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.

401 Birdie Sumner August 11, 2009 at 10:44 pm

Jeez, it is difficult to pick just one! I think the Oliver for the glorious colors. This would guarantee suaveness at just about any event.

402 Jamie Bradley August 11, 2009 at 10:50 pm

Ohhh, my eyes can’t tear themselves from the Inca de Oro. Does it come in diamond point?

403 Daniel Williams August 11, 2009 at 10:54 pm

I’ve been wearing bow ties for several years now, never fail to get at least someone commenting (always positive, so far). It’s hard to decide, but I think I’d like the Gilby:

I’m still kicking myself for failing to order the Berkeley pattern before it sold out.

404 Matthew N. August 11, 2009 at 11:05 pm

I have several Beau Ties already in my collection. I wore the Papohaku Beach Bow for a wedding a couple months ago, and have preached several times in my Blenheim.
I would love to add Anjouan to my collection!!!

405 Kevin L. August 11, 2009 at 11:26 pm

My current favorite on the site (of those bow ties that I do not currently own!) is the Kilim Carpet – this is a great looking bow tie that woulld suit well a variety of clothing choices!


I love Beau Ties!

406 Nathan Williams August 11, 2009 at 11:43 pm

Sulawesi – I’m a fan of this one. This one is beautiful.

407 Joe August 11, 2009 at 11:49 pm

I would have to say the Swift Creek would be my choice


That goes with many different colors and looks great.

408 Tom J. August 11, 2009 at 11:57 pm
409 Cameron A August 11, 2009 at 11:58 pm

I would have to say that the Five Swans Escher tie would be my favorite.

410 Sean Thompson August 12, 2009 at 12:09 am

When I win i would like the Vermillion River – bow tie neck size 16″ with diamond points.

411 Todd H August 12, 2009 at 12:12 am

Can’t go wrong with a bow tie inspired by Sir Winston himself.


412 Ryan L August 12, 2009 at 12:29 am
413 Jonathan August 12, 2009 at 12:51 am

The Jurassic bow tie seems… well, perfect for me.

414 Robert Simmons August 12, 2009 at 1:28 am

I like the Blanheim.

415 Dean-O August 12, 2009 at 1:33 am

For me, the Dutch colors of the campus crush tie are beautiful and the royal blue is perfect as is the orange. Being dutch, I think this is a great tie. Wear it to world cup games maybe for KNVB.

416 Sal Ortega August 12, 2009 at 1:47 am


I love so many of those ties, but the Caviana has my alma mater’s color

417 Taylor Seyfert August 12, 2009 at 1:52 am

You can’t go wrong with basic black. The silk just makes it even cooler. And don’t get me started on how much solid-colored cloth is improved with texture.


418 Thomas L. August 12, 2009 at 1:53 am


Item #: SENJA
Blue-hued circles woven in night-sky black silk from designer J. Audrey.

I’m a sucker for blue.

Thomas L.

419 Jerad August 12, 2009 at 1:56 am

Ahh, the paisely Solti. I wanted something classic and maybe a little early Bond, and I just can’t turn away from white or silver paisley on a black background.


420 Dustin Karzen August 12, 2009 at 1:57 am

I’ve recently grown very fond of bow-ties. I just wish I had more opportunity to wear one. http://www.beautiesltd.com/BPSPRODUCT.ASPX?pn_deptid=7393

421 Joseph Smith August 12, 2009 at 2:15 am
422 Ben C August 12, 2009 at 2:35 am

Really liking the Skylark Polka. Very smooth and hypnotic

423 Devan van Eyck August 12, 2009 at 4:00 am

A bowtie is a man’s game; and I think a diamond point is the championship match. Therefore, I’ll take the Finlandia– in diamond point, of course.

424 Edwin N August 12, 2009 at 6:45 am

Definitely an Ebony Jacquard, a very slim line one for a sleek look. I’ve been trying to bring back the bow tie here in Oz!

425 Eric August 12, 2009 at 8:08 am

I’ve been getting their catalog for ages (saw it in the back of Smithsonian Magazine). I’d pick the new Annisquam River. I wonder, though, how a bow tie looks under a longer beard. Invisible?

426 PJay August 12, 2009 at 8:21 am
427 Marco August 12, 2009 at 8:39 am

The Dansk Silver bow tie would look great with my tux in 2 months when my wife and I celebrate our 6th anniversary.

428 William P Reece August 12, 2009 at 8:46 am

I’d have to go with the Annisquam River. A very difficult task choosing from so many beautiful bow ties!

429 Matthew Perry August 12, 2009 at 9:15 am

I think this pitcairn island beau tie would look incredibly dapper with my seersucker suit! http://www.beautiesltd.com/BPSPRODUCT.ASPX?pn_deptid=8014

430 R E hood August 12, 2009 at 9:44 am
431 Sam August 12, 2009 at 9:54 am

The Findlandia is about as classic as they come. I’ll take it!

432 Sam August 12, 2009 at 9:55 am

The Finlandia is about as classic as they come. I’ll take it!

