A Definitive Bow Tie Guide: The Gentlemen's Art

The bow tie. A classic men's fashion accessory that has made a resurgence in recent years. While it may seem like a simple piece of clothing, there is more to wearing a bow tie than you might think. In this definitive guide, we'll give you everything you need to know about how to wear and style a bow tie for any occasion. Let's get started!

A Definitive Bow Tie Guide: The Gentlemen's Art

You wear a classic crisp shirt and dashing suit. You fasten buttons and put your hands into your pockets. You glance in the mirror and see a handsomely elegant man standing in front of you with a sophisticated and cultured fashion sense.

Do you know you can add more suave to your style with the right bow ties?

There are those occasions—formal, influential, joyful occasions—where a tie is simply too stiff and uninteresting, but not the bow tie. However, you should be careful since one styling error with this neckwear might turn you from obscenely sexy to laughable.

But, you should not worry because you are here. So, keep reading to know everything about bow ties and how they can uplift your fashion game.

History of Bow Ties

The origin of the bow tie goes back to the 17th century during the Thirty Years' war. It originated among Croatian mercenaries. They draped a scarf around their necks to hold together their shirt collars. 

The French upper class adopted the Croatian style under the name cravat and became popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. However, whether the cravat developed into a bow tie is not known.

But, the bow tie became an essential part of every men's attire by the 1900s. 

However, bow ties were less fashionable in the decades that followed World War II, but they were still — and still are — a significant part of formal clothing.

What does a bow tie symbolize?

James Bond, science geeks, and nerds are no longer the only people who wear bow ties, though we will always enjoy watching them do so.

These days, bow ties stand for unadulterated originality & creativity, an unwavering acceptance of style in daily life, and a self-assured willingness to be different.

While choosing shirts, jeans, and coats that best convey your individuality can be difficult, accessories are much simpler to choose. For example, bow ties or men's fashion accessories while working out.

A bow tie conveys that:

  • You are creative 
  • You are thoughtful and confident
  • You are committed to uniqueness and style
  • You have a bold identity

What are the types of bow ties?

Self-tie

Bow ties that you knot yourself are the "freestyle" or "self-tie" bow ties.

The natural lines, shape, and minor asymmetry of the bow once it is knotted provide artistic features that neither a necktie nor a pre-tied bow can match.

It's not difficult to tie a bowtie properly, but it does take some time and practice.

The self-tying bow tie is the best of the best and the most formal. Serious suit wearers will only buy this style; anything else is viewed as a degradation.

Pre-tied

A clean, uncannily symmetrical pre-tied bow tie is fastened to an adjustable band. So, sizing and donning it is painless. 

Less adjustment and greater quality are the results. 

In addition to the obvious benefits of industry adoption, pre-tied bow ties are a good fallback alternative when time is of the essence.

Children and others who lack the manual dexterity to tie and modify bow ties by themselves should use the pre-tied bow tie.

However, they lack the personality of a self-tie and have an unnatural appearance.

Clip-on

This pre-tied bow is fastened to a metal clasp that hooks or clips onto the shirt collar. The lack of problems