In Arizona, men’s neckwear is different


In Arizona, when a guy wants to dress up, he should forget about a traditional (boring) tie. In Arizona, men wear bola ties. 

Arizona, in fact, is the only state with official state neckwear, which just so happens to be a bola. A bola is a rope with weights attached used in South America to lasso cattle by entangling their legs. The bola tie similarly entangles the wearer’s neck in ornamentation. Sometimes bola ties are spelled bolo ties.

Designed as dress-up neckwear by a Mr. Cedarstaff of Wickenburg, Arizona, a bola is a whole lot more comfortable in hot weather than an ordinary tie. It became the official state neckwear in 1973. It is usually made by silversmiths and leather makers in almost every size and shape, most often with silver and turquoise.

The cool one pictured here is available at for less than $9 — a lot cheaper (and more impressive) than any ol’ regular men’s tie.


6 Thoughts to “In Arizona, men’s neckwear is different”

  1. William Page

    I inherited a Bolo tie from my step-grand father which is very much cherished.
    As a proud Michiganian his bolo tie is a cut and polished Petoskey stone that is exactly the shape of the lower peninsula of Michigan.

  2. Paul Goldberg

    In the last 5 years the only neckware I wear is a bola. I have two, one I inherited and one I bought in Tucson AZ. Both have beautiful turquoise stones set in silver. I see them all over the south and west and even in the northeast now.

  3. Loren Smith

    I have 3 Alaska bola ties made of scrimshaw carved ivory.

    Loren Smith
    North Pole, Alaska

  4. Don Callahan

    The bola (bolo) tie was very popular in Alaska. The ornamentation was/is ivory with gold nuggets or some other Alaskan theme. Our governor Jay Hammond was famous for his beret and bola ties.

  5. Melissa Giles

    My father went in for bolo ties in a big way back in the 60’s(We lived just outside DC and he was grade 12 Civil Service- not affecting any future pay raises!) I found a black bolo tie with a silver starfish(with a black wool skirt and white dress shirt) to be a wonderful accessory back on Debate Squad days- girls were still being marked down for being too “girly” in appearance in the 1960s.. I also used bolo ties for dressup on my son and grandson till they were over 6 as they were so tiny a preknotted Windsor tie made them look like they were about to be decapitated.

  6. Tom Speirs

    Over the last week this is the 4th article I have come across on how our public lands are at risk! Bill’s put forward by Utah and Montana representatives are putting all public lands at risk. Hate to be political but I think it was even in in the republican platform. It includes blm national parks and everything in between. Could be called death of a lifestyle. Tom

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