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.

501 Sam August 13, 2009 at 12:00 pm

Wow! There are so many great choices, I could have picked any number of them. This one is great, though!

502 Ben Venable August 13, 2009 at 12:03 pm

I have to go with a collegiate tie. War Eagle!


503 Ben Matthews August 13, 2009 at 12:03 pm

There’s nothing quite as bold as wearing your school colors on a bow-tie … sure would look great while coaching my junior high basketball team wearing this: http://www.beautiesltd.com/PRODUCT.ASPX?pn_deptid=6600

504 Jason G August 13, 2009 at 12:03 pm
505 Zola August 13, 2009 at 12:15 pm
506 Ammon August 13, 2009 at 12:22 pm

I like the Platte River http://www.beautiesltd.com/PRODUCT.ASPX?pn_deptid=6862

But, if I win I guess I’ll have to learn how to tie one. Do I have to wear a sports coat with leather patches on the elbows when I wear the bow tie?

507 Brian S August 13, 2009 at 12:28 pm

Definitely the Blenheim. Classy and classic.

508 Jim W. August 13, 2009 at 12:29 pm

The San Gregorio! http://www.beautiesltd.com/PRODUCT.ASPX?pn_deptid=8057 I’ve been wearing a uniform for 22 years; this will be a great change.

509 Patrick August 13, 2009 at 12:32 pm

I’m down with the Gilby. http://www.beautiesltd.com/PRODUCT.ASPX?pn_deptid=8043

Subtle, understated, gentlemanly, but masculine.


510 abdi August 13, 2009 at 12:38 pm

I vote for finlandia the best bow tie

511 Nick August 13, 2009 at 12:43 pm

Tough decision but I would have to go with the Uruguay: http://www.beautiesltd.com/BPSPRODUCT.ASPX?pn_deptid=7662

512 rashid August 13, 2009 at 1:01 pm

yes classic bienheim its hot polka ……….

513 Dino Cule August 13, 2009 at 1:03 pm

Very tough decision, but I’m most fond of the Bangladesh.

514 JaredF August 13, 2009 at 1:34 pm

I grew up in Middlebury, home of Beau Ties Ltd and purchased my very first bow tie from their shop for my senior prom during high school; a pure white silk to match my white vest I wore with a black shirt and pants.

It is still part of my formal arsenal but the color does not lend itself to regular use. I would like to add the Yorktown Centennial so that it can join the normal rotation and I can show off some quality handwork from my hometown.

515 Daniel August 13, 2009 at 2:13 pm

This is the one: http://www.beautiesltd.com/PRODUCT.ASPX?pn_deptid=8056

basic, casual, versatile, perfect.

516 Scott August 13, 2009 at 2:18 pm
517 Robert August 13, 2009 at 2:59 pm

I like the Tuki Tuki

Orange is the new … something.

518 Zachariah August 13, 2009 at 3:13 pm

Traverse Bay, Slimline/Standard, Freestyle, 19″

I think it adds a beautiful dash of color and style to a conservative navy suit and blue dress shirt with a yellow silk pocket square.

519 Phil August 13, 2009 at 3:31 pm

Cerulean, Standard size, Freestyle, 18.5″. I like a lot of the colors & styles, but I have no idea whether they match my current suits & jackets, so a solid is probably safest.

520 Benji August 13, 2009 at 3:41 pm

The Formula Bow Tie would be my pic. It’s a fun tie. Like others, there are many ties which would add nicely to a man’s wardrobe.

521 R. Geist August 13, 2009 at 3:43 pm

I’m a fan of Beau Ties, Ltd. for 10 years and a more recent fan of A of M. A more perfect collaboration couldn’t be imagined!

I have mostly striped bow ties and a few patterns and solids in my collection but no polka dots. I would definitely choose the Mambo Polka.

522 EM Gill August 13, 2009 at 3:53 pm
523 Travis August 13, 2009 at 4:12 pm
524 Zack August 13, 2009 at 7:28 pm
525 Joffre August 13, 2009 at 7:42 pm
526 Alex August 13, 2009 at 8:26 pm

Blenheim – the polka dot style worn by Churchill. I teach history and Churchill once said, “History will be kind to me because I intend to make it.” Great quote by great man!

527 Aaron W. August 13, 2009 at 9:40 pm

I’ve been a fan of M.C. Escher’s work ever since I first saw it several years ago before I went to college. The pattern of the Fish, Duck and Lizard is exceptional, and the colors are very capable of going with many colors and different ensembles. Love it!! Thank you Art of Manliness, Brett, and Beau Ties Ltd.!



