Western ties have made an incredible comeback as fashionable accessories. Also referred to as bolo ties or shoestring neckties, these casual fashion accessories have become the official neckwear in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
Bolo ties are typically constructed of corded leather with decorative metal tips attached and secured using a slide or clasp, often featuring Western designs such as bears, thunderbirds or horses on them.
What is a western tie?
Western ties, commonly referred to as bolo ties or cowboy necktie, have traditionally been popular with those interested in Western wear and those seeking to add some cowboy flair to their wardrobes. Bolo ties have gained even more prominence since John Travolta’s 1980 film Urban Cowboy helped introduce them back into American pop culture.
Bolo ties are typically constructed of leather with braided designs on each end and metal tips attached for threading through slides or clasps made of metal, wood beads or any other suitable materials such as metal, wood beads or beads. Once threaded through these clasps they can then be decorated with Western-themed designs such as thunderbirds, horses, cattle skulls as well as sometimes featuring gemstones like turquoise carnelian jade to complete the look.
Victor Cedarstaff of Arizona silversmith fame is generally credited with creating the bolo tie. According to legend, he came up with this piece after his hat flew off while horseback riding and instead of losing its band he wrapped it around his neck instead – this complimented companion complimented on how good looking it looked and inspired Cedarstaff to develop it into what became known as a “bolo tie.”
Bolo ties may be more commonly associated with Western wear, but they can add an element of cowboy flair to any look. They make for an excellent way to elevate jeans and a T-shirt look or can even be worn over suits for an elevated style statement.
Bolo ties have long been worn as necklaces or chokers by women. A bolo tie makes a wonderful accent piece when worn as part of a cowgirl dress or an off-the-shoulder tunic; they look particularly stunning paired with western-style denim jacket and skinny jeans; additionally it adds flair when worn during summertime as a sundress or sleeveless blouse!
History of the western tie
A western tie (also referred to as a slide bolo tie, shoestring necktie or cowboy tie) has become an indispensable accessory for those who appreciate western-inspired styles. Officially worn in Arizona, Texas and New Mexico as official neckwear, and popular worldwide as fashion statement neckwear.
At its origins are unknown, we do know that it originated as an accessory worn by Native Americans before eventually evolving into the beloved piece of jewelry it is today. Silversmiths in the Southwest made bolo ties popular, using designs inspired by cowboy culture as well as movies and TV shows set in Western settings from 1950s onwards that featured them. Some famous cowboys who donned them included Cisco Kid and Hopalong Cassidy who popularized their use as part of their look.
There are various accounts regarding the creation of the bolo tie, but one popular theory suggests it was invented by Arizona silversmith Victor Cedarstaff while hunting wild horses with friends. When his silver-bordered hatband fell off during their hunt and hit the desert floor, Victor placed it around his neck for safety; receiving compliments on this look and receiving praise from their hunter friends gave him inspiration to design a bolo tie.
Another theory suggests the origins of the bolo tie: men from Navajo, Hopi and Zuni tribes who wore bandanas secured with leather or shell strands under their necklines may have worn these neckties first. Native American Bolo Ties presents one early scarf slide from Heard Museum Collection made during 1930-40s by Leekya Deyuse (Zuni Pueblo).
No matter its origins, bolo ties have quickly gained in popularity since their debut in the 1970s and continue to increase even today. Their increased use has even inspired an entire fashion movement; designers and celebrities such as rapper Quavo have begun sporting these distinctive neckwear items. Furthermore, their versatility means that they can be worn with various clothing types including open-collared shirts or tees for maximum effect.
Are western ties still popular?
People often think of Western ties in relation to John Travolta dancing with Uma Thurman from Pulp Fiction, yet today most don’t wear them to dance; nonetheless they remain popular accessories among those looking to add a little western flair to their ensembles. Bolo ties offer an interesting fusion between vintage and western aesthetics with their rugged cords and decorative clasps, and come in different colors and styles so that you can find one to suit your individuality and aesthetic needs.
Bolo ties may have long been synonymous with New Mexico, Arizona and Texas state neckwear – however they’ve now found fashion fame across America. Fashion designers are taking notice, with Prada including one with a gold-plated clasp as part of its spring 2018 collection. Other high-fashion brands, like Jacques Marie Mage and Turkish designer Umit Benan have sought inspiration from Native American craft for their collections as well as rappers Quavo and Lil Uzi Vert wearing them to show their Western roots.
Although no definitive proof is available, most experts agree that the bolo tie’s origins lie within Native American jewelry-making traditions. Legend has it that an Arizona silversmith named Victor Cedarstaff invented it during a horseback ride when his hatband began slipping off, needing something to keep it secure. Word soon spread about Victor Cedarstaff’s unique accessory and it soon became widespread across the Southwest.
Bolo ties are highly versatile accessories that can complement various outfits. Most commonly associated with western-themed events or weddings, bolo ties make an eye-catching statement in any setting – be it casual events such as BBQs or formal ones such as weddings.
Additionally to traditional bolo ties, there are other types of western jewelry that pair nicely with them such as silver-beaded bracelets and pendant necklaces; of course a pair of western boots completes your ensemble perfectly!
When to wear a western tie
Bolo ties are an ideal accessory to add flair and flair to casual Western outfits all year long, no matter the season. Wear one with denim jeans and a western dress shirt for an ideal outfit for hanging out with the guys or attending casual Western-themed events; or pair it with formal wear like suits and blazers for semi-formal affairs such as business meetings. Women may use loose bolo ties as necklaces with tunics that flow off-the-shoulder or pair it with cowboy-style jackets over sleeveless tops – making these versatile accessories versatile all year long!
Bolo ties have traditionally been worn to complete Western attire, such as cowboy hats, collared Western shirts and denim jeans. Bolo ties were made famous again after Roy Rogers and John Travolta popularized them in the 1980 movie Urban Cowboy; since then both men and women wear them stylishly as an accent to their Western wardrobes.
Bolo ties work best when worn with collared shirts, such as Western dress shirts or jeans shirts. While they can also be worn with T-shirts or tank tops, their appearance may not be as polished; therefore they should only be reserved for casual outfits. To maximize its impact, the pattern of your bolo tie should be larger than that on your shirt to stand out more prominently in an ensemble.
Bolo ties can add an elegant and formal look when worn with a suit or blazer, although some men opt to pair one with their tuxedo as well. For casual wear, however, the tie can also be combined with button-down shirts or polo shirts.
Bolo ties can also make great additions to an ensemble when an understated and rugged Western look is desired. A bolo tie can add the perfect rustic touch for events such as western-themed weddings and corporate functions, or casual family barbecues where a more relaxed style may be preferable.