Astaire’s Swingin’ Bow Tie

The 1936 musical Swing Time must have played on television recently because I received a couple of queries about the unique neckwear worn with a tuxedo by Fred Astaire.  I have to say I’ve never come across this sort of floppy-ended version of a bow tie before.  I presume that’s because its tousled and informal appearance looks out of place with the neat and precise nature of formal wear.


  1. Serpens Albus

    Isn’t that a smoking jacket he’s wearing, rather than a dinner suit? In that case, the floppy tie kind of makes more sense.

  2. Rory Lowings

    I’ve seen the floppy tie in a couple of the early Carry On films, usually on comedy decadents. I think it’s a hangover from the Regency – early Victorian era, but further research is clearly needed…

  3. Luther Warren

    Pretty certain that isn’t a smoking jacket, but rather the same 4×2 double breasted dinner suit which Astaire wore in nearly all of his films from the ’30s through to the ’50s.


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