The bolo or bola tie, as it’s variously known, is a fairly recent addition to men’s formal clothing, invented some time in the 1940s by a Wickenburg, Arizona, silversmith named Victor Cedarstaff. Taking its name from a type of Argentinian rope called the boleadora, the bolo tie consists a small braided lariat-like cord that’s secured around the neck by a decorative clasp.

Silver usually decorates the tips of the cord, and the braids are often made of multicolored strands, but it’s the clasp that captures most of the attention of artisans and jewelers. In keeping with its Southwest origins, Native American jewelers make bolos out of sterling silver set with blue turquoise, red coral, and other semi-precious stones. Agates and beads are also used.

Some men’s-clothing purists question whether the bolo tie is a tie at all. In 2005, for example, a 17-year-old high school senior in Montana was denied his diploma because he wore a bolo tie to his graduation ceremony rather than a tradition cravat made of silk or (shudder) polyester. The state’s governor rushed to the lad’s defense, declaring, “In Montana and anyplace in Indian country, a bolo tie is dressed up... a tie is a tie." In fact, in 1971, the state of Arizona had already made the bola tie (as it’s spelled there) its official state neckwear. New Mexico followed suit in 2007.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

The Black Tie Guide

The Black Tie Guide

Peter Marshall became an authority on formalwear out of necessity — he needed a tux to wear on the maiden transat… [read review or visit site]

Ventagli.org

Ventagli.org

Anna Checcoli's homage to the beauty and art of hand fans ('ventagli,' in Italian). Use the left-hand nav to browse… [read review or visit site]

Antiquespectacles.com

Antiquespectacles.com

Dr. David Fleishman's comprehensive spectacles site (over 3500 images), in collaboration with museums around the wo… [read review or visit site]

Fashion Columbia Study Collection

Fashion Columbia Study Collection

The Fashion Columbia Study Collection (FCSC) is the digital home of the Columbia College Chicago’s fashion archiv… [read review or visit site]



Most watched eBay auctions    

Vtg Old Pawn Leonard Martza Turquoise Zuni Rainbow Man Sterling Silver Bolo TieSterling Silver & 14 K Gold Turquoise Buffalo Navajo 66 Gram Signed Dn Bolo TieLarge Old Navajo Zuni Sterling Silver & Incredible #8 Turquoise Bolo Tie Vintage Carl Schlieper Hammer Forged Large Folding Knife Made Solingen GermanySterling Silver Turquoise Inlay Native Medicine Man Bolo Tie @ EOld Pawn Navajo Sterling Silver & High Grade Turquoise Bolo Tie | RsVintage Sterling Silver Bolo Tie Native American Zuni Inlay Hopi Bird(2) Southwestern Native American Sterling Silver & Turquoise Bolo Ties - SignedOld Pawn Vintage Foliate Sterling Silver Matrix Turquoise Bolo Tie &tips WesternVintage Sterling Silver And Turquoise Bolo Tie 40 Grams. SignedVtg Old Pawn Southwestern Sterling Silver Flush Inlay Turquoise Turtle Bolo Tie Navajo Sterling Silver And Turquoise Bolo Tie Vintage Wwi Us Mod 1918 Brauer Bros Scabbard With Bolo KnifeOld Pawn Navajo Hopi Vintage Penketewa Turquoise & Sterling Bolo TieVintage Navajo Hmij M. Ortega Bolo Tie Necklace Great Silverwork HallmarkedRare High Grade Vintage Zuni Fish Scale Flush Inlay Turquoise Sterling Bolo Tie U.s. Army Aerial M6 Bayonet & V.p Co M8a1 ScabbardLot Of 8 Sterling Silver Bolo Tie Tips - We Finally Have Some*****Bev Etsate Zuni, Sterling Silver, Multi Stone Inlay, Vintage Jewelry LotHandmade Navajo Sterling Silver & High Grade Turquoise Bolo Tie S.e.lee | RsNative American Zuni Indian Leo N. Kachina Dancer Mask Bootlace Bolo TieU.s. Army Imperial M6 Bayonet & V.p Co M8a1 ScabbardVietnam Era U.s Military Survival Knife W/ Leather Scabbard. Camillus N.y.Old Pawn Vintage Sterling Silver Ox Blood Red Coral Stone Bolo Tie &tips WesternOld Pawn Navajo Green Fox Turquoise Sterling Silver Bolo Tie - Bennett -42.6g NrVintage Southwestern Tufa Cast Sterling Silver John Hornbeck Turquoise Bolo TieLot 3 Vintage Native Western 925 Silver Turquoise Bolo Tie & Tips ThunderbirdOld Pawn Shell & Sterling Silver Bolo Tie Zuni Indian JewelryLot Of Geniune Gemstone Western Belt Buckles & Matching Bolo Ties *no Reserve* Vintage Large Folding Locking Blade Pocket Knife, Made In Michigan ?? Sterling Silver, Large Turquoise, Vintage Bolo TieGreat Old Pawn Navajo Sterling Silver & Serpentine Bolo Tie!!!Navajo Yvonne Martinez Sterling Silver & Natural Turquoise Cluster Bolo Tie | GNative American Sterling Silver, Coral & Turquoise Round Bolo Tie Pendant #735Signed Zuni Native American Turquoise Inlay Dancer Bolo TieOld Pawn Zuni Multi-stone Sunface Inlay Sterling Silver Bolo Tie -18.4gVintage Hard To Find White Calgary Brewery Bolo TieVtg Pawn Navajo Sterling Silver Cast Naja Turquoise Nugget Bolo Tie Lot PatinaNavajo Sterling Silver Old-pawn Ram Skull Bolo TieVintage Sterling Silver Turquoise Navajo Old Pawn Bolo Tie Vintage Signed By Artist Sterling Silver Bolo Tie Turquoise Coral Navajo Native American Yazzie Sterling Silver & Turquoise 36" Bolo Tie #728Signed Armstrong Navajo Turquoise Coral Oynx Sterling Ring. Size 10.5Vintage Bolo Tie Lot Silver Gold Tone Bird Native Rodeo Southwest Flower! As7Vtg Sterling Silver Bolo Tie & Tips Turquoise Lapis Black Onyx South WesternInternational Harvester - Bolo Tie - Scout Traveler Vintage Bolo Ties Lot Of 10 Cowboy Bsa Heart Rhinestone Vintage - ? Gorham ? Sterling Fruit Pocket Knife 041Circa 1940s Gremlin /elf Sterling Bolo Tie Ww2Turquoise Bolo Tie Vintage Old Antique Silver Native Trible Indian RockabillyVintage Southwest Signed Tsm Designed Sterling Silver Bolo Necklace Fish RoundSog Sogfari Sawback Tanto Machete 10" Blade With Kraton Handles Mc04Vintage Bolo Tie Navajo, Justin Morris, Sterling Silver, Blue Turquoise SignedNative American Benally Bros. Sterling Silver Eagle & Turquoise 34" Bolo TieVintage Cowboy Western Lot-us Made Steel Brass Belt Buckles And Bolo TiesSouthwest Silver And Turquoise Bolo Tie Group Of 3 Concho Eagle *c40* Stunning Zuni Rainbowman Kachina Sterling, Coral, Turquoise, Coral Bolo TieVintage John Primble Belknap Hdw. & Mfg. Co.pocket Knife - 5373Vintage 10k Black Hills Gold Bolo Tie Black Onyx 6.9g Scrap Gold Or WearVintage Coin Sterling Fruit Pocket Knife 5