I already told you about the origin of some antique jewelry, but today I decided to solve mystery of one of the most unusual men’s accessories – the bolo tie.
What is the bolo tie?
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A bolo tie (sometimes bola tie or shoestring necktie) is a type of necktie consisting of a piece of cord or leather with decorative metal tips – aglets (aiguillettes). Jewelers secure them with an ornamental clasp or slide.
This around-the-neck “rope” stylists call a cowboy (American-Indian) tie. But more often people call it a bolo tie.
So, bolo tie is a small piece of leather or cord with decorative metallic (or other materials) buckles, snaps or slides.
Origin(s) of the bolo tie:
Bolo tie is something distantly similar to modern ties. It had once adorned the swarthy necks of American Indians Navajo and Hopi. But the official inventor of the bolo tie is still the jeweler from Arizona. Victor Kedastrafa in late forties of the last century invented and patented his artless construction – decorative movable clamp on the leather lace.
There are some other versions of this unusual accessory appearance – Indian and Texas.
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Supporters of the first version say that bolo tie descended from Indian laces with amulets. Jewelers of those tribes decorated them with different teeth and stones. Indians wore them since time immemorial simply as a piece of clothing. Local herdsmen (cowboys) adopted not only theconvenient Indian clothes, but also the habit of wearing around-the-neck cords-amulets.
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Ancient Indian tribes of North America, such as Holi and Navajo, were able to handle silver skillfully. And specifically for such beautiful laces they produced silver buckles. Colonists also enjojed this practice. It was beautiful, stylish and simple accessory. And there were no need to make any knots. It was enough just to pull up a little clasp higher.
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Within the framework Indian version has more variations of “propelling-weapons” origin.
“Bolas” mean “balls” from Spanish. Bola – is hunting missile weapon, consisting of a belt or belts cords, the ends of which are tied with round stones, wrapped in skin, bone weights, stone balls, etc. Europeans saw “bola” from the Brazilian Indiansat for the first time. It was a development of then throwing a stone original idea, widespread on the planet about 20 thousand years ago. But modern times haven’t saved it anywhere else.
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But supporters of the other versions claim that the bolo tie initially presented itself as an ordinary piece of rope, which was hanging on necks of hardened criminals. These people were executed by hanging, but during the execution rope was broken. And according to the custom of those times, it wasn’t allowed to execute people for two times. Thus, offenders were granted to live, and only a piece of a rope around the neck reminded of the unpleasant event. This rope subsequently gave a rise to the spread of bolo ties in fashion.
Dissemination history of the bolo tie
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One of the difficulties with investigating the history of bolo ties is that the name of the tie itself altered during the previous 60 to 70 years. Other names for this simple but elegant tie is Gaucho Tie, String Tie, Neck Rope, Emblem Lariat, Western Tie, Cowboy Tie, Thong Tie, Mono Loop Tie, Sport Tie, Western Bolo Tie, and more! The bolo tie has become a fashion classic in its own way. It is certainly an accessory that both men and women can easily wear.
Along with other 1950s fashions, bolo ties revived as part of the Rockabilly look in the 1980s. The bolo tie returned as a popular fashion accessory in the fall of 1988 when male Hollywood stars would be frequently found wearing them. Chain stores like Jeanswest and Merry-Go-Round sold multiple choices for all occasions.
In 1971, bolo tie was recognized as an official business tie. Click To TweetAnd its origin is still obliged to the mainland of USA.
New Mexico passed a non-binding measure to designate the bolo as the state’s official neckwear in 1987. On March 13, 2007, New Mexico Governor, Bill Richardson, signed into law that the bolo tie is now the state’s official tie. Also in 2007, the bolo tie named the official tie of Texas. Politicians and officials fromwestern states will often wear them, such as former Montana Governor, Brian Schweitzer.
The history of the bolo ties is a bit shaky in respect to the men’s fashion industry. Even though women have been known to wear bolo ties as well. Actually, people from far and wide have taken on the look and established a personal liking to bolos. Whether Navajo Indians of the American southwest or rock ‘n’ roll legends like Bruce Springsteen. Bolo tie history is an interesting tale to sort through.
Teddy Boys, in fact – the only ones who were actively wearing cowboy bolo ties outside of America. European culture persistently had not accepted this accessory. Click To Tweet And you won’t find there bolo ties on anyone except fans of country style. Moreover, even at home, in the USA, its popularity strictly delineated geographically. Expansion of bolo tie generally doesn’t extend beyond the south-western states. And in Texas and New Mexico bolo tie legally establish itself in the status of official state tie.
Scout organizations often use bolo tie for their equipment.
Modern views of the fashion bolo tie:
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This kind of men’s necktie is very peculiar, unusual and interesting, so it’s quite expensive. You can find this fashionable and stylish item in some exclusive boutiques. I should note that this tie is more suitable for the summer wardrobe. And it serves as an unofficial symbol of freedom from the “gray” office tie. It gives to the owner a kind of chic, elegance, making him a true gentleman.
Bolos are easy to make, using attractive flat objects such as lady’s pins, coins, plastic netsuke reproductions, polished stones, Christmas tree ornaments, and refrigerator magnets. Cords of leather and cordage stock, clips and tips, called “findings” are widely available from jewelry supply firms.
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So, the best bolo ties designers produce in United States, where they are collected manually by experienced craftsmen. Lace they made of natural suede or leather, and the clip they made in a form of a simple pendant or family heirloom. Silver, copper, gems, dining bone, ceramics – the best materials for such jewelry. Ends of the braids jewelers clamp with metal plates, in extreme cases fix with beads. Texas bolo tie became the classic version. Clip on such tie should be tightened to the level of the top shirt button.
The very brooch is an expensive thing. It is specially made from precious metal or precious wood (with inlays), or from a gem. Brooch can be very diverse. If you wish, you can make this assossory by yourself.
How to wear the bolo tie?
First of all, boots with heels (if you have such), cowboy hat and jacket should never meet with a bolo tie. In addition, it is not necessary to rush to the other extreme and wear bolo tie as a replacement for the traditional one. It won’t add a single drop of the seriousness in your appearance. But it will cause the opposite effect.
A lot of stylists and designers, keeping the history of the bolo tie origin, advise to wear this accessory with checkered cowboy shirt. You can also wear bolo tie with denim clothing. Then this tie will give to your appearance a special charm. A black shirt will look great with white bolo tie on a metal buckle. Wherever man doesn’t wear a conventional tie, bolo tie can should be worn, as it will make your look extravagant.
It is desirable that in his wardrobe men had several types of such tie, as they say – for all occasions: rectangular, conical, round and oval. And you should remember that bolo tie is an accessory that is suitable for the most casual style, rather than strict.
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In this field now work a lot of artists-Indians that create their design neckties from silver and in combination with natural turquoise, agate, pearl or coral. In particular, today specialists are Nojrbert Peshlakai (Navajo people).
Some men’s-clothing purists question whether the bolo tie is a tie at all. In 2005, for example, a 17-year-old high school senior in Montana denied his diploma. Because he wore a bolo tie to his graduation ceremony rather than a tradition cravat made of silk or (shudder) polyester. The state’s governor rushed to the lad’s defense, declaring, “In Montana and anyplace in Indian country, a bolo tie dressed up… a tie is a tie.”