KNIGHT RIDDER NEWSPAPERS
They're apparently difficult to tie.
Stereotypically, they reflect a certain eccentricity. And people sometimes make fun.
Still, bow ties remain the mark of many men, especially those in the public eye.
Fans include politicians, performers, doctors and television broadcasters. They wear them with an inflexible pride.
Comedians such as Mo Rocca and Mark Russell sport them. Winston Churchill, Fred Astaire and Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan wore them.
The New York Times says MSNBC's Tucker Carlson refused to give up his signature bow ties when planning his new show, "The Situation," although he admits they can seem "like a middle finger protruding from your neck."
Indeed after all these years, at a time when many men skip ties completely, bow ties still seem to annoy people. The Times reports that all the negative reviews of Carlson's show mentioned his tie. And generally, bow ties are always noticed in any public acknowledgment of a man in a way that seems negative. The tie suggests "iconoclasm of an old world sort," the Times reports.
Even columnist George Will, a bow tie man himself, says people find it irritating because it sends a message the wearer is thinking a bit too much about his appearance (or perhaps himself).
Young boys are spared the criticism, presumably because they were probably dressed by parents. Older men can pull it off because they are perceived to have gained the wisdom and stature that the bow tie implicates.