433 Luke August 12, 2009 at 11:00 am

The Kiss- It is all in the name and definitely has that pop and attention grabbing colors.

434 Big Dutch August 12, 2009 at 11:30 am

Annisquam River for me!

435 Stephen August 12, 2009 at 11:39 am

I love the Eagle River silk stripe bow tie. This is truly a beautiful classic, but bold tie. It is tough to pick just one, Beau Ties have so many fine looking ties to choose from.

436 Gregory Rihn August 12, 2009 at 11:44 am

I think the King’s Court regimental stripe is the most handsome and would be glad to win one.


437 Luke August 12, 2009 at 11:48 am

On second thought some comments are needed to explain why THE KISS(Plum) is the optimal bow tie. I have within the last month or so been blessed by God with a job as a busboy at an Italian restaurant in my neighborhood. The position that I was benevolently given is busboy and the dress code for bussers is black button down,black slacks, and black shoes. I hope to work hard and diligently and work my way to waiter in the near future. The dress attire of a waiter is the same as a busser except they get to wear a neck tie. I have recently been looking online at many websites for an ideal bow tie that would help me stand out to the customers and clients. The bow tie is an excellent way to look manly and classy. My personal preference to purple as well as the beau-tieful design makes the The KISS (Plum) ideal when the time comes.

438 Peter Stenbuck August 12, 2009 at 12:00 pm

The Solti – formal, but not plain!

439 andy quick August 12, 2009 at 12:07 pm

Harris – bow tie

440 Casey Reece August 12, 2009 at 12:23 pm

From Bill’s private stock I chose Kandavu – bow tie

441 Mickey August 12, 2009 at 12:25 pm

I really like the Malden: http://www.beautiesltd.com/BPSPRODUCT.ASPX?pn_deptid=8012

Simple, yet striking pattern.

442 Trevor August 12, 2009 at 12:28 pm

Platte River for me

443 Matthew Sadler August 12, 2009 at 12:31 pm


I love how the polka is always classy, whether in a bow or a neck tie.

444 Donald Lambert August 12, 2009 at 12:37 pm

I really like the Bond Street http://www.beautiesltd.com/PRODUCT.ASPX?pn_deptid=7405

its hard to find a nice looking, understated bow tie.

445 J. Blake McAskill August 12, 2009 at 12:45 pm


The Oliver is very cool, a little eccentric maybe.

446 Charles Hinshaw August 12, 2009 at 12:54 pm


447 Chris August 12, 2009 at 12:54 pm


The Solti is a nice looking tie. Probably going to pick up a “starter kit.” Bring back the bow!

448 Hyder August 12, 2009 at 1:20 pm

The Annapurna’s gotta be the one for me…


The Madurai is quite a looker as well, though.

449 Adam Wesley August 12, 2009 at 1:29 pm

Wooo Wee.

Sure wouldn’t mind me one of those Harris bow ties.


450 Anthony August 12, 2009 at 1:35 pm

I gotta go with the Platte River bow tie – classic.

451 Justin August 12, 2009 at 1:42 pm

I have to say the Anissquam River tie is amazing. The manliest tie is the bow.

452 Seth Spain August 12, 2009 at 1:44 pm

I’m hoping to start as an assistant professor or post doc next academic year…this bow tie seems appropriately academic to me:
Item #: FRASER

453 Sam August 12, 2009 at 2:03 pm


Cant go wrong with multi colored stripes on a crisp white shirt and a black suit.

454 Sean Mayo August 12, 2009 at 2:07 pm

Ok, I’m not sure if I can pull this off, but I’m game.

455 A. A. August 12, 2009 at 2:21 pm

An interesting, yet versatile bow tie would be my choice. I’ve found myself drawn to this one, the flirtation black bow tie.

456 Sean August 12, 2009 at 2:42 pm

The Nags Head with navy suit and crisp white shirt looks like a classic.

457 Henry August 12, 2009 at 3:18 pm
458 The Hearn August 12, 2009 at 3:19 pm

This is spectacular; a pattern I would instantly buy in necktie form, and equally boss as a bowtie.


459 Luke Martinez August 12, 2009 at 3:40 pm

I’d like this one with diamond ends:


Thank you!

460 Charlie August 12, 2009 at 3:59 pm
461 Jonathan Foster August 12, 2009 at 4:03 pm

I like the Finlandia in the Private Stock section. Very classy.


462 Kevin August 12, 2009 at 4:17 pm

Call me a naysayer, but wear that bow tie with anything but a tux and they will be laughing at you. Neck ties have an elongating and slimming effect, hide shirt buttons for a more polished look, and don’t have the negative association with Peewee or Krusty the Clown. If you say, “What about James Bond or Frank Sinatra?” Well, they probably wore it with a tux or at least with a vest. You are making a statement or trying to be fashionable. Either way you care what people think. They think you look like a tool.

463 Daniel Shuford August 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm

I love the Navy Reserve http://www.beautiesltd.com/PRODUCT.ASPX?pn_deptid=7917
It’ll go perfectly with the boater hat I want to buy.

