Bow Tie Boys

Friday just got better! Today happens to mark an incredibly special holiday: It's National Bow Tie Day.

Yes, today we honor the iconic piece of men's fashion that has been celebrated by celebs like Justin Timberlake, President Barack Obama, David Beckham, Zac Efron, Jay-Z and more.

But before we talk about them, let's learn the history of the bow tie. According to the holiday's official website, the accessory can be traced all the way back to 17th century Prussian Wars. At the time, Croatian mercenaries began tying scarves around their necks to hold the collar of their shirts together. French soldiers later elevated the design when they brought the cravat back to France during the Thirty Years War.

In 1886, tobacco tycoon Pierre Lorillard introduced the bow tie with a new style of formal wear to the Tuxedo Club. The tuxedo and black bow tie became an instant hit among wealthy fashion enthusiasts.

Justin Timberlake, Grammys

Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Fast forward a few hundred years and the bow tie has withstood the test of time, remaining one of the most astute accessories in men's fashion.

"Formality doesn't feel formal anymore, it's simply stylish and feels right," says one of our fave bow tie designers, Alexander Olch. "The great thing about a bow tie is that it dresses up anything else you wear."

A bow tie connoisseur himself, Timberlake feels the same as Olch. During a Dec. 2014 performance, the "Suit & Tie" singer got teary eyed on stage when a young boy—who said he'd been a die-hard fan of JT since he was 2—gifted him with a new bow tie.

"Hey man, greatest gift ever," he told the little boy, wiping away tears. "Because a gentleman can never have too many bow ties."

True that, JT!

Check out more bow tie-loving celebrities in our Bow Tie Boys photo gallery!

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