Ulterior Motive

The worlds best every day accessory

The day is finally here. Today we launch our first bow ties. And we're very proud of doing so.

Our first bow tie collection contains three designs. Two gingham patterns and one in a colorful madras.

What better way to introduce and kick off our bow tie collection than to ask a dear friend, and bow tie aficionado, to tell his story about bow ties. We're happy to leave the mic to Erik and let him tell you about the worlds best every day accessory:

The bow tie is the accessory that has followed me all through my life. In a small box in the attic I’ve saved my first fashionable baby outfit containing, apart from a pair of shoes in narrow corduroy, a tiny bow tie in that grey color I think all babies wore in the eighties. A grey corduroy bow tie. On a rubber band.

Together with way to big glasses, the bow tie and the rubber band followed me into the early teens when I, as a proper boy in church, always wore a rubber band bow tie (or neck tie) at the gatherings. I wonder if I didn’t wear them in school too, because I do have a vague memory of tempted classmates wanting to pull that bow tie to test just how elastic the rubber band really was.

Apparently I’m grown up today and thus my taste have been refined and polished. I wonder if that’s why the bow tie has stayed? Yet, even though I have progressed beyond the rubber band I must confess I have yet to take the full leap to tie the bow tie myself, like a proper gentleman.

"Some pink and yellow and blue in a lovely madras pattern and I wonder if they didn’t design it just for me"

Because that was how it was all meant with this bow tie thing. It’s an accessory born in the 19th century as a kind of bow to tie around your neck instead of a plastron. It needed to be elegant and fashionable and, according to Wikipedia – the source of all wisdom, it had an enormous popularity up until the 1940’s with a brief renaissance in the 60’s but, and I quote: ”today the bow tie is rather unusual as an every day accessory”.

Which had me choke on both my coffee and herring sandwich! Am I the only one not agreeing to that? Isn’t it rather the opposite? Never have it been more spot on to wear a bow tie as these days! Just look at the hipster culture with that lovely ”Karlsson-on-the-roof” look. Or the gentleman wannabes trying to tie the bow tie themselves in front of the mirror before supper. Because that is actually one of the prerequisites of being a proper gentleman. To be able to tie your own bow tie. Pre-tied or especially pre-tied on a rubber band is quite unthinkable.

And there I stand. A hipster wannabe with my first untied bow tie in my hands. It’s delightful in bright summer colors and designed by Ulterior Motive. Some pink and yellow and blue in a lovely madras pattern and I wonder if they didn’t design it just for me. Now it will be tied in a beautiful bow and decorate a grown up gentleman. Because the bow tie is actually the worlds best every day accessory. Believe me – I, if anyone, knows that!

Erik Engkvist blogs about head gear of various kinds at erikshuvudsaker.se, part of the Swedish network Designbloggarna. Check it out!

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