The rise of geek-chic, only a few seasons ago, resurrected numerous sartorial staples from Grandfather’s closet: the cardigan, lace-up brogues and the bow tie. That last one has long been relegated to awards shows and popcorn commercials, but of late the bow tie has staged a terrific career comeback into many a man’s weekday fashion rotation. As an unexpected plus, guys have begun to realize what grandpa always knew; once you learn how, knotting a bow tie is much easier than struggling with a full Windsor. This truth was known even to the Duke of Windsor, after whom said knot is named, who made bow ties his go-tos.
Nowhere in the country has this fashion trend taken off like it has right here in Calgary, unfairly derided for backward fashion by Eastern and Western neighbours alike, who picture residents in a perpetual state of Stampede, wavin’ cowboy hats and swaggerin’ around in bronco-bustin’ jeans. Both East and West should look to Alberta: because Calgary is currently home to what may be Canada’s first and only bow tie club. (If you know different/better, tell us in the Comments).
Founded a year ago by a trio of twentysomething oil-and-gas dudes, Bow Tie Thursdays began, like most worthwhile endeavours, as more of a drunken dare than a movement. After a night of bar hopping, co-founders Danny Way, Ryan Bottoms and Nathan Steeghes established the first Bow Tie Thursday in February of 2011 by sporting their neck flair while they paraded through the +15s. Sure, they got their fair share of laughs, but they also turned a few heads.
A year on, this swell club’s membership has, well, swollen to well over 100 bow tie-wearing gents, who meet on the first Thursday of every month at downtown bars and restaurants. Recently, Harry Rosen came on board as a sponsor, hosting quarterly Bow Tie Thursday parties on the luxury level of its store in the CORE. Plans are in the works to add a charity component, with members and events raising funds for deserving organizations, as well as exporting the idea to other Canadian style centres: Satellite branches launch later this year in both Toronto and Vancouver.
Image courtesy of rustman.