Southwestern attire is having a moment, most recently manifested in the resurgence of bolo ties: a leather or suede cord tied or woven around the neck, held together by a decorative ornament that slides to adjust. Previously, it was wide-brimmed hats, turquoise jewelry, brown-suede everything, silver stone jewelry, belt buckles and woven fabrics, and now bolos are galloping again through fashion. Maybe chaps are next?
But this new bolo tie isn’t your Stetson-wearing New Mexico cousin’s; they now come designed specifically for younger women, embellished with beautiful stone jewelry, crystals, gems and other adornments. I recently bought a black leather one with a tiny switchblade charm as the clasp, with a fake silver bullet decking each end of the cord. You can find such edgy bolo ties at Epiq (571 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, 949-715-1734). Costa Cabana (1686 Tustin Ave., Costa Mesa, 949-338-4449) also has a selection of colorful bolo ties featuring seashells from Venice Beach jewelry retailer Turquoise and Tobacco; these cutesy cords aptly fit within the store’s Soho/beach bum aesthetic. And Lost Generation (27741 Crown Valley Pkwy., Mission Viejo, 949-813-2688; shoplostgeneration.com) sells a plain bolo tie with no ornament at all, so you can wrap it more than once around your neck, styling it like a choker.
What’s most surprising about this trending accessory? Just about every gal is wearing ’em. Hell, back in 1950s London, Teddy boys and girls applied the coveted accessory to their rockabilly wardrobe, which goes to show the universality of the neckwear. So even if you don’t fancy yourself an Arizona copper-mine owner, a bolo tie adds a bit of sophisticated cool to any style. And judging by the direction fashion’s headed, we’ll all be looking as if we belong at Rodeo Houston any day now. Yee-haw!