528 James Moore August 13, 2009 at 11:07 pm

I would choose the *presuming it’s included in the choices* Black Silk Jacquard – bow tie. I picked it specifically because of the color *first and foremost* and the style. I feel basic black TRULY is best for Bowties.

529 Curtis August 13, 2009 at 11:08 pm

I like the purple and silver of the Guatemala:


530 Todd Amundson August 13, 2009 at 11:46 pm

I like the Books Bow Tie # 6211

Stylish, with a touch of whimsy

531 Stephen August 13, 2009 at 11:54 pm

I really like the Hebrides Blue bow tie. It is great to see these classic styles starting to come back!

532 noice06 August 14, 2009 at 3:02 am

Bandar – “The epitome of sophistication.”


533 Mike M August 14, 2009 at 3:21 am

I’d go with the Gilby.

It’s a beautiful bow tie.

534 Badi Morris August 14, 2009 at 8:33 am

http://www.beautiesltd.com/PRODUCT.ASPX?pn_deptid=7197 mmm affordable, yet elegant bow ties.

535 Adam Blakely August 14, 2009 at 9:11 am

There are so many that I want, but I think I’d have to go with Inca de Oro. I need an orange bow tie to add to my collection.

Let me just say that the bow tie is lost on my generation. I’m 23 and just started working in Atlanta. When I wear a bow tie, I get so many compliments. I think it’s because not enough men know how to tie one, or they don’t feel like they can pull it off. I’m trying to bring it back, and I immediately respect any man wearing a bow tie.

536 Will August 14, 2009 at 10:22 am

The rich gold Tuki Tuki is beautiful, and like no tie I own. And I think the blue Berkner is a very nice pattern. It reminds me of the handsome bow tie that I inherited from my grandpa, which is my favorite.

537 mike mckeown August 14, 2009 at 10:47 am

Montego bay– nice summer tie, of course it is sold out
Port Richie– I have a brown suit that would be perfect with it
Phantasialand– If I feel a little daring

538 Joshua August 14, 2009 at 10:52 am

I like the Naval Reserve March bow tie.

539 David August 14, 2009 at 11:56 am
540 Nick T August 14, 2009 at 12:44 pm

The Flies II – bow tie by Eric Holch is my Favorite. It will represent me well!

541 David Greiner August 14, 2009 at 1:05 pm

I love the Glen Ellen: http://www.beautiesltd.com/PRODUCT.ASPX?pn_deptid=8044

Simple. Classic. But still quite playful, especially when worn with a black suit.


542 Ryan Chambers August 14, 2009 at 2:00 pm

The Country Boy Polka- I have been looking for a great bow tie locally and have had no success. What a great bow tie site.

543 Shipsa01 August 14, 2009 at 2:40 pm

This one – http://www.beautiesltd.com/PRODUCT.ASPX?pn_deptid=4340 – to help save the Bees!

544 Peter Ness August 14, 2009 at 3:35 pm

Carbon Black. It’s basic and traditional, in my opinion anyway. While I avoid ties of any kind, I think it would make a great gift for someone I know. On the other hand, I’d probably keep it myself if my man bag was black instead of tobacco.

545 Caz August 14, 2009 at 3:35 pm

I would most likely buy this one to start me off in the world of bow ties.


546 Peter Ness August 14, 2009 at 4:00 pm

I’m disappointed my profile photo doesn’t seem to be coming through. It’s a pic of my dog in a blue bow tie taken at a James Bond themed flyball tournament.

547 Teresa Poulseen August 14, 2009 at 5:31 pm

My husband is turning 60 next month and “The Kiss (Plum) – bow tie” woudl be the perfect tie for him, fun loving and free!

548 C. Biar August 14, 2009 at 6:41 pm

I’m a fan of the Davidson.

549 DM Smith August 14, 2009 at 8:04 pm

I have 6 bow ties from Beau Ties Ltd and tend toward Paisleys. For this Giveaway, I choose the Blenheim as a salute to Winston. Thank you Beau Ties of Vermont for wonderful bow ties and a great selection.

550 Markus August 14, 2009 at 10:32 pm
551 Finnian August 14, 2009 at 10:34 pm

Flies II – I’ve had my eye on that tie for a while.

552 Ian B-M August 15, 2009 at 1:32 am


553 Fletch August 15, 2009 at 2:32 am

Item #: SLTI 9832 – the “Solti” bow tie for me. As a classically trained musician, black tie is very familiar and something like the 9832 looks like an excellent tie.

