.  In short, we love the concept of vintage fashion, and with so many customers choosing to wisely embrace this look year round for events like vintage fairs and markets, Tuxgear is firmly committed to keeping the boys’ knickerbockers a permanent part of our catalogue. 

-When it comes to selecting boys’ knickerbockers, remember, like all things in life, you get what you pay for.  Remember, a boys’ knicker set is considered formal or dress attire much like a boys’ suit or daytime tuxedo, so quality, like affordability, must be a critical factor when a customer makes his or her selection of boys’ knickers.  We absolutely cringe when we hear horror stories from customers that call us for help when the boys’ knicker set they ordered from some questionable seller on eBay for less than $20 arrives in the wrong size, missing a boys’ newsboy cap, or suspenders with no stretch or flexibility and cheap hardware that either breaks altogether or snags the trouser fabric when affixed to the knickerbockers.  Simply put, size, fabric choice (for optimal washability), and construction must always be weighed more heavily when selecting formal attire for boys or young men as children are always more active in dress clothing than adults.   At Tuxgear, we choose every item in our catalogue to ensure your young man will have, for example, knickerbockers that do not split at the seams if he elects to race down the aisle to work off the wiggles before the ceremony and boys’ knee socks you can easily launder to remove the grass stains he acquired during a game of tag at your outdoor reception.  Tuxgear proudly offers a wide variety of boys’ knicker sets in stylish colors and stripes and uniquely chic accessories like checkered or patterned boys’ suspenders or even a navy or burgundy velvet vest for the holiday season, all competitively priced for around $30 per set.  View our entire Tuxgear collection of boys’ knicker sets here: http://www.tuxgear.com/cart/boys-formal-wear/boys-knickers-c-178_101.html

-For our Tuxgear customers looking for a more elegant, keepsake quality vintage look for their photographs or special event, we also proudly offer custom boys’ knicker sets by Extras So Sweet, LLC, with handmade, pre-tied boys’ bow ties in a variety of stylish colors and patterns like plaids, paisley, and pin dot, one-of-a-kind knickerbocker fabrics, and more colorful and elastic suspenders for maximized flexibility with more durable hardware to ensure your boys’ knickerbockers are never snagged or torn while remaining perfectly in place around your young man’s waist during every moment of your special event, all for less than $60 per set.  View the entire Extras So Sweet, LLC collection of custom boys’ knicker sets here: http://www.tuxgear.com/cart/extras-so-sweet/custom-boys-knicker-sets-c-227_243.html

-If you are shopping for the perfect vintage look for your little ringbearer, all of our boys’ knicker sets look terrific with any one of our handsewn ring pillows by Extras So Sweet, LLC, all featuring polished patterns in burlap, hemp, lace, satin, and venice beaded trim.  View the entire Extras So Sweet, LLC, collection of handmade original ring pillows here: http://www.tuxgear.com/cart/extras-so-sweet/ring-pillows-c-227_231.html



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