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STREET SCENE : State of the Bolo

November 09, 1990|C.A. WEDLAN

The bolo is the official state tie of Arizona, but that isn't keeping Los Angeles men from wearing them this fall.

An informal substitute for the classic four-in-hand, the look was invented in the late 1940s by Arizona goldsmith Vic Cedarstaff. He got the idea after his hat, with an expensive silver buckle on the band, kept blowing off, and he feared he might lose it. So he draped the band around his neck.

One compliment from a friend was all it took for Cedarstaff to apply for a patent. It was granted in 1959 and 12 years later the bolo became the first state tie in the United States.

Barry Goldwater, the former U.S. senator from Arizona, helped establish the look as formalwear when he wore his bolo with an American Indian silver slide to black-tie functions in Washington.

Other options seen lately around Los Angeles range from bolos with slides made of precious metals, plastic, petrified wood and machine parts.

The current economic uncertainties may have something to do with the bolos' popularity this season.

Actor Glenn Arden wears them and explains:

"I don't have to be concerned with ties going in and out of style, wide one year, narrow the next. Bolos are thrifty."

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