464 SJ August 12, 2009 at 4:26 pm
465 RobB August 12, 2009 at 4:36 pm
466 Chris Hollins August 12, 2009 at 4:40 pm
467 GeorgeMo August 12, 2009 at 4:50 pm
468 Mike Collins August 12, 2009 at 4:59 pm

The Kiss (Plum) says it all!

469 Kent August 12, 2009 at 5:10 pm
470 Phil August 12, 2009 at 5:22 pm

I can’t imagine wearing short neck cloth ornamentation but wtf, I’m always up for a contest.

My choice is the Wallachia because I like the sound of it.

471 Rhoden Beck August 12, 2009 at 6:03 pm

I’m going to have to go with something classic–simple, yet refined. The ‘Blenheim’ it is.


472 Zachariah August 12, 2009 at 6:39 pm

Woop Woop
I’d like this one:
Yorktown Centennial!

473 Adam August 12, 2009 at 7:01 pm

absolutely the summer night polka.


Nothing says classy like a subtle repeating pattern.

474 Chris August 12, 2009 at 7:08 pm

Definitely the Blemheim! I’ve always been a Churchill fan; gotta go with the classic!

475 Solomon August 12, 2009 at 7:23 pm

Bees! “A swarm of golden bees on black silk jacquard.” My father-in-law kept bees and it would make a nice gift. And maybe he’ll get into wearing bow ties.

476 david l August 12, 2009 at 7:29 pm

I love the Port Mendes, the colors are subdued and masculine:

I started wearing bow ties when I graduated from college and started working in architecture offices…back in the days of drawing with pencils on paper…bent over a drawing table a neck tie just got in the way. I’ve preferred bow ties ever since.

477 James August 12, 2009 at 8:07 pm

I’d have to go with the Fraser, part of bills private stock, for special occasions where you want to stand out but still look classy


478 Lynn August 12, 2009 at 8:09 pm

i am in love with the River Severn bow tie.

Also the St. Bees tie:

Either of these would look fantastic on my man. :)

479 Seamus August 12, 2009 at 8:37 pm
480 Jim August 12, 2009 at 8:41 pm
481 Glenn Maguire August 12, 2009 at 8:47 pm

Just a note to say when I was describing this website to a friend, I said it was like,”having your Father at your fingertips 24/7″. Thanks for all the great advise. I fancy the Blenheim bow tie.
Glenn Maguire

482 Tyler August 12, 2009 at 8:58 pm
483 Michael August 12, 2009 at 10:15 pm

I rather like the Clipperton as well:

484 Julie August 12, 2009 at 10:40 pm

I think my favorite is the classy Solti. This is a “black tie” that is actually black on black paisley. Can’t wait to see my man sporting a Solti when I win this contest!

485 Anthony August 12, 2009 at 11:01 pm

I am going to opt for the Wallachia


486 Slade August 12, 2009 at 11:09 pm

My life would be one step closer to complete with http://www.beautiesltd.com/BPSPRODUCT.ASPX?pn_deptid=7663

487 Zambi August 12, 2009 at 11:41 pm

I personally love Dansk Gold – it’s elegant, sophisticated and versatile. http://www.beautiesltd.com/BPSPRODUCT.ASPX?pn_deptid=7155

488 Geoff M. August 12, 2009 at 11:51 pm

I love this one…


For a great place to see the bow tie in a modern world. Venture on down to Mountain in Sewanee, TN and walk around The University of the South. Men wear sports coats and slacks to class with the bow tie and the women wear heels and dresses.

489 Eric August 13, 2009 at 12:17 am

For sure, the Chaco. I love the thin stripes.


490 graham August 13, 2009 at 1:03 am

nothing says youre a real man than knowing how to tie a fly, the Flies II bowtie clearly states your manliness:


491 R. Crawford August 13, 2009 at 1:32 am

I have to admit, I’m a fan of simple Burgundy Alumni Stripes.


492 Jacob August 13, 2009 at 2:27 am

I like the simplicity with the Blenheim. It’s easy to match with most of my wardrobe and would be a fun accessory.


493 Jared August 13, 2009 at 3:54 am

Flirtation Black – bow tie [it has an awesome black and grey stripe, that seems usable in many situations.]

494 Robb August 13, 2009 at 8:36 am

Alumni Stripe Black for me. A classic, preppy look.


495 Kurt August 13, 2009 at 8:46 am

A bow tie should be a conversation piece. This one says it all.


496 John August 13, 2009 at 9:31 am

I fall into the Paisley group with


497 Joseph August 13, 2009 at 10:30 am

I prefer the something a bit collegiate, such as the Campus Crush – bow tie.


498 Richard Blackwell August 13, 2009 at 10:44 am

The Kiss (plum):


will go nicely with the 35 other Beau Ties Ltd bow-ties I own.

499 Alex Milburn August 13, 2009 at 11:54 am

I absolutely love the Harris bowtie


500 William Wright August 13, 2009 at 11:58 am

Oh the Eagle River is a beauty:


Fingers crossed!!

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