A Man and the Bow Tie: The Beau Ties Ltd. of Vermont Giveaway

by Antonio on August 10, 2009 · 631 comments

in Accessories, Dress & Grooming


Source: Life

“It was in these years that I went over to the bow tie. Many men I admired wore bow ties — Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Humphrey Bogart, Groucho Marx. Bow ties are not only neat and suggestive of insouciance, they have in addition one inestimable advantage, especially for sloppy eaters. It is impossible, or at least it requires extreme agility, to spill anything on a bow tie.”   -Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. on the decision he made in college to start wearing bow ties.

Although the bow tie’s shape and general characteristics have remained the same for almost 150 years, its place in society has moved from one of equal footing with its cousin the necktie to one of being a rarity.  To find a man who enjoys wearing a bow tie daily is difficult, perhaps because so many view the bow tie as more “amusing” or belonging to the realm of eccentrics than in a professional’s wardrobe.  And that’s unfortunate; from a practical point of view, it’s less likely to get in your way, flatters a wide variety of faces, has a strong history, and technically, is just as correct as a standard necktie.

If you have the courage to wear a bow tie, you’ll find it’s a small accessory that receives a lot of attention.  Women will smile at you, young men will tell you how it reminds them of a favorite relative, and older gentlemen will compliment you for bringing back something great that was lost.  The naysayers may be thinking, “Oh, but they’re really just laughing at you,” but I beg to differ.  A man who can pull off a bow tie is confident in his own skin and that is something any great person can appreciate.

So without further ado, here is a bit of history on the bow tie, the background on a great American company that makes them, and finally directions on how with you can win one.

Bow Tie History


“A list of bow tie devotees reads like a Who’s Who of rugged individualists.” -The New York Times

The bow tie has a pedigree reaching back into the early 18th century when Croatian soldiers served as mercenaries in the French army’s light cavalry during the Thirty-Year’s War against the German Empire.  Traditional Croatian military dress included scarves worn around the neck in a distinctive manner. This handsome “Croatian Style” captivated the French and during the reign of Louis XIV, they adapted it and wore a piece of fabric around their shirt collars in the fashion then known as “a la Croate.”  This expression soon became the root of the new French term “cravate”.

The cravat flourished, and it soon became the sign of cultivation and elegance among the bourgeoisie. The cravat tie eventually inspired the the bow and four-in-hand neckties.  In the mid 19th century, the bow tie evolved from being a simple swath of material – often of lace and known as the jabot –  which was tied into any kind of bow, into something much closer to what we are familiar with today.  A specific bow tie pattern was designed, and when fabrics were cut using that pattern, the resulting bow was of a definitive form and soon became synonymous with formal attire.  It was particularly popular with the newly introduced tuxedo jacket – an alternative to the tailcoats that required white ties.  And although the bow tie began to lose its place as popular business attire, one fan has noted that the “bowtie has survived as a statement that a man takes pride in his dress.” Perhaps the most famous bow tie of the mid 20th century was Winston Churchill’s classic navy silk with white polka dots. During WWII, Churchill and FDR formed a bow tie alliance in opposition to Hitler’s penchant for the four-in-hand.  A few years later some of the icons of show business  – including Frank Sinatra – wore bow ties and lots of men followed suit.

On the Left - Beau Ties LTD's founders Bill and Deb    On the Right - Sir Winston Churchill, one of history's most iconic bow tie wearers.

On the Left - Beau Ties LTD's founders Bill and Deb On the Right - Sir Winston Churchill, one of history's most iconic bow tie wearers.

American Success Story – Bow Ties Made in Vermont

Fashion trends changed dramatically in the latter half of the century, and bow ties became as scarce as topcoats and fedoras in  popular fashion.  As a result, it became quite difficult for men who enjoyed wearing bow ties to find them in any fabric other than formal black.  Seeing this void when he looked for a bow tie himself, Bill Kenerson made a decision that impacted his life and opened the world of bow ties to thousands of other men.  A long-time bow tie fan, Bill was approaching retirement age when he determined it was time for someone to start making and selling bow ties that were not only top quality, but came in a variety of designs – well beyond the basic black.  And with that, Beau Ties Ltd. of Vermont was born.