554 Rick Smith August 15, 2009 at 8:06 am

Decorum, gentlemen, decorum. Perhaps at 27 I’m too old fashioned, but all of the rugged individualists pictured are wearing solids because most patterns are nearly impossible to match with anything (with the exception of Frank Sinatra, who I’m told could get away with wearing anything).

Understated simplicity = downright sophisticated. Also, matching my existing wardrobe helps too.

Definitely the solid charcoal.

555 Nicholas August 15, 2009 at 9:15 am

I’m going to have to go with the Solti.

556 cmarnold August 15, 2009 at 2:22 pm

The paisley fabric of the Vanua Levu is very elegant.


557 Bob Poulseen August 15, 2009 at 2:27 pm

Diego Garcia for me. I learned how a bow tie is tied a couple of years ago, just like your shoe laces, only around your neck. My wife chose The Kiss if her name is drawn.

558 Andrew Clarendon August 15, 2009 at 3:16 pm

The Blenheim–classic!

559 Beau Bradley August 15, 2009 at 3:45 pm

The Glen Ellen bow tie immediately caught my attention. I believe the dark red with gold accents is a seriously classy and understated look. I am a young college student and lately I have been trying to wear a more classic style in a world of ripped jeans and dirty hoodies. Khaki pants, sweaters, collared shirts, and leather shoes have all been on my shopping list this year. Plus, that tie would look absolutely fantastic with my pocket watch.


560 Mike Garvey August 15, 2009 at 4:02 pm

Lots to choose from, but I’m a fan of the Carowinds bow tie: http://www.beautiesltd.com/PRODUCT.ASPX?pn_deptid=7956

Great post!

561 Paul August 15, 2009 at 5:06 pm

The Platte River bow tie is definetly for me. I’ve been wearing bow ties for 6 months now, and I keep trying to bring my friends into the style.
Thanks to AoM and to Beau Ties for solidifying my sense of style!

562 David August 15, 2009 at 6:56 pm

Oh my goodness, the Guatemala is beautiful: http://www.beautiesltd.com/BPSPRODUCT.ASPX?pn_deptid=7654

I agree — paisley is NOT out. And what better compliment to paisley than purple?

563 Evan Gildenblatt August 15, 2009 at 7:10 pm

The Annapurna is absolutely exquisite! Seemingly simple design that can be matched with many options…

564 nathan miller August 15, 2009 at 7:16 pm

When I first perused the Beau Ties site, I figure I should start off with the classic James Bond/Humphrey Bogart Tuxedo Black bow-tie.
Black Silk Jacquard Slimline Diamond-Point: http://www.beautiesltd.com/PRODUCT.ASPX?pn_deptid=302
And while that definitely needs to be in my collection, I think, for the sake of making this contest interesting, I’ll go with the Platte River slimline http://www.beautiesltd.com/PRODUCT.ASPX?pn_deptid=6862

565 Christopher August 15, 2009 at 8:24 pm
566 Thomas "Duffbert" Duff August 15, 2009 at 9:26 pm

I would like the Ultramarine bow tie – http://www.beautiesltd.com/PRODUCT.ASPX?pn_deptid=5991

567 Clayton August 15, 2009 at 10:01 pm

Another vote for the Blenheim. Great site, great contest.

568 Rob August 15, 2009 at 10:20 pm
569 Kevin August 15, 2009 at 11:15 pm
570 Mark August 15, 2009 at 11:52 pm

So many great bow ties – have been wearing a bowtie on Wednesday for more than 20 years now. it’s just a great break from the long silk snake.

and that fighter pilot tie is a winner. hope i am too!

571 Peter August 16, 2009 at 12:10 am
572 Tom August 16, 2009 at 6:27 am

it would have to be Platte River for me. my favorite color combination!

573 Narcissus August 16, 2009 at 6:30 am

Got nothing but love for the Pleasure Island bow tie, because after all, life’s supposed to be a pleasure!


574 Dennis August 16, 2009 at 7:41 am
575 Jeffrey Peck August 16, 2009 at 8:08 am
576 Jigsaw Man August 16, 2009 at 8:35 am

If forced to select just one, I would pick the Hebrides Moss. My only suit is olive drab, and I really like earth tones. But I may come back to order the Formulas tie. I quite like that one.

