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”)

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]

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]

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]

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]



Most watched eBay auctions    

Vintage Native American Sterling Silver Turquoise Bolo Tie SignedHuge! Calvin Martinez Sterling Spider Web Red Mountain Turquoise Bolo Tie $2,495Vintage Navajo Ida Pino Sterling Silver Turquoise Bolo Tie | G BlOld Pawn Zuni Sterling Silver Turquoise Coral Shell Inlay Kachina Bolo Tie J AoBold Navajo Handmade Sterling Silver & Turquoise Concho Bolo Tie | G ArVintage Navajo Herbert Thompson Sterling New Lander Turquoise Inlay Bolo TieAntique Native American Silver & Turquoise Bolo Tie Nr!Big Vintage Sterling Silver Hopi Indian Johnny Blue Jay Turquoise Horse Bolo TieVintage Old Pawn Navajo Ceremonial Indian Chief Carved Shell Bolo Tie NecklaceGenuine Sterling Silver Turquoise Bolo Tie Necklace Signed A OBrenda Schoenfeld Taxco Mexico 925 Sterling Silver Handmade Bolo Tie | G AoVtg. Old Pawn Navajo Turquoise Hand Stamped Sterling Silver Shadowbox Bolo Tie 60th Anniversary Philmont Silver Bolo TieVintage Sterling Silver - Navajo Signed Braided Turquoise 93g - Bolo Tie EndsVtg. Old Pawn Navajo High Grade Webbed Turquoise Hand Stamped Sterling Bolo Tie Sterling Silver Turquoise Navajo Peacock Bird Hand Crafted Bolo Tie StampedGreat Zuni Sterling Silver Mosaic Multi Stone Inlay Bolo Tie Pendant | G TSterling Silver Turquoise Coral Inlaid Navajo Hand Crafted Bolo TieNavajo Sterling Silver & Turquoise Bolo Tie & Matching Buckle, Wilson BegayZuni Bolo Tie! Old Pawn! No Reserve! Free Shipping!Vintage Extra Large Turquoise Bolo Tie Native American Unusual Old Zuni ? Fine Natural Turquoise Gem Chunk Leaf Bolo Tie NecklaceJohn Martin Signed 1940's Sterling Silver Mop Mother Pearl Inlaid Bolo Tie Vintage Turquoise And Sterling Silver Signed Tl Sterling Bolo TieVintage Zuni Eddie Beyuka Bolo Tie In Sterling Silver W Coral N' TurquoiseLot Of 10 Vintage Men's Bolo Ties NecklacesSterling Silver With Inlaid Turquoise Malachite Onyx Red Coral Etc. Bolo TieOld Navajo Pawn Bolo Tie W/coral CenterVintage Sterling Silver - (qty 6) Navajo Stamped Bolo Tie Tip Ends 8.8g - LotVintage Sterling Silver - Navajo Pebble Opal 25.4g - Bolo Tie Bq0253Lizard - Dragon Bolo Tie PieceBennett Bolo TieAlpaca - Southwestern Turquoise & Antler 55.5g - Bolo Tie Bt4033Vintage Zuni Bolo Tie Tribal Thunderbird Knifewing Turquoise Coral InlayVtg Hopi Sun God Face Bolo Tie W Sterling Silver Tips Turquoise Coral LeatherVintage Native American Navajo Bolo TieOld Pawn Sterling Silver Dry Creek Turquoise And Coral Bolo TieSterling Silver - Handmade Floral Spoon 24.2g - Bolo Tie Bq0243Vintage / Antique Bolo Tie Thunderbird Coral Turquoise OnyxLot Of 5 Western Themed Bolo Ties-arrowhead-steer Head-snake-spider-scorpionLot Of 4 Vintage Men's Bolo Ties NecklacesVtg Now Knights Of Columbus Bolo Tie Slide Koc K Of C Tie Slide Knights ColumbusJohn Martin Signed 1940's Sterling Silver Yosemite Sam Bolo Tie Inlaid GemstoneVintage Turquoise Bolo Ties - Lot Of Three Vintage Bolo Tie Lot Braided Black Leather Strap Silver Tone 18 Assorted Bolo Tie Set/kit Make Your Own Gold And Silver Tone Tips SlidesFabulous Antique Old Foritt Signed Turquoises & Coin Silver Bolo TieIndian Penny Bolo Tie Vintage Western Bolo With 1904 Indian Head Cent Cool!Eagle Needlepoint Bolo Tie Silver Vintage Navajo Squash Liquid Large Women5mm Gold Tube Brown Faux Suede Cord String Wrap Bolo Tie Lariat Choker Necklace Vintage Southwestern Sterling Silver And Turquoise Bolo Tie - Constellation!Bolo Tie Clasp,1938 Nickel With Natvie American Head & TurquoiseCowboy Western Bolo Tie #80 - Pewter Arrowhead W Turquoise EnamelLot Of Men's Costume Jewelry Necklace Cuff Links Bolo Tie Money Clip As Is(repair) Sterling Silver - Taxco Sombrero Cactus 13.4g - Bolo Tie Slider Br0093Us Navy Bolo Bola Tie Handmade Military Cowboy Western - HarwitzVintage Neal Slide Thunderbird Bolo Tie Scout Neckerchief SlideVintage Southwestern Very Large Wood And Turquoise Bolo TieMontana Silversmith Bolo TieUs 1922 Silver Peace Dollar Coin Bolo Tie