Beau Ties started in a spare bedroom of Bill’s house in Middlebury, Vermont.  Bill and his wife, Deb, made forays into the garment district in New York and started buying silks that would make great ties.  A neighbor and friend, who also happened to be a seamstress of some renown, started turning those fabrics into ties. A local graphic artist designed a one-page flier featuring eight fabric options, and a retired public relations maven developed the first promotional copy.  A mailing list of about 5000 names – cobbled together from various sources – formed the nucleus of what has become a list of over 100,000, and that flier winged its way to the first people to place orders for Vermont-made bow ties.  Fifteen years later, Beau Ties Ltd. of Vermont is one of the USA’s premiere manufacturer of bow ties. Today the company inhabits a factory and sales office specifically designed for the business where each tie is individually handcrafted and inspected in Vermont and guaranteed to meet the expectations of customers all around the world.

Bow Tie Giveaway

Do you want to win the 100% silk, handcrafted bow tie of your choice? Entering this contest is as easy as pie. Just follow these two simple steps:

1. Visit the Beau Ties Ltd. of Vermont web site and pick out the bow tie you would like if you’re lucky enough to be selected as the winner.

2. Share your selection with us in the comments section of this post.

Everyone who enters the contest will be emailed a coupon code for a 20% discount at Beau Ties Ltd. of Vermont at the conclusion of the contest.

A winner will be drawn randomly from the entries. The deadline for entry into the contest is Monday, August 17 at 10PM CST.

301 Carroll August 11, 2009 at 1:59 pm

Hebrides for me…

It will be a nice addition to my 400+ collection of bow ties. I am a school teacher (music of course) and wear a different bow tie everyday. I actually have enough ties to make it through two academic years without repeating. Since I perform a lot, and wear them to church, I wear a bow tie almost every day of my life.

302 Robert August 11, 2009 at 2:01 pm

I have forgotten how much I love Bow Ties. I used to wear them when I was much younger. It’s been more than 20 years since I’ve worn a Bow Tie outside of a formal occassion. I do love this one http://www.beautiesltd.com/PRODUCT.ASPX?pn_deptid=6597

303 Cliff Jenkin August 11, 2009 at 2:03 pm

I’d love the Noelville II

304 Pascal Matheis August 11, 2009 at 2:04 pm

I really like the Wallachia bow tie:


305 Jeff August 11, 2009 at 2:11 pm
306 Scott August 11, 2009 at 2:18 pm

Not an easy choice.

I am going to go with the Annisquam River.


Another great contest, AoM!

307 Tim Chinn August 11, 2009 at 2:19 pm
308 kyle August 11, 2009 at 2:23 pm


I would choose the Naval Reserve March…if you going to wear this type of tie-be bold

309 Christopher August 11, 2009 at 2:27 pm

I like the Annisquam River. A nice clean look that is versatile for any mood or occasion.

310 Carlos August 11, 2009 at 2:28 pm

the gilby

311 Chris Nyaradi August 11, 2009 at 2:30 pm

Blenheim Churchill bow tie is a fantastic look.

312 Michael August 11, 2009 at 2:32 pm
313 Jeremy August 11, 2009 at 2:33 pm

I love the look of the Harris.


Thanks – Jeremy

314 Ryan Kirksey August 11, 2009 at 2:40 pm

Standard, classic and timeless. But now with a crazy name like Country Boy Polka:

315 Rick August 11, 2009 at 2:44 pm
316 Jay Mason Kondrk August 11, 2009 at 2:47 pm

I am my own man. I love the classic black and adore Paisley.
In my mind the Solti is perfect.
I want to stand out because of who I am not because of my accessories!


