Last post, I talked about a uniquely American fashion influence: The bolo tie. I don’t know if it’s spread beyond America, but hey, who cares. We’re America.
I do know one place the bolo tie is big: Montana. Its governor, Brian Schweitzer, spoke up a couple of years ago about a case halfway across the country, when a Maryland teen was denied a diploma on account of wearing a bolo tie to graduation, not a “real tie.”
So what am I getting to? My dad’s from Montana, and bought a bolo tie from a small-town ranch store about a decade ago:
As you can see, the aglets are in need of shining. Nevertheless, I decided I was going to try it on. I realize that I’m not a bolo-tie wearing Westerner like Ben Nighthorse or Bill Richardson. But I might as well try.
Hm…I thought the blue shirt might be a good choice for a more “ranch” look, but it didn’t really work. Time to borrow my dad’s 501s and break out the costume:
Look at that cowboy swag. I’m about ready to rope me some cattle (or whatever the heck you call it.) The hat is also from Montana, probably from the same store my dad bought the bolo tie from. The cord jacket isn’t cowboy-ish at all. It’s American Eagle, purchased at Goodwill. At least the belt is mine. And yes, that’s an Eagle Scout buckle. It’s…uh…the only buckle I have.
But let’s face it, I don’t look like I’m from anywhere west of the Mississippi. Maybe bolo ties will become fashionable someday. At this point, they’re marks of Western pride and heritage, neither which I possess much of. I’m in costume.
So if you’re ever out west and you see someone with a bolo tie engrossed in their phone, tell them to take the damn hat off and go back to Indianapolis, the flattest place on earth.
Brian Schweitzer photo credit: Jerek Wolcott