It’s the Season of the Ribbon Tie

For a certain subset on the internet last December, they were inescapable: bows, bows, bows. People tying coquettish pink ribbons onto everything—Christmas trees, ice cubes, Stanley tumblers, their dogs. But recently bows have also begun appearing, albeit less girlishly, on the necks of Hollywood’s most famous men.

At the SAG Awards on Saturday, Oppenheimer star Cillian Murphy accepted his best actor statuette in a double-breasted, slim-straight pinstripe suit by Saint Laurent—his go-to look this awards season—with a floppy black satin bow tie knotted beneath his collar. Perhaps the accessory was a loving homage to the real-life J. Robert Oppenheimer’s love of alternative neckwear (the Irish actor wore a gold-tipped bolo tie to the film’s premiere in London last July), but it’s just as likely a representation of what has become this season’s most romantic red-carpet menswear trend: the ribbon tie.

Colman Domingo in Boss at the 2024 BAFTAs.

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Cillian Murphy in Saint Laurent at the 2024 SAG Awards.

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If some bow ties are pert like an al dente farfalle noodle, others can be relaxed and floppy like a loosely tied shoelace, or whimsical like a neat gift-box ribbon—and we’ve seen variations on the former at nearly every major awards show this season.

Elsewhere at the SAG Awards, Ted Lasso actor Cristo Fernández wore his cowboyish, shoelace-style string tie with a teal jacket. At the BAFTAs earlier this month, Colman Domingo (who has been having a ball getting dressed this awards season) wore his silky lavallière tie fastened into a sweet bow. Menswear devotee Billie Eilish wore Willy Chavarria’s oversized take on the schoolboy uniform—featuring a black ribbon tie underneath a Peter Pan collar—at the Golden Globes. And then, of course, there is Beyoncé, who made a surprise Grammys appearance a few weeks back in a full Western-style Louis Vuitton getup, complete with a silver-studded leather ribbon bow tie and a ten-gallon hat.

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Cristo Fernández at the 2024 SAG Awards.

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Matty Matheson at the 2023 Golden Globes.

Matty Matheson at the 2023 Golden Globes.

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Jacquard Crepe de Chine Tie

Saint Laurent

Lavallière in Cassandre Silk Jacquard

This trend’s been on the rise for a while: There were several variations at the 2023 Golden Globes, including Adam Scott in a thin black bow tie from Paul Smith and Andrew Garfield in a loosely knotted Zegna lavallière. The big winner that night, however, was big-time dresser Matty Matheson, who amped up his genteel tux with Bode opera pumps, a white-rose boutonniere, and a Kentucky colonel tie. (Yes, this is the same style worn by KFC founder-turned-mascot Colonel Sanders.) At last year’s Oscars, Lewis Pullman wore one from Thom Browne and Ludwig Göransson wore one from Bode. And alternative-neckwear aficionado Eddie Redmayne has been known to rock a silky streamer tie, while Paul Mescal—who’s managed to lead the charge on several cool-guy-formalwear trends these last few years—wore a loopy shoelace tie all the way back in 2021.

Billie Eilish in Willy Chavarria at the 2024 Golden Globes.

Billie Eilish in Willy Chavarria at the 2024 Golden Globes.

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Paul Mescal at the 2021 Fashion Awards.

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These days, all the joy of red-carpet menswear stems from accessories like diamond brooches (which are great for celebs who have brand partnerships with fine-jewelry labels), silky rosettes, and cummerbunds. Whether you’re aiming to look like a dandy or a cowboy—or a secret, perfect third thing that exists in between—the ribbon tie is an undeniably fun alternative to the standard necktie or classic bow tie.

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