317 Kyle Collins August 11, 2009 at 2:54 pm


Oh my goodness! I’d never worn a real bow tie (as opposed to the clip-on rental tux variety) until a wedding I officiated for some friends. The bride’s father insisted that we all wear real bow ties, and showed us how to tie them- it was awesome! This is definitely added (along with suspenders) to my list of accessories that need to come back.


318 Larry Silvey August 11, 2009 at 2:56 pm


If you’ve just got to wear a tie, why not be a little different? Remember the old adage about no second chances for first impressions. Not for the reticent; but what a statement!

319 Jeremy Foster August 11, 2009 at 2:58 pm

Here’s to bringing it back!
I choose the classic black BCHR 3231.

320 Matthew August 11, 2009 at 3:02 pm
321 Graeme D August 11, 2009 at 3:16 pm

Its the Blenheim Bow Tie for me . Cheeky and right in line with the philosophy of the B Tie

322 Dipesh Navsaria August 11, 2009 at 3:17 pm


I own this one; it’s one of my favorites and it usually gets plenty of comments when people recognize what the pattern is… :-)

323 Grant August 11, 2009 at 3:20 pm
324 Patrick August 11, 2009 at 3:26 pm

Striking, but still very reserved. I like it!


325 Kenji August 11, 2009 at 3:46 pm

What a tie!


Bow ties and ascots need to come back.

326 Ben August 11, 2009 at 3:47 pm
327 Jason F. McBrayer August 11, 2009 at 3:57 pm

I normally love paisley in a bow tie, but I have to say I adore the Harris:


328 Justin August 11, 2009 at 3:57 pm

I’d have to go with the Blenheim. Classic and it reminds me of the good ol’ stars and stripes…well, the stars part anyway.

I have a friend that wears a Texas flag bow tie with matching cumberbund to formal gatherings on occasion. It really makes a great conversation piece and ice breaker.


329 Will August 11, 2009 at 3:57 pm

I’m going to have to go with the Grand Fenwick bow tie: http://www.beautiesltd.com/BPSPRODUCT.ASPX?pn_deptid=8081

330 Garrett August 11, 2009 at 3:59 pm

I confess, I’m a bow tie newbie, only owning one to my name, and it’s been given a thorough beating through a lot of weddings. That said, the Black Charmeuse would be an apt replacement for my Kilt + Prince Edward jacket combination for tuxedo type events.


331 Crumbaker--Matthew Crumbaker August 11, 2009 at 4:00 pm

I think the true art of a man is in “Knowing what you know, and knowing what you don’t know”. I know I like the look and classic styling of the bow-tie. I know I don’t know a thing about picking one out, but I bet the founder of a bow-tie company does. I am going with Bill’s pick, who knows more about the bow-tie than him. This article has certainly opened my eyes to prodigious ties, maybe they will be something, “I know” in the future.


332 Justin August 11, 2009 at 4:00 pm

In case anyone needed the link…


333 Todd S August 11, 2009 at 4:00 pm

As a native Nebraskan, I’ll have to go with the Platte River.


334 Chris August 11, 2009 at 4:11 pm

Definitely a Fraser. That’s no holds barred.


335 Tom Cavanaugh August 11, 2009 at 4:14 pm

Being an English teacher leads me to the Bard.
A nice looking tie. I always wanted to wear a bow tie.

336 David Hibbert August 11, 2009 at 4:29 pm

Not one there with vertical stripes ?
I would pick the M.C. Escher ,Five Swans. Great idea for a patterned tie.
Have been a bow tie wearer longer than my friends remember.

337 Craig August 11, 2009 at 4:40 pm

The Kandavu slimline diamond point would be my first choice, as it would look perfect with a white summer jacket and Panama hat. I have a number of BeauTies’ ties, and I have to say they are all neatly made and have flair. Keep up the good work!

