Gifts: Use Presidents Day as an inspiration for your gift list and go for a tie vote


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Abraham Lincoln was one dapper guy -- even a fashion muse, of sorts, with his trademark black bow tie and top hat. Decades later, Franklin D. Roosevelt used his cravat to make a political style statement, forming the “bow tie alliance” with Winston Churchill during World War II in opposition to Hitler’s four-in-hand.

Having ebbed to nerd lows in the 1970s, bow ties have made quite a comeback, from “Mad Men” to Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter. And they’re not just for gentlemen. Style-setting ladies such as Sarah Jessica Parker, J. Crew’s Jenna Lyons and Chloë Sevigny have demonstrated quite a knack for the cravat. We’d love to see one on a future madam president. But until then, we’re pinning our hopes on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and our first lady.


Hint, hint, Mrs. Obama — we spied the adorable Alexis Bittar bow-tie cuff bracelets, above and at right, on the spring runway of one of your favorite designers, Jason Wu.

They aren’t for sale, but you can get a similar look with Kate Spade’s bow bracelet (12-karat-gold-plated Twirl Bow Cuff, $175 at, or try a one-of-a-kind Urban Renewal bow-tie necklace — fittingly crafted in Philadelphia, home of the Liberty Bell, from a recycled vintage tie ($28 at

-- Ingrid Schmidt

Photos: Top and middle right, Alexis Bittar bow-tie cuffs. Credit: Alexis Bittar

Top left : Mathew Brady portrait of Abraham Lincoln. Credit: Associated Press

Lower left: Kate Space bracelet. Credit: Kate Spade

Lower right: Urban Outfitters necklace. Credit: Urban Outfitters

Coming Thursday: Of all political stripes