Bow ties craze – is it just a fad or start of a longer term trend?

Bow ties have become quite popular lately. Everyone is talking about them – fashion blogs around the world promote them, they are often trending on twitter and they are being featured on the most popular TV shows – Glee and Doctor Who being the most influential.But is it just another temporary fad or is the bow tie trend about to stick for a long time? In other words, should you stock up your bow tie collection or let it pass?First, let’s see some available proof that bow ties are indeed becoming increasingly popular! If you head to Google trends and compare how popular the search for ‘bow ties’ on Google in the last years is, you will get this trend line:

bow ties popularity on Google over years

It is obviously increasing since 2009, with even steeper popularity increase since mid 2011.

And if you compare the popularity of bow ties to neckties the same way, you get even more interesting graph:

neckties and bow ties popularity on Google over years

The blue line represents the amount of Google searches for ‘bow ties’ while red line represents ‘neckties’. Not only is the amount of searches higher for bow ties, but the numbers are reducing for ‘neckties’ and increasing for ‘bow ties’.

Of course, this is only Google internet searches since 2004. But internet is omnipresent in our lives today and we can say that what we do online represents our real lives quite truthfully. What we search for online, read about, like and share on Facebook is usually quite similar to what we like and consume in our real lives! And, as seen above, we have been searching increasingly about bow ties for some years now.

Fans of Doctor Who know that bow ties are cool thanks to the 11th Doctor. ‘The Telegraph’ reports that in the month after the episode The Eleventh Hour aired, bow tie sales at one UK menswear store exploded by 94%. And ThinkGeek quickly sold out their ‘Bow Ties Are Cool’ T-shirts.
Doctor Who says 'Bow ties are cool'
But if we shortly go deeper into the past, we can see that bow ties and neckties have a common ancestor – cravat, worn first by Croats in 17th century. Both neckties and bow ties developed over the last centuries through many different styles and sizes, but somehow neckties have always been more popular, mainly because they have been adopted by the mainstream business world. Bow ties have been reserved for either formal and celebratory events (Black Bow Tie and White Bow Tie dress codes), or some professions where bow tie is so much more practical, like doctors, dentist, waiters, or for artists, bohemians and sometimes people with strong sense of style..

And this time it seems that bow ties really have the wind blowing in their favor to become mainstream fashion accessory for men and at least to play neck to neck with neckties when competing for wearers.