Cowboys and bolo ties: Elegance in the Old Wild West

Although Cowboys, in general have a rather dusty and unkempt image – in Western films as well as in real life – even the wild cowboys dress to the nines for special occasions. A so-called bolo tie is then a must. Find out more about the origins of traditional American accessory and find out which stars have made the tie a real fashion trend in the last few years.

Johnny Depp, wearing a bolotie and a dark suit

Source: Andrew Evans/PR Photos, style.com

A bolo tie is a special kind of tie. It consists of a cord or leather strap (often braided) and a decorative clasp or brooch that holds the ends together. These clasps or brooches are usually made of metal and have special decorations.
The origin of this men’s accessory lies in the nineteenth century, in the western states of the USA. The official patent, however, was only filed in the 1940′s, by Dr. William E. Mangelsdorf, a dentist from Arizona, even though the idea clearly wasn’t his.

The legend of the invention of the bolo ties is certainly more interesting: the story goes, that a certain Victor Cedarstaff, a silversmith invented the necktie when riding his horse. He always wore a cowboy hat, decorated with a silver-trimmed hatband, but the hat was sometimes blown away, when riding his horse. So to avoid losing the hatband he slipped it around his neck. A companion who was riding next to him joked: “That’s a nice-looking tie you’re wearing, Vic!”, and so the bolo tie was invented. The name comes from the word “boleadora” which is the name for the lasso that is used by Argentinian shepherds.

Bruce Springsteen on the cover of “Tunnel of Love” with a bolo tie

Source: Columbia Records

The states of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas have made the bolo tie even a part of their traditional attire on formal occasions, but also some celebrities seem to like the accessory. An example is Bruce Springsteen, who wore a bolotie on the cover of his album “Tunnel of Love”, from 1987. Even Hollywood actor Johnny Depp has been photographed several times with a shoestring tie in the Old Wild West style.

Wearing a bolo tie is certainly an original alternative, but if you are not a famous actor or singer or live in Arizona, New Mexiko or Texas, it probably doesn’t have the desired effect in everyday life:
For everyday and in the office it is better to go for an elegant silk tie, such as the ones from Andrew’s Ties.

Brown tie of the Diamantina collection

Brown tie of the Diamantina collection

Trouser braces-brown with leather details

Trouser braces-brown with leather details

Bow tie brown with classic design

Bow tie brown with classic design