338 Jack August 11, 2009 at 4:41 pm

I’m stuck between the following ties:

http://www.beautiesltd.com/PRODUCT.ASPX?pn_deptid=8046 Harris

http://www.beautiesltd.com/PRODUCT.ASPX?pn_deptid=8036 Castleton

http://www.beautiesltd.com/PRODUCT.ASPX?pn_deptid=8050 Mohawk

I think with the proper fitted shirt, I could pull at least on of these off.

339 Shane August 11, 2009 at 4:43 pm

I’ve worn bow ties in the past and whenever the situation allows it. I like the Clyde River in slimline standard.

340 Adam R. Paul August 11, 2009 at 4:44 pm
341 Stephen hollabaugh August 11, 2009 at 4:51 pm
342 Bob August 11, 2009 at 4:55 pm

My vote is for the Holden. Very versatile

343 David August 11, 2009 at 4:55 pm
344 Josh August 11, 2009 at 4:59 pm

I would have to say the Alizarin Crimson just looks smashing.


345 Colin August 11, 2009 at 5:00 pm

The River Shannon seems like it could be easily incorporated into semi-formal or nonchalant every day attire.


346 Mark August 11, 2009 at 5:05 pm

I like the Sirsa.


It is light, a bit playful without being outlandish, and will go with many a summer outfit.

347 Joe August 11, 2009 at 5:07 pm

I would go with the Bond Street. Elegant and understated!


348 Michael August 11, 2009 at 5:18 pm

I’d go with the Burgundy Alumni Stripe.

349 Matthew August 11, 2009 at 5:25 pm

I like the Bangladesh. Who doesn’t love that classic paisley anyway? It looks good and is a very nice pattern to go with a dark suit and light shirt.

A couple of months ago I was at a thrift store and found some bow ties in a 50 cent bin. I scooped them up and figured out how to tie them thanks to the internet.

Personally, I like Very slimline bows. It’s a little more 50′s soda-shop style than the standard, but I’m skinny and that works for me.

350 Erik August 11, 2009 at 5:27 pm

The Nag’s Head Bowtie is pretty darn awesome.

351 Jack August 11, 2009 at 5:37 pm
352 Jim August 11, 2009 at 5:42 pm

First off, I love my bow ties. Beau Ties may very well be my doom.


I thought when I saw it that Comoros was going to be the one, but then I saw ‘The Kiss (Plum)’ – now that’s a party tie! I’d probably have to get both, though. And probably the Traverse Bay and San Gregorio. And Sahara.

353 Kirk August 11, 2009 at 5:53 pm

Wow, there were several I could have picked, but the one that I thought was most unique for my tastes would be the In the Money bow tie.

354 Matt August 11, 2009 at 5:54 pm

The Black Charmeuse


Classic look for weddings. A lot of friends are getting married so I think I ought to arrive in style.

355 JW August 11, 2009 at 5:54 pm
356 Tyson Daniels August 11, 2009 at 6:01 pm

I really like the Dresden bowtie- It’s a beautiful floral print with vibrant, well-matched colors.

357 Rich August 11, 2009 at 6:06 pm

I am digging the Glen Allen. But the Solti could spice up the tux a little bit.

358 David Baeza August 11, 2009 at 6:08 pm

I really want to bring back the bow this one will surely help

359 Lawrence M August 11, 2009 at 6:14 pm

I really like the Dresden – great colors and design.

360 Richard August 11, 2009 at 6:15 pm

There’s several paisley ties here I love; the solti I believe I like the best: http://www.beautiesltd.com/PRODUCT.ASPX?pn_deptid=7523

But these two are also amazing!!

361 Andrew August 11, 2009 at 6:16 pm

I think the Annisquam River (http://www.beautiesltd.com/PRODUCT.ASPX?pn_deptid=8032) would look great with a tweed jacket in the fall

362 Terry Tommey August 11, 2009 at 6:33 pm

I’ve never worn a bow tie but have always wanted to. I like the Annisquam River tie. Thank you for this story.


363 William Bennett August 11, 2009 at 6:38 pm

I like the Republican bow tie would look great anytime of year.

