What springs to mind when you think of bow ties? According to a study of over 900 Americans, almost 40% of people think bow tie wearers are a “little weird”. Additionally, the research suggests that the perception of bow tie wearers is that they are seen as dull and nerdy.
Indeed over the years many comedians have leveraged this popular opinion by adopting the bow tie as part of their comedy appearance including Laurel and Hardy, Charlie Chaplin and Pee-Wee Herman, not to mention various children’s cartoon characters like Yogi Bear and Donald Duck.
The world, it seems, thinks that bow ties are funny. Worse, they don’t have a huge amount of respect for bow tie wearers in general. We therefore thought it might be fun to take a look at some famous bow tie wearers from popular culture to illustrate not only that it is possible to wear them with style, but even more so that they’re worn by people you probably wouldn’t want to mess with.
Hercule Poirot, the Belgian super-sleuth, is arguably Agatha Christie’s most famous creation. Famed for his immaculate attire in all situations, Poirot was brought to life on British television by David Suchet. With his grey flannel suit, spats and immaculately-waxed moustache, Poirot effortlessly carries off the bow tie to give the impression of sophistication and control. After all, a man who dresses in such a measured and dandy way will surely expose you for the crime you so heinously committed.
Doctor Who (above)
Doctor Who – more accurately known to fans as simply “The Doctor” – is one of the most famous bow tie wearers of all. Since being re-commissioned by the BBC in 2005, The Doctor has basked in the glory of his nerdy persona – elevating the humble and much-maligned bow tie to something akin to an art form. Indeed such is the fever now that fans have begun to coin the phrase “bow ties are cool” which can be found emblazoned on a range of t-shirts and hats.
Tim Burton returns to form with his epic yuletide tale “The Nightmare Before Christmas”. The movie focuses on Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king of Halloween Town who gets fed up with his dreary everyday existence and decides to go off exploring. While Jack has a heart of gold (buried very deep down admittedly) he also proves that he’s not a person to trifle with when he discovers Christmas Town and forges a dastardly plan to abduct Santa.
Is there any fictional character smoother or more debonair than Mr Bond himself? Whilst he has seen a range of costume changes over the years, 007 has repeatedly returned to the black tie whether that entails gambling with international criminals at Casino Royale or visiting the Ice Palace in Die Another Day. In short, Bond does a masterful job of proving that not all bow tie wearers are comedians.
Vito Corleone, as portrayed by Marlon Brando, was the original godfather from the trilogy. The classic image of Corleone sees him in a dinner suit – complete with bowtie – while holding his tabby cat. Even his son, Michael Corleone as played by Al Pacino, is often depicted in a similar outfit. So let me ask you honestly – do you think the Godfather is dull or nerdy just because he wears a bow tie?!
So you see, there are people who can get away with bow ties. Not many people, perhaps. But just because someone wears a bow tie shouldn’t necessarily single them out for abuse (unless you want Bond, Poirot, the Godfather and their friends after you!). And we haven’t even mentioned The Penguin yet…