The Bolo Tie

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A bolo tie (sometimes bola tie or shoestring necktie) is a type of necktie consisting of a piece of cord or braided leather with decorative metal tips – aglets (aiguillettes) – secured with an ornamental clasp or slide.
Bolos are easy to make, using attractive flat objects such as lady’s pins, coins, plastic netsuke reproductions, polished stones, Christmas tree ornaments, refrigerator magnets, etc. Cords of leather and cordage stock, clips and tips, called “findings” are widely available from jewelry supply firms.

Popularity

In the United States, bolo ties are great and associated with Western wear, and are generally most common in the western areas of the country. Bolo tie slides and tips in silver have been part of Hopi, Navajo, Zuni and Puebloan silversmithing traditions since the mid-20th century. [1]
The bolo tie was made the official neckwear of Arizona in 1971. New Mexico passed a non-binding measure to designate the bolo as the state’s official neckwear in 1987. On March 13, 2007, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson signed into law that the bolo tie is now the state’s official tie.[2] Also in 2007, the Bolo tie was named the official tie of Texas.[3] Politicians and officials from western states will often wear them, such as former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer.
In the United Kingdom, bolo ties are known as bootlace ties. They were popular with 1950s Teddy Boys, who wore them with drape suits.[4][5]
Along with other 1950s fashions, bolo ties were revived as part of the Rockabilly look in the 1980s. The bolo tie returned as a popular fashion accessory in the fall of 1988 when male Hollywood stars would be frequently found wearing them. Chain stores like Jeans West and Merry-Go-Round sold multiple choices for all occasions.
During the 1980s and 1990s bolo ties, some elegant and expensive, were sold in Japan, Korea, and China. Some had fancy, hand-made cords and unusual tips. Sales overseas skyrocketed post-1970s; this was due to the overflow from the United States, where it had fallen out of fashion.