William Blumberg recently donned a brown and gold plaid bow tie as he entered the 261st day of his year long quest. His mission? To wear a bow tie every day for one year. Why? Blumberg wants to raise awareness about the overly casual SoCal look that permeates society.
The Irvine, CA native laments that people show up at weddings and funerals in shorts. While there is definitely a right time for shorts, those occasions are not on the list.
Does he feel nerdy or geeky wearing bow ties? No, he claims he likes to be formal but with flair. He enjoys being interesting and having a little fun while doing it. He also doesn’t mind the attention he gets from the ladies.
The 48-year-old divorcee says women are tickled when he tells them he ties the ties himself. They giggle, untie them and watch him tie them again.
The bow tie has been around for longer than most people know and has undergone a sort of fashion renaissance of late, with big name celebrities like Kanye West, LaDainian Tomlinson and David Beckham sporting them.
Blumberg says bow ties aren’t just for science professors anymore. Robert Mandelbaum, owner of BuyYourTies.com where Blumberg shops for his ties, says his company is one of the largest e-commerce sites for neckwear and formal accessories for men.
The two met when Blumberg walked into Mandelbaum’s shop, on a scorching, hot day wearing a vest and a bow tie. Blumberg told the shopkeeper about his yearlong mission and that he was in need of a few more ties. Ever the smart businessman, Mandelbaum seized the marketing opportunity and set his new customer up with a couple of dozen ties. IN exchange, Blumberg blogs about his experiences and markets the shop when he writes.
Though he wore conventional neckties when he worked in retail – and despised it, he got hooked on bow ties when he donned his first one for his college graduation. All his ties have to be tied – no clip-ons allowed. And he can do it without looking in a mirror.
Blumberg has worn his bow ties to all sorts of places in the past year including Disneyland, a concert and a goat farm. How can he do that? He is very comfortable with who he is, something we should all be so lucky to say.