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April 12, 2013

STAWAR: The tie that defines

Spring has finally arrived and this is a time for new beginnings. For the past few weeks, I’ve been pondering a major life change. 

No, I’m not changing jobs, becoming a vegan or taking up ballroom dancing. I have, however, been considering wearing a bow tie. 

I actually wore one during two other periods in my life. Between the ages of 4 and 6, it appears that my mother made me wear frequently one of those tiny narrow clip-on bow ties. This is well documented in some old family Easter photographs. 

My other dalliance with bow ties was for a few months back in 1971, when it was considered the height of fashion to wear an oversized butterfly bow tie, along with an all-polyester shirt imprinted with bright intricate designs. I actually bought two ties — a maroon one and a powder blue paisley beauty. They languished at the bottom of my tie drawer for almost 30 years, patiently waiting for the revival that never came. 

I’ve worn neckties at work on and off since college. In my early 20s — when I was afraid I looked too baby-faced to have much credibility as a counselor with parents and older clients — I donned one. My bow tie interest was fired recently when I was looking at buying some new neckties and saw a few self-tie bow ties. On a lark I bought one. The neat thing about bow ties is that they look even cooler when they are untied. 

My wife Diane, who has her work cut out for her as my fashion consultant, is not too keen on bow ties. She contends that wearing them is a rather hostile gesture to others, defying convention. In addition, she thinks bow ties undermine your credibility and encourage other people to see you as some sort of a character or crank. 

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