A History of the Bow Tie

The Man Down My Local (6).png

There are two types of people who wear a bow tie, the fanciest of the fancy, those attending some black tie gala or white tie state dinner. And the old school sort of academic, the kind who wears decades old tweed, with patches on the elbows. But whether you’re wearing it with tweeds or a tux, how much do you actually know about the knot at your neck?

The earliest examples of the bow tie, came about during the Thirty Years War (1618-1648), which was fought between the powers of the Habsburg States, and the powers of Central Europe, over who the hell knows what, but the ties them self have developed form the scarves worn by Croatian mercenaries that were used to tie closed their shirt openings. This was adapted into the cravat by the French (Cravat, being a derivative from the word Croat, the people of Croatia), versions of which are still worn as formal wear today, the cravat knot was then adapted into a bow, and then as most things do over time (phones, I pods, etc) the bows got smaller, and then by the turn of the 20th century, the bow tie was pretty much as we know it today, especially with the advent of the pre tied, ready made bow tie.

I myself have been known to rock the bow tie from time to time (black or white tie events seem to crop up almost weekly) and I’ll be completely honest, I look good.

Slim Fit Is The Devil

I’m a fat guy. I’m not morbidly obese, but in all honesty I am carrying a fair bit of weight in my gut, I have a 48 inch chest, but the problem is that I have a 52 inch stomach, which makes buying clothes off the peg a bit of nightmare, actually scratch that, it makes it an almost Danteish like hell of epic proportions. You have that moment of excitement, that little thrill of anticipation and then BANG right in the cojones, that huge steel toed boot of dissapointment when you see the words slim fit, and you realise that you would never be able to do the thing up, or if you could, one deep breathe could send a button hurtling across the room.

Now I hear you  saying, but surely you but bespoke, and the truth is I would like to, but my budget doesn’t really stretch to it at the moment, so this is why buying a bigger size and getting alterations done is also out, because also slim fits will often come up short in other areas like the sleeve or in overall length as well, and this is why I despair. It is next to impossible for a larger gent to look good on a budget, you either have to buy tailor made from china (which lasts about three wears and then falls apart) or you have to buy second hand, which just looks shabby, so if you want to look sharp when you are in fact round, what do you do? I wish I knew, and before you suggest losing weight, this has long been an issue for me, no matter how much my weight fluctuates, I can’t remember the last time I was able to pick something up on the high street, even at my most skinny.

A Gentleman’s Guide To Top Hats

Manhattan.png

Its the 21st century, you’re probably thinking, who on earth wears a top hat any more? well you’d be surprised.

A top hat is a tall, flat-crowned, broad-brimmed hat, worn by men from the latter part of the 18th to the middle of the 20th century. By the end of the Second World War, it had become a rarity in ordinary dress, although it does continue to be worn in specific instances, such as state funerals.

18838827_10155319834910480_1466342908052665101_n
The Royal Garden Party 2017

As of the early 21st century, top hats are still worn at some society events in the UK, notably at church weddings and racing meetings attended by members of the royal family, such as Royal Ascot. They remain part of the formal uniform of certain British institutions, such as the boy-choristers of King’s College Choir. They are usually worn with morning dress or white tie, in dressage, and as part of servants’ or doormen’s livery.

I have worn a top hat, when alcohol wasn’t involved, once in my life, and that was to the queens garden party last year. I also wore one (the same one) for a few jokey photos at my wedding reception.

Men’s Cosmetics: What I use

The world of men’s cosmetics can be a tricky minefield, so here is a little look at some of the everyday essentials I use…almost every day.

 

WP_20171126_001

Wilkinson’s Sword: Shaving Soap and Brush

Nivea: Refreshingly Soft Moisturising Cream

Right Guard Xtreme Invisible Antiperspirant Deodorant

Beverly Hills White Black Formula Perfect Toothpaste

Loreal Paris: Studio Line Go Create Sculpting Spritz

BEMO: Premium Beard Oil

How To Wear Black Tie

Dressing For Dinner (4).png

I’ve had a lot of formal things to go to over the last few weeks and and it seems to me that no one does black tie anymore, its all lounge suits and regular ties. Black tie is a dying thing. But if you ever thought of bringing it back here are few things that you should remember

  1. Black tie means black (with one or two exceptions). Black is elegant and chic and on most (not all) people is pretty slimming and whilst there has been a fashion for navy blue lately this really doesn’t work well in daylight, or environments where there is going to be a lot of light
  2. The Bow Tie and Lapel material should always match (as should a cummerbund). The only exception to this rule is if you are going for a velvet bow tie (which you should only really consider if you’re wearing a velvet jacket).
  3. Cummerbund vs Waistcoat: This debate has raged for decades, and while either is fine you should bear in mind a few things, waistcoats are hot, but cummerbunds are a little impractical if you have a little bit (or a lot of) a stomach.
  4. If your shirt has buttons on the cuff it is not a dress shirt, dress shirts require cufflinks and the buttons are either hidden or are replaced with studs, the point of black tie is to hide all practical points of clothing, buttons are either missing or covered.
  5. Wing collars, fashions change so don’t feel that you have to have a wing collar, but they do look good.
  6. Shoes should be black leather, whether they are patent leather or not is a personal choice, but it does add to look if they are.

