Every time I mention the words “Bolo Tie” they elicit confused laughter and wrinkled noses. At first, people think I’m joking. I am not. I actually want to wear a braided leather rope attached awkwardly with a large stone. A skinny western throat leash. I want a bolo tie to call my own.
I can’t even make a really good argument for why I want one. They seem a little choke-y, and remind me of Ducky from Pretty in Pink. Wearing a bolo would align me with Johnny Depp and Karl Lagerfeld — two people I never sought commonality with previously, both of whom have said and done some questionable things. And no offense to the fine American territories of Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico, who claim bolo ties as their “official state ties,” but I never thought for one minute that I would want to wear a bolo tie. Prior to this week, I don’t think I’d ever seen a bolo tie in New York City. Even tourists take them off here.
But then a pretty malachite bolo from Maryam Nasir Zadeh opened my mind. Like an earthquake far out in the ocean, it triggered every one of my early warning fashion alarms. Worn loose, more like a necklace, this bolo made an event out of an otherwise simple dress. It took something I associate with oil money and claimed it for the Lower East side. I went straight to Etsy to find cheaper custom options, leaving me to wonder if maybe I’m one of those half-conscious robots in Westworld, struggling to know why I want what I want.
Like every other person I’ve admitted this to, you’re probably thinking I’m insane. But, like the siren song of awkward pants or white Dansko clogs, bolos may worm their way into your life in the not-too-distant-future. Versace has not one, but two bolos in their spring collection. Hedi Slimane will be at Céline this fall and history shows he favors a bolo. I’d even wager at least one tenth of a bitcoin that you too may eventually find yourself wondering, “Can I pull off a bolo tie?”
You can. But will you dare?
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If you’re looking for a more affordable version, this Etsy version is a great dupe. Plus you can customize it with different colored leather cords.
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