577 Rich Beldyk August 16, 2009 at 8:35 am
578 Michael Pountney August 16, 2009 at 9:27 am
579 Matt Skirven August 16, 2009 at 9:58 am

This would look great to show my above average amount of school spirit – Poor Grad Student @ The University of Tennessee

580 Chris Fay August 16, 2009 at 10:08 am

Hands down, the Guatemala. It’s part of Bill’s private stock!


581 Rocket Jones August 16, 2009 at 10:19 am

Gotta be Bed of Roses. If you’re gonna wear a bow tie, you should stand out.


582 Ed August 16, 2009 at 10:49 am

I really like the look of the Nelson Island bow tie, found here: http://www.beautiesltd.com/BPSPRODUCT.ASPX?pn_deptid=7325

583 Ray Rosales August 16, 2009 at 10:57 am
584 George Avent August 16, 2009 at 1:37 pm

I had a professor who always said, “Never trust a man in a bowtie”; thing was, he ALWAYS wore one! All the products at Beau Ties Ltd. are beautiful, but my first choice is the “Cecil” as being an excellent “goes anywhere, with anything” tie. Here is the link… http://www.beautiesltd.com/PRODUCT.ASPX?pn_deptid=7700

585 Ben August 16, 2009 at 2:10 pm
586 Lenton August 16, 2009 at 2:38 pm

When it comes to clean style and versatility I’d lay my bets on the Black Charmeuse/ Crepe Jewel Toned – bow tie


How delightful

587 Scott August 16, 2009 at 3:12 pm

I think the Wolcott ( http://www.beautiesltd.com/PRODUCT.ASPX?pn_deptid=7998 )has an air of Bogie or Professor Jones about it.

588 Wes August 16, 2009 at 4:35 pm

First , It was difficult to pick a bow tie from the many colors.. Several times I changed my mind before picking the Annisquam. It is a power color and as the bow tie makes a strong come back this color will put it’s best foot forward.

589 Jonathan August 16, 2009 at 5:06 pm

I prefer the Lapland.

590 Kurt August 16, 2009 at 7:38 pm

I would have to agree with several others, and go with the Alumni Stripe, Navy. I have always loved the navy/orange combination.


591 Aaron August 16, 2009 at 7:42 pm

Manly, classy, and what Jason Bourne would wear.

Black Charmeuse/ Crepe Jewel Toned – bow tie


592 Stephen Settles August 16, 2009 at 9:33 pm
593 Steve Gerl August 16, 2009 at 10:11 pm
594 Dave August 17, 2009 at 12:20 am

I’d want the Platte River bowtie. I’ve been into bow ties since I met a lawyer before I myself went off to law school, and not only was he supremely confident, he never did a job unless he did it 110%, even if that was defending a client for something as simple as speeding on a freeway. Who goes to traffic court to defend a guy for going 80 in a 65? This guy did, and he did it rocking the classiest bow tie you’d see.
I aspire to be as dedicated, and as classy as that guy was, and I’d love to do it in one of your bow ties.

595 Pete August 17, 2009 at 1:37 am

I got my first bow tie about a year ago–from Beau Ties of Vermont, actually–and I love it. This one would be the one I’d want:


596 David Thrasher August 17, 2009 at 8:02 am

I am officiating my first wedding in October and I think this Bow Tie would be smashing for the occasion. Also, as it is my first Bow Tie, I wanted to go a little subdued to make sure I could pull it off. Thank you for your consideration.


597 Luis August 17, 2009 at 8:38 am

I’m a fan of the Port Bruce paisley bow tie.


598 Brian August 17, 2009 at 9:17 am
599 Matt Hatfield August 17, 2009 at 9:32 am

I love all the bow ties at beautiesltd.com. I already own about a dozen from Beautiesltd, and i have another dozen that i have picked up at various locations traveling. I wear the bow ties quite a bit and i get a lot of compliments on them. On the occasions where i wear a “straight tie”, my two daughters comment on how BORING I am. I think it’s great to see all the responses to this website and it’s encouraging to see all the guys who think bringing back bowties is a good idea.
Here is my pick: http://www.beautiesltd.com/PRODUCT.ASPX?pn_deptid=7769
it’s the Mindanao. Also if you are trying to figure out how to tie a bowtie: http://www.beautiesltd.com/CONTENT.ASPX?pn_deptid=6586 – Beautiesltd.com can help you out.

600 Marcus August 17, 2009 at 9:44 am

Brookhaven – perfect compliment to my favorite yellow shirt (with classic navy suit).

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