Boys in bow ties. No matter how much you try to brush them off as a hipster fad, you've gotta admit, bow ties are pretty damn charming. Who knew a slip of fabric could transform even the scruffiest dude into a sweet gentleman you'd want to picnic with as the sun peeks through trees? (Yeah, I've been spending way too much time on Pinterest.)
That's why it's good to know Diana Pham is helping to keep the male (and female!) population adorkable, one dapper neckpiece at a time. Her Santa Ana-based company, CottonTreats, sells bow ties in playful, wardrobe-ready patterns, including seersucker stripes, chevrons and gingham. Many styles are reversible, with a pattern on one side and a solid on the other, making for a rad juxtaposition when tied into a bow. My favorite is the brand-new, colorfully paisley Jeremiah.
Pham, a UC Irvine graduate, got into the bow-tie biz after working as a shop manager for BCBG. "I saw a trend in the market, but there weren't a lot of reversible styles out there," says the savvy 29-year-old. The timeless accessory, once reserved for the pocket-protector set or for pinky-raising soirees, is now part of everyday wear. "It's such a versatile piece," Pham explains. "Guys can wear it with a denim jacket or dress it up with a sweater. I've seen girls wear it in their hair. A lot of groomsmen are wearing bow ties and argyle socks."
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CottonTreats uses cotton-based fabrics so the pieces are lightweight. These aren't clip-ons, mind you: Those unfamiliar with proper tying techniques can, well, turn to Google.
Bow ties are available via www.cottontreats.com for $32, and skinny ties have also made their way into the spring collection, retailing for $34. Boys, get yourself a bow tie: Necking will never go out of style.
This column appeared in print as "Bow-Tie Bonanza."