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]

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    

Vintag Antique Huge Sterling Silver Turquoise Kachina Man Face Necklace Bolo TieNative American Turquoise And Other Stones Dancer Bolo Tie Vtg Zuni Inlay & Pettipoint Turq Eagle Dancer Kachina Bolo TieEstate Find Huge Number 8 Mine Nv Turquoise And Silver Bolo TieEstate Find Turquoise And Coral Shadow Box In Sterling Bolo TieClassic Southwest Vintage Bolo Tie (f L Natachw)Vintage Signed E. Spencer Ihm/ss Navajo Sterling Silver & Turquoise Bolo TieSouthwestern Sterling Silver Bolo Tie Carved Turquoise Leaf Navajo Artisan JwVtg Sterling Silver - Zuni 1950s Peyote Bird Turquoise Onyx Inlay Bolo Tie - 31gTurquoise Navajo Indian Bolo Collectibles, Native AmericanZuni Sun Inlay Southwest Bolo Tie Turquoise Multi StoneLot Of 7 Sterling Silver Bolo Ties (one) Rock Stone Indian Western SouthwestEstate Vintage Nm Zuni Turquoise, Coral, And Sterling Inlay BoloVintage Zuni Handmade Sterling Silver & Stone Inlay War Dancer Bolo TieBolo Tie Vintage Turquoise And Sterling Silver Signed CbLot Of 13 Vintage Bolo Ties Western Arrowhead Indian More1880 Morgan Silver Dollar Bolo Tie ~ Beautiful Piece!Old Pawn Vintage Spiderweb Turquoise Snake Sterling Bolo Tie Tom DewittVintage Bolo Tie Mixed Lot Of (20) Eagles ,western ,othersSuper Mid-century Sterling Silver Hopi Bolo Tie Of A Kokopelli - SignedOld Pawn Vintage Wow Spiderweb Turquoise Snake Sterling Bolo Tie By Tom DewittRare 1956 Mobile Gas Mobilgas Sterling Silver Bolo Tie Vintage Mid Century Lot Of Sterling Silver Bolo, Belt Buckle, Native StyleVintage Old School Navajo Sterling Red Coral Turquoise Eagles Feather Bolo TieOld Pawn Sterling Silver Turquoise Bolo Tie Zuni F. Cheama Signed Turquoise & Coral Men's Bolo TieLot Of 13 Vintage Bolo Ties (stone, Tribal, Arrow, Etc) Leather & ClothVtg. Lot Of 4 Bolo Ties Polished StoneNative American Zuni Sterling Silver, Jet & Mother Of Pearl Shell Bolo TieVintage Navajo Sterling Silver Turquoise Bolo TieVintage Sterling Silver Turquoise Bolo Tie Bennett Pat Pend Old PawnSterling Silver Vintage Bennet Southwest Style Bird Bolo Tie 29.20g. #6420Lot Of 5 South Western Road Runner Fantasy Coin Horseshoe Saddle Bolo TiesMen's Pre-owned Bolo Tie Jewelry Lot Of 5Vtg. Turquoise Inlay Bolo Tie $90.00 Original Purchase PriceNative American Zuni Sterling Silver Inlaid Sun Face Bolo TieVintage Navajo Handmade Nickel Silver Turquoise Lapis Agate Bolo Tie | J BxVintage Lot/3 Bolo Ties~turquoise Bear Claw~stone~polished Stone Excellent!Vintage Southwestern Navajo Pat Platero Turquoise Sterling Silver Bolo Tie Vintage Signed Bear Paw Turquoise & Coral Inlay Silver Bolo Tie Native AmericanSuperb Old Pawn " Hopi/navajo? Sterling Bolo Tie! Signed Gray Hills? Nice!Lot Of 4 Bolo Ties~cowboy On Bull ,snake W Turquoise,kachina,horse PortraitSilver Arrowhead Bolo Tie With Turquoise And CoralNative American Zuni Sterling Silver Inlaid Knifewing Figure Bolo TieNavajo Sterling Silver Vintage Turquoise&coral Bolo TieLot Of 2 Unrelated Sterling Silver With Inlay & Green Gemstone Bolo Tie Slide PeVintage Morris & Sadie Laahte Zuni Headdress Sterling Multi-stone Bolo TieNavajo Handmade Solid 925 Sterling Silver Thunderbird Overlay Bolo Tie | J BiVintage Lot Of 4 Western Bolo Ties Vintage Sterling Silver Southwestern Large Red Jasper Bolo TieVintage Sterling Bear Claw Bolo Tie-turquoise StoneClose Out Lot #2 Men's Bolo TiesUniquities Vintage Silver Native American Bolo Tie Big StoneVtg 50s Taxco Mexican Sterling Silver Abalone Inlay Nautical Sailfish Bolo TieNative American Zuni Sterling Silver Inlaid Bird Bolo TieVintage Real Scorpion Lucite Bolo Tie Cowboy Western Wear SouthwestMens Bolo Tie LotGucci Made In Italy Bolo Tie Choker Belt Leather Silver Accent TipsMens Costume Jewelry & Accessory Lot Bolo Ties Money Clips Cuff Links As Is.925 Sterling Silver Genuine Stone Bolo Tie Pendant (17 G)