"People wear bow ties to make a statement," says James Hill, Co-Owner of the High Cotton tie company. "There is a certain responsibility associated with wearing a bow tie, so I always tell folks to wear it well and behave like a gentleman." Hill points out that bow ties can become a conversation piece or the center of attention, which makes choices about pattern and shape more important. "The bow tie you choose will end up saying a lot about your personality and your character," he explains. "Avoid novelties and stick to classic patterns such as ginghams, stripes, and plaids." This might sound like a conservative approach, but bow tie wearers have already crossed the style rubicon. Eccentricity is great, but eccentricity layered with eccentricity can be cloying.