If you think about it, in comparison to all the fashion decisions the bride must make—gown, shoes, headpiece, jewelry, garter, veil, something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue—the groom’s fashion options can be a little underwhelming. There’s the standard tux or suit-and-tie ensemble, of course, but on your Big Day, your man should look his sharpest. And we’ve got a favorite new way for him to do that: Forage bow ties.
Forage ties are designed and made right here in Philly by husband-and-wife duo Shauna and Stephen Alterio. (Forage is a division of their company Something’s Hiding in Here, which sells super crafty and quirky handmade items—you might even recognize their original Mustache on a Stick.) The bow tie business began after Stephen was invited to a 1920s-themed party, made his own bow tie, and afterwards, wanted to make them a part of his every day attire. Soon after, the couple decided to bring only their handmade ties to a big craft show in California, and thanks to the overwhelming interest they received there, have been selling out of them ever since.
Using fabric that’s either vintage or no longer on the market—Shauna, Stephen and their helpful friends scour craft fairs and vintage shops, which is how they came up with the name Forage—the couple hand-sews all their ties in their Philly studio (it used to be an old tire factory!) using a pattern they developed after taking apart and reassembling dozens of ties to experiment with ones they liked. Wearers do have to tie the ties themselves, but the couple nicely includes a little slider to help adjust to the proper size.
These bow tie connoisseurs—they recently made their 1,000th handmade bow tie!—are also more than happy to make custom orders for your wedding, whether it’s just a special look for your hubby-to-be, or you want to gift his guys with matching ties. You can even bring your favorite fabric to them, if you like—possibly a well-loved old shirt of your groom’s—and Shauna and Stephen will whip up a batch just for you. “That’s actually been our favorite part of this business—working with couples to make custom ties for their weddings,” says Shauna. “The sentimental value it adds is really special.” Just be sure to give them at least two to four weeks to complete.
Forage bow ties can be found in boutiques in London, Paris, Japan, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand, in Manayunk’s The Little Apple, or online. Bow ties are $68 each; custom orders depend on size of the order. Find a few of our faves from their just-released newest collection below, and check them all out (and shop!) by clicking here.
— Erin Weaver