The other day I ran into an older gentleman in his 50s in the office kitchen who was wearing a navy blue bow tie with a pattern of pink dolphins and crabs. Being the asshole that I am, I told him I loved his bow tie (because I hated his bow-tie). He lit up with the biggest smile and said, “Thanks! My son told me that it’s the latest trend, so I’m trying not to look so old anymore. So I got some bow-ties so I can fit in a little better!” This poor man went and dropped $80 on a bow tie at Brooks Brothers trying to fit in with the millennials and now he stands out even more.
This is your fault. I’m talking to you, recent college grad. Sure, the bow ties were great in college. You could wear them to formal or to a tailgate or maybe to Carolina Cup. Leave them there. Burn your bow ties. The maximum amount of bow ties you need is one, for the special occasions for which it is required. When it comes to work, leave the bow tie in the darkest corner of your closet. Why are you wearing a bow tie to work anyway? Most workplaces are business casual and many are okay with jeans at this point. Isn’t the point of wearing a tie to look more professional and have people take you seriously? Okay, then why are you still wearing a bow tie to work? There’s a list of other things I would rather you wear to work before you wear a bow tie: skinny ties, paisley ties, clip-on ties, bolo ties, zipper ties, cravats, ascots, or even Hawaiian shirts. If you call it a “bro tie” then you should definitely not be wearing one to work, you probably shouldn’t even have a job, and you should probably drink bleach too.
I’m not completely hating on the bow tie. There is a time and place for everything, and work is just not the place for a bow tie. If you want to wear a bow tie to a wedding, a steeplechase, or some other formal event, then do it. If you’re going to get decked out in obnoxious pastels, you might as well throw a bow tie on. Just please keep the bow tie in your personal life.
I understand that the point of wearing a bow tie is to stand out. You’re probably thinking that by wearing a bow tie at work, you stand out and draw attention to yourself, which makes you more likely for a promotion or whatever. You are wrong. Is your boss wearing a bow tie? Doubt it. If so, find a new job. Your boss sees you in a bow tie and makes fun of you behind closed doors. “Did you guys see that try-hard in the bow tie? He thinks I’m going to give him a promotion, can you believe this clown?” Clients don’t want to see your bow tie, business partners don’t want to see your bow tie, and your coworkers definitely don’t want to see your bow tie.
Life isn’t over. Watch this. It’s this simple. When you’re getting dressed in the morning, put on your shirt and pants, your belt and your shoes, but when you go to put on that bow tie…just don’t put it on. Wasn’t that easy? Now you look like a normal person. Embrace the business casual lifestyle. You don’t even have to wear a dress shirt! There are millions of hard working Americans in offices around the country dressed just like Jake from State Farm and they are doing just fine. Whether you want to wear a dress shirt or a polo, it doesn’t matter.
But please, just leave the bow tie at home..
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