That's right, dear readers, by this time next week my best friend Brandon will have been a married man for just long enough to have finally rinsed most of the bird seed out of his hair and just noticed the beginnings of a tan line on the ring finger of his left hand. This weekend marks the culmination of what I'm sure has felt like years of planning, stressing, ordering, tasting, buying, tailoring, cutting, and mailing--and that's just what the poor chap couldn't get out of with a doctor's note or work excuse.
But come Saturday, it's all worth it. The moment arrives, and I'll find myself proudly standing next to my brother, misty-eyed and dapper as my other best friend walks down the aisle with her father in spotless white, radiant and eager to begin her life with the beaming charmer beside me.
And so it was, with love in the air and the celebration of the century just a few days away, that this past weekend I set my mind to pulling out all the stops in my style game for the special occasion. I wanted to rock something I'd never been able to prior--something unique and dedicated to the union of my two best friends. It didn't take long for the answer to come sailing its way over my Google search:
Why not a bow tie?
If for some reason you either haven't paid much attention to any of the gentlemanly mannequins along the window displays in your local outlet mall or don't happen to be a big follower of hip-hop culture, the fact that the bow tie is back in a huge way may have skimmed past you. The new versions are cooler, more stream-lined and less Bozo the Clown and more Lord Grantham of Downtown Abbey. But what's even better about this trend is that it doesn't have to cost you half a paycheck to bring into your closet--if you or someone you know is even half-way familiar with a sewing machine, you can create an insanely cool bow tie like mine above from any fabric you like.
Luckily, as I've shared before on this blog, my wife is a master wizard when it comes to sewing and has outfitted me with some incredible handmade style in the past. So when I related to the Lady of the house that I wished to bring some serious bow tie swagger to my style game this weekend, she pulled out some chambray fabric, found a pattern online, and in no more time than it would have taken to walk across a Dillard's to the tie section, she'd whipped out the absolutely perfect specimen you see me sporting in the pictures above. Wanna know how she did it? Well then you're in luck, check it out:
FOR THE FREE DIY BOW TIE PATTERN CLICK HERE.
Once you've got your fabric and the pattern printed out, if you'd like to alter the pattern to look like mine follow these additional steps:
- Cut out two right triangles to add to the end of the pattern for the Diamond Point bow tie (which I think looks much more Downtown Abbey classic cool)
- For a skinnier bow tie, we changed the seam allowance from 1cm (3/8") to 1/2" all the way around.
- To keep the bow tie from getting too long and therefore jetting out too far when tied, we altered the length of the entire back portion of the bow tie. The pattern will fit roughly a 17" neck, so if you're like me, for example, and have a 14.5" neck, it's a good idea to shorten it no more than about 2" or proportionally whatever works for you. (Better to have it a bit long than too short)
And there you have it! All that's left to do now is learn how to tie it--which I'll admit took me a good hour using Youtube videos and Google Images. (Maybe a MOG Instructional for the future??) Remember not to get too anal about the knot in the middle or the symmetry of the tie ends. The disheveled, slightly unpolished bit is part of the charm of ditching the clip-on for the real deal. May whatever celebration on which you decide to christen it be beautiful and memorable for all the right reasons. I know mine will be.
To my best friend, Brandon and his lovely bride-to-be (and my oldest friend) Meredith. All the happiness in the world, you two.