I hope this has helped in some way or another, and you rock up to your next formal dressed to kill

30 Before Thirty (Comics & Graphic Novels)

Congratulations Mr Trump (3).png

I’m going to be thirty in just over 2 years and at this moment in time I’m OK with that (how I feel about it in 10 minuets is up for debate) but one of the things that I realised is that there are a fair few things I still want to accomplish whilst the career and social goals are somewhat out of my control things like films I want to see, albums I want to listen to and books I want to read are very much in my control, especially as I have 25 months to accomplish it. Here is a list of the Comics and Graphic Novels that I would like to have read by the time I’m thirty.

Grant Morrison’s 18 Days

25611652

Camelot 3000

61q2xJpcvhL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

Miracle Man: A Dream Of Flying

51yGXnCbYtL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_

All Star Superman 

51aj58tawbL._SX318_BO1,204,203,200_

Preacher: Gone To Texas

95431

The Crow

The_Crow_comic_book_original_cover

Sandman Preludes and Nocturnes

51GG3FKAR4L._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_

Alan Moore’s: Saga of The Swamp Thing

51WJwR8QmnL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

Marvel 1602

Marvel_1602_Vol_1_1

Saga: Volume 1

81+Sf+bNqUL

 The Order: Die Mensch Machine

download (1).jpg

The Complete Scarlet Traces 

download (2).jpg

Button Man

2902281-button_man_1

Ronin 

51cErSDhkDL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Superman: Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow 

51ynXz0DmPL._SX336_BO1,204,203,200_

The Infinity Gauntlet 

Infinity_Gauntlet_1

Amazing Spider-man: Kravens Last Hunt

512UYljUNrL._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_

Promethea Book 1 

Promethea

Jack Kirby’s Fourth World Omnibus 

511O7BCCEyL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

Multiversity 

3788807

Son Of Superman 

Son_of_Superman

Hellblazer: Original Sins 

81IQpmRpRHL

The Authority: Relentless 

download (3).jpg

Hellboy: Seed Of Destruction 

51rsvrgxK-L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

Doctor Who: Emperor Of The Daleks

download (4).jpg

Death: The High Cost Of Living  

200px-Death-_The_High_Cost_of_Living.jpg

JSA The Liberty Files 

JSA_Liberty_File_1

Alice In Sunderland 

51JbqqPdUnL._SX353_BO1,204,203,200_

Daredevil Yellow

81Nk9wThhYL

The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch

Mr_Punch_cover.jpg

How many of these do you think I’ll get done before July 21st 2019?

30 Before I’m Thirty (Films)

Congratulations Mr Trump (2)

I’m going to be thirty in just over 2 years and at this moment in time I’m OK with that (how I feel about it in 10 minuets is up for debate) but one of the things that I realised is that there are a fair few things I still want to accomplish whilst the career and social goals are somewhat out of my control things like films I want to see, albums I want to listen to and books I want to read are very much in my control, especially as I have 25 months to accomplish it. Here is a list of the films that I would like to have read by the time I’m thirty.

How Green Was My Valley 

MV5BMjE1YWRmMWEtYTQ0Yy00NGEwLWFmNzAtZDkwOWNjMzkwYzJmXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNjc1NTYyMjg@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_

Gentleman’s Agreement

Gentleman's_Agreement_(1947_movie_poster)

From Here to Eternity

From_Here_to_Eternity_film_poster

Gone With The Wind

Gone_With_The_Wind_1967_re-release

Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

Cat_roof

West Side Story

West_Side_Story_poster

Lawrence of Arabia

220px-Lawrence_of_arabia_ver3_xxlg

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf

5183CT06SGL._SY445_

Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner

guess-whos-coming-to-dinner-movie-poster-1967-1010267936

Funny Girl

large_4b5ZtYmVtwz5R0UDavj3rvQJrBj

Fiddler On The Roof

fiddler_on_the_roof

All The Presidents Men

MPW-60749

Milk

milk-movie-poster

Kramer Vs Kramer

220px-Oscar_posters_79

Terms of Endearment 

MV5BMTk0ODM4NDk0MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTEzMDUxMDE@._V1_UY1200_CR90,0,630,1200_AL_

The Cider House Rules

cider_house_rules_xlg

An Education

education_xlg

The Wolf Of Wall Street

wolf_of_wall_street_ver3_xlg

Guardians of the Galaxy 2

download.jpg

Moonrise Kingdom

moonrise-kingdom-movie-poster-2012-1020750674

Saving Private Ryan

MV5BZjhkMDM4MWItZTVjOC00ZDRhLThmYTAtM2I5NzBmNmNlMzI1XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNDYyMDk5MTU@._V1_UY1200_CR93,0,630,1200_AL_

Going In Style 

going_in_style

Wall Street

MPW-76145

King Ralph

king_ralph_xlg

Planes Trains and Automobiles

A70-12393

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

51Z2g-KN03L

The Monuments Men

Monuments-Men-poster-2

Good Will Hunting

Good_Will_Hunting_theatrical_poster

Good Morning Vietnam 

large_7gxvvzBj5dAIiTbGItX3V48YPMb

This Is Spinal Tap

5f688539c8ca40399076d1b7b1d869e5

How many of these do you think I’ll get done before July 21st 2019?