In an attempt to counter the heat of the Central line at rush hour, my morning commute starts with me looking slightly dishevelled, bow tie hung un-done around my neck. A few stations before my stop I smarten up and tie my tie into its usual knot. A few weeks ago, to my surprise, half the carriage now seemed to be looking over - some clearly staring, others glancing quickly over the top of their papers - all of them engrossed watching someone tie a bow tie. Little moments like that have reminded me that even after 400 years of the bow tie, people still appreciate its quintessential British charm.
Like many garments, the bow tie has its roots in the military. Starting life as a cravat, its original function was to keep soldiers clean and presentable. The style eventually trickled down into the fashion accessory that we know today. I find it comforting to know that the knot that my grandfather taught me and his grandfather taught him is the same knot that these soldiers and gentlemen of the past wore. So next time you get the opportunity to wear a bow tie, consider choosing a tie-up over a clip-on, think of it like wearing a piece of history.