364 Jake Meyers August 11, 2009 at 7:02 pm

The “Mindanao” bow tie is striking and sharp as hell. I used to wear bow ties back in college to be different — this article made me want to start up again!

check the tie out at http://www.beautiesltd.com/images/Products/XLG/Mindanao.jpg

365 Cameron Poole Smith August 11, 2009 at 7:04 pm

I have to go for the Sahara bow tie in Bills Private Stock.
These are all beautiful ties though


366 Jimish August 11, 2009 at 7:15 pm

I’m particular to the Mayfield:


367 Jeff Cavanaugh August 11, 2009 at 7:19 pm

Definitely the Blenheim. I need a good Churchill dot bow.

368 Justin August 11, 2009 at 7:29 pm

The paper airplane one of course… although there were many others that caught my eye. I’m planning to wear a bowtie to the upcoming President’s reception for the beginning of my grad school career… my fiancee thinks I’m joking.


369 Vlad August 11, 2009 at 7:39 pm

I love this one… http://www.beautiesltd.com/BPSPRODUCT.ASPX?pn_deptid=7663
simple, yet elegant

370 Wiliam Unkel August 11, 2009 at 7:41 pm

Grant – bow tie
Grant – bow tie

Cary Grant, king of cool, is known for his sheer star power. We honor him with a sky full of stars – orange, gold and blues on burgundy silk twill.

371 Pol August 11, 2009 at 7:42 pm

The one that I prefer is elegant and stylish. I am sure others would agree with me. The Finlandia looks like a good first bowtie.


372 Nicholas Wansbutter August 11, 2009 at 7:52 pm
373 Matt Berry August 11, 2009 at 8:14 pm

I believe that if I had to choose just one, it would have to be the Berkner, standard width, freestyle for an 18.5 inch neck.


It seems like it would be appropriate for many occasions, calls a little attention to itself with the pattern, and would be an excellent first bow tie for a man to have.

374 Louis Consolazio August 11, 2009 at 8:18 pm

I second the loch lachlan. A very dapper looking tie.

375 Herrsuit August 11, 2009 at 8:24 pm

Finlandia is my favorite of those I don’t already own:


376 Starcast August 11, 2009 at 8:29 pm


I have selected the Silk ‘Charcoal’ Bow Tie. Seems to me that it could range from formal to fun and additionally work with a very wide variety of shirts… More pizazz might be in order for a bow tie collection, but for a 1st bow tie, this one looks quite adventurous!

377 Derek August 11, 2009 at 8:30 pm

I love this one:
It’ll really go with my kilt when I<m going to those formal occasions, and I<m a little bored with my black bow tie.

378 Marvin August 11, 2009 at 8:37 pm

I wear only bowties. It’s funny that out of all the ties I own, I have never bothered to purchase the one I’ve always wanted. I choose the Blenheim. Either I’ll win it or this will remind to purchase it. We shall see.

379 Seth Morris August 11, 2009 at 8:45 pm

I’m particularly drawn to the Holden bow.

380 Liam D. Kingsley August 11, 2009 at 8:49 pm

Even though I have not had the opportunity to wear a bowtie, I have always defended them from those who would say they’re unprofessional. I would always say that some of our greatest, manliest heroes wore them, citing immediately from mind Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill.

If I win that exquisite Hebrides Blue, of British woven silk, it will rest snugly around my collar as I proudly strut into the office when I return.

381 Liam D. Kingsley August 11, 2009 at 8:50 pm

For an immediate look to the bow tie that I speak of, here is the url. http://www.beautiesltd.com/BPSPRODUCT.ASPX?pn_deptid=7380

382 jason berlin August 11, 2009 at 8:54 pm

i like the mandla bow tie # mdla9001 this would be great for a night out.

383 Danny August 11, 2009 at 8:56 pm

You can not go wrong with a beau tie like this. I can see me wearing this with a Gray suit or with a nice contrast collar shirt. It is a good way of showing people that bow ties aren’t just black and are not boring or stuffy. Plus there made and sold in the USA.


384 Mike Teague August 11, 2009 at 8:57 pm
385 Luke August 11, 2009 at 8:58 pm

I know it is kind of plain but it would be a nice addition to my existing set of bow ties.


386 Alex Meyer August 11, 2009 at 8:59 pm

I do think the Solti black bow tie is lovely.


387 M August 11, 2009 at 9:07 pm

There are so many wonderful bow ties, but I think the “Calvin” is my favourite.


388 Jon D August 11, 2009 at 9:16 pm

The Malden is beautiful. Nothing goofy, but a nice noticeable pattern.


389 James Heffernan August 11, 2009 at 9:16 pm


love em both. Would use the dvd as a coaster.

390 Kevin August 11, 2009 at 9:29 pm

Definately the Blenheim. Super sexy.

391 Lee August 11, 2009 at 9:34 pm

I like the bold yet subtle red/white/blue Eagle River.

392 Joe M. August 11, 2009 at 9:36 pm

Since I have a wedding coming up, and have my own tux, I’m definitely thinking of a formal tie. I like the Black Charmeuse / Crepe Jewel Toned bow tie for the double duty finish. Also, I’m a fan of the “Batwing” styling – very slim with the diamond points on the ends. Like another poster mentioned – it reminds me of Sinatra!


393 Ron Knapper August 11, 2009 at 9:41 pm

I have had my eye on the Vitruvian Man (You know, the DaVinci sketch of the man in the circle and the square). http://www.beautiesltd.com/PRODUCT.ASPX?pn_deptid=6259

I have been wearing bow ties for about a year now (self tied of course), but have not yet taken the plunge to Beau Ties Ltd. of Vermont. Bow ties are so practical. As a teacher, I can lean over a students desk to help without whacking them in the face with my tie.

394 Aaron Thompson August 11, 2009 at 9:48 pm

No offense Beau Ties Ltd. of Vermont. I have always hard a time finding many bow ties I like in your collection. Contact me if you would like to talk and get some direct feedback. I sure would love to come work for you and help out.

395 JP Henderson August 11, 2009 at 10:05 pm
396 B Goins August 11, 2009 at 10:27 pm

For me, it’s between the Kentucky River Lemon and the Blenheim. The Blenheim wins out slightly.


397 Will Grannan August 11, 2009 at 10:29 pm

I came across a twenty-five year old picture of myself wearing a bow tie while flipping in my high school yearbook the other Saturday. I never fail to get compliments, if for nothing more than having the nerve to wear one.
Working in the Furnishings Department of Jacobson’s one Christmas season, I sold a lady four bow ties in one fell swoop by demonstrating how easy they are to tie: no mirror, perfect knot. (I put some illustrated instruction cards in the bag, just in case).
My sister-in-law’s marrying a great guy this fall, and I want to look dapper at the wedding; the economy’s tight and we’re on the hook for flower girl dresses and a tux for the ring bearer. I think the Nubia by Rose Ann Wade would be perfect with my black suit and a French blue shirt.
I promise to be a vocal endorser of your very fine wares!

398 Jacob M. August 11, 2009 at 10:30 pm

I am in love with the Solti bow tie. The elegance of the black paisley would make an excellent addition to any man’s formal attire.


399 Rocco Galizio August 11, 2009 at 10:31 pm

I’m going to go with the “Green Earth:”


In the Catholic Church there are various colors for the different liturgical seasons and celebrations in the Church (Green, White, Red, Purple, Rose, and Black). I am working on building my collection of bow ties so that I can be decked out in the proper ‘liturgical color’ when I go to Church. On top of that, once I have all those colors, I will have a pretty well stocked set of bow ties for all occasions!

400 Pat Deming August 11, 2009 at 10:34 pm

Lot of great bow ties. The Malden would be a good one for me:

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