When OutKast started making records back in the mid-’90s, André “3000” Benjamin and Antwan “Big Boi” Patton looked like ordinary dudes. “The budgets weren’t that big at the time,” Big Boi says today. “So a clean pair of socks, flip-flops and tracksuits was the attire.” As OutKast became legendary, their fashion sense grew more ambitious. The duo’s last great album, 2003’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, featured a song called “Bowtie” that summed up the transformation: “Crocodile on my feet / Fox fur on my back / Bow tie ’round my neck / That’s why they call me the gangsta mack.” So when Paste decided to run a spread on bow ties, we knew who to call. “When you have on a bow tie, the bow tie commands respect,” Big Boi says. “And if you got a bow tie on, you gotta be a bad motherfucker to have a bow tie on. Especially if it’s not a clip-on and you tied it yourself.”
We asked Big Boi to pick a handful of his favorite bow ties, and explain why he likes them. After a while, we began to notice a theme.
In the gallery below, Big Boi shows us, step by step, how to tie a bow tie. He also explains four of his favorites.
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Deep Red Ready-to-Wear, $47, ThomasPink.com: "It looks like some diamond-cut velour -- I got that type of material inside my Cadillac, too, so it's real soft. Girls like things like that. I like what girls like."
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Traditional Stripe, $15, TheTieBar.com: "The green, contrasted with the royal blue -- I'm all about colors. And girls are attracted to colors. And I'm attracted to what girls like."
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Organic Paisley, $15, TheTieBar.com "That one to me is very regal. That's the dressiest one out of all of them. That looks almost like a wedding bow tie."
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Tan Apple & Blue Brown Plaid, $20, Intwined.Etsy.com: "[This one] looks like a summer day. You could probably wear that with shorts--like an oxford and some shorts, just going to have mojitos with your girl. You always gotta incorporate girls into it."