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]

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]

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    

Rare Old Pawn Vintage Navajo Bold Green Carico Lake Turquoise Sterling Bolo TieVintage Navajo Knifewing Bolo Tie Necklace Great Silverwork And Stones!Vintage Zuni Indian Benji Shirley Turquoise Petit Point Inlay Bolo Tie NecklaceA+ Navajo Southwestern Sterling Silver & Turquoise Bolo Tie Necklace Signed DbVintage Sterling Silver & Turquoise Bolo Squash Blossom Not Marked/signed #62Sterling Silver Turquoise Inlay Native Medicine Man Bolo Tie @ ESterling Silver & 14 K Gold Turquoise Buffalo Navajo 66 Gram Signed Dn Bolo TieVintage Hopi Sterling Silver & Turquoise Mountain Goat Bolo Tie Vintage Carl Schlieper Hammer Forged Large Folding Knife Made Solingen GermanyVintage Handmade Navajo Sterling Silver Turquoise Bear Paw Bolo Tie | J BiSigned Roy Vanilever Southwestern Bolo Sterling Turquoise Coral Native AmericanRare High Grade Vintage Zuni Fish Scale Flush Inlay Turquoise Sterling Bolo Tie ** Zuni ** Made Inlaid Dancer Bolo Clasp(2) Men's Native American Zuni Sterling Silver, Turquoise & Mosaic Bolo TiesLarge Old Signed Dishta Turquoise Covered Wagon 925 Silver Belt Buckle Bolo TieSigned Chee Southwestern Sterling Turquoise Bolo Tie Native AmericanSouthwestern Sterling Turquoise & Coral Bolo TieLot Of Geniune Gemstone Western Belt Buckles & Matching Bolo Ties *no Reserve* Vintage Sterling Silver Bolo Tie Native American Zuni Inlay Hopi BirdVintage Stamped Sterling Silver Men's Bolo Tie Southwest Native Black LeatherVintage Sterling Silver Inlay Mud Head Bolo Tie Turquoise Coral Onyx M.o.p. Vintage Bennett Turquoise, Coral & Sterling Bolo Tie 54grams 45987_4Signed Mike S Southwestern Sterling Turquoise Coral Bolo Native American ZuniLot 3 Vintage Native Western 925 Silver Turquoise Bolo Tie & Tips ThunderbirdOld Pawn Navajo Green Fox Turquoise Sterling Silver Bolo Tie - Bennett -42.6g NrVintage Sterling Large Kachina Turquoise Coral Inlay Southwestern Bolo TieOriginal Beatles Button On A Bolo Tie ©nems. Ent. Ltd. 1960'sVintage Wwi Us Mod 1918 Brauer Bros Scabbard With Bolo KnifeSouthwestern Large Sterling Turquoise Bolo TieSouthwestern Large Sterling Three Hearts Bolo Tie Signed JySigned Pc Southwestern Oval Sterling Turquoise Bolo TieSouthwestern Sterling Turquoise Bolo Tie Native American BearFor Serious Collectors: Vintage 27-stone Turqouise Bolo By Rose CharleyGorgeous Southwestern Sterling Turquoise Bolo Tie3 Handcrafted Silver & Turquoise Bolo TiesSouthwestern Sterling Turquoise BoloVintage Bolo Ties Belt Buckles Lot 20pcsTurquoise And Coral Sterling Thomas Byrd Red Mesa Pawn Bolo Tie 93m32Vintage Signed Navajo Sterling Silver & Turquoise Nugget Bola/ Bolo Tie2 Belt Buckles, Pocket And Wristwatch, Both Non-working, 2 Bolo TiesSouthwestern Large Oval Sterling Turquoise & Coral Bolo Tie Native AmericanSouthwestern Sterling Bolo Tie Turquoise Coral Native AmericanVintage Sterling Silver Carved Turquoise Horse Bolo Tie, Equestrian, 93+ GramsBsa Order Of The Arrow Vigil Honor Ceremony Pamphlet, 2 Bolo Ties & Explorer IdVintage Boy Scouts Of America Bsa Lot Bolo Tie Neckerchief Slide Belt BuckleVintage Bolo Ties Lot Of 10 Cowboy Bsa Heart Rhinestone Vintage Sterling Silver Turquoise,faux Bear Claw Coral Belt Buckle And Bolo Tie Lot Of 5 Custom Designed & Handcrafted Bolo Ties. Southwestern Turquoise BoloSouthwestern Sterling Silver Longhorn Cow Skull & Cactus Bolo Tie Signed StcSouthwestern Navajo Kokopelli Sterling Turquoise Bolo Tie Signed HbModern Looking Silver Turquoise Agate Bolo Tie Clasp Signed Bennett C31Vintage John Primble Belknap Hdw. & Mfg. Co.pocket Knife - 5373Southwestern Sterling Onyx Bolo TieBolo Tie Eagle On Fossilized Ivory Signed Ada Studios Of Alaska Estate PieceThunderbird W/ Silver & Stone Leather Bolo Neck Tie Lot Of 5 Bolo Ties Arrow Head Shape Pendant Enamel Green Stone3 Vintage Mens Western Bolo Ties Turquoise Brass Eagle Leather * Stunning Zuni Rainbowman Kachina Sterling, Coral, Turquoise, Coral Bolo TieAuthentic Native American Bolo Tie Beaded Necklace