Category Archives: Vintage style…

How to wear a bow tie

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The bow tie speaks volumes about a man’s personal style. Some people find the bow tie alarming or confrontational, but regular bow tie wearers find it a liberating and expressive vehicle for adding a unique accent to an outfit.

The history of the bow tie traces it back to the seventeenth century, in the form of a development of the cravat, along with the knotted necktie, the “four hander” “Half Windsor knot” and “Windsor knot”. The bow tie, traditionally, is hand tied. There are various ways of creating the bow, and a simple way is shown in the above diagram, from the McClatchy Tribune. At Coolclobber we stock a selection of vintage bow ties and the most common self tie examples we stock include white waffle cotton, for formal occasions, and classic silk, in plain or in traditional patterns, often paisley.

There are two types of clip on bow ties, both available at Coolclobber. What you need depends on the occasion and on what type of shirt collar you are wearing.  For a formal occasion, and when wearing a wing collar, you should either tie your own tie, or wear a clip on with a collar band. These ties can be simply adjusted to your shirt collar size ( there are often size markings on the inside of the band). The tie is ready tied and sewn on to one end of the band and there’s is a simple clip behind the bow that is hidden in wear. The bow sits just beneath the wing collar and the band is visible all round your shirt collar band. These ties are very popular and easy to wear and are made in silk, rayon, polyester and other man made fabrics.  A variation, that works equally well with a standard shirt collar, has a narrow elastic adjustable back.

In the gallery photos, I have three examples of my favourite style of everyday bow tie, the patent butterfly clip on. These ties are worn with a standard shirt collar. As you can see, in wear the clip lies flat behind the bow. To use, flip the tie forward, revealing the clips in an open position. Slide one side of your shirt collar inside one side of the clip, press the front closed, repeat with the other side. The bow now lies flat and securein front of the shirt collar. These are so easy to use and always look smart. The examples above are from the 1940s and 1950s, and are good examples of popular fabrics. The brown tie is also wired in the front to keep its distinctive shape.

A vintage bow tie is an inexpensive and stylish way to add a touch of individualism to an outfit, adding a touch of distinction. A bow tie undoubtedly gets you noticed!

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/coolclobber

 

March 2018, Cwmpengraig, snow, Welsh Wool.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

March 1st is Dydd Dewi Sant, St. David’s Day. ( patron saint of Wales). Traditionally, we celebrate with early spring daffodils, dancing, choirs, traditional costume and harp music. This year Cwmpengraig has been blanketed in snow and the winds are sharp and fierce. This little hamlet has been effectively cut off by the snow, and we are keeping warm with delicious Welsh cawl ( made traditionally with root veg and leeks) and scrumptious Welsh cakes made on the griddle.

Welsh costume
Traditional Welsh costume

The above photograph shows ladies in traditional Welsh costume probably in the late 19 th century. At this period, Drefach Felindre, now home of the National Woollen Museum of Wales, and the surrounding  villages and hamlets,  including here in Cwmpengraig, were busy with the production of woollen cloth, flannel for clothing and heavier weaves for blankets and the famous double cloth produced for “carthen”, the Welsh quilts/ bedcovers. “

As seen in this historical photograph, the costume was layered with flannel petticoats and skirts, aprons, blouses, “betgwyn”( an overjacket with three quarter sleeves and tailed back), shawl,  under bonnet and stove pipe hat. Leather boots or clogs may be worn with hose and under garments. Flannel was usually woven in stripes or small checks for ladies clothing and in plain or fine stripes for workmens shirts.

In the 1960s, there was a revival of the popularity of Welsh cloth, particularly of the distinctive double cloth, which, when woven in 1960s bright colours, seemed quite psychedelic. Mary Quant used Welsh cloth in some of her designs, and vintage clothes associated with the 1960s include mini skirts, capes, waistcoats and jackets, with matching accessories, handbags and coin purses. The museum at Drefach Felindre has a great gallery showing the way Welsh cloth has been used through history, including 1960s high fashion.

 

The string vest, retro men’s underwear.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I believe that the string vest was first brought into being in the mid 1930s by a Norwegian army officer, Henrik Brun.  It was designed on the principal that it’s string net structure would trap heat in winter and allow the body to breathe in summer. String underwear was marketed for its athletic and health benefits and had its heyday perhaps in the 1950s. I certainly associate it with “kitchen sink dramas”, brooding young men in cinematic poses, and the memory of these iconic garments drying on a clothes horse in front of an open fire in our 1950s family home! Although it’s popularity dwindled at the end of the 1960s  and died a death in the 1970s, we can still summon the vision of famous string vest wearer Rab C Nesbitt (played by the talented Gregor Fisher)  in the 1980s!

Here is some authentic 1950s string underwear from the shop….perfect for costume purposes, AmDram, dressing up etc. Note the title “Tarzan”. Johnny Weissmuller played Tarzan in films popular through from the 1930s and 40s to the 1950s when they were often screened in afternoon matinées in British cinemas.

(The Strutts Health Vest  cotton ad is period marketing and I am unable to credit the photographer.)

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/coolclobber

 

 

 

 

New Year’s Eve 2017

From https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/coolclobber?ref=hdr_shop_menu
Ready for New Year’s Eve 2017 ! Sparkle and Shine from https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/coolclobber?ref=hdr_shop_menu

Long and elegant and looking like a goddess…or short and sassy…glitter a go go!

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/coolclobber

https://www.instagram.com/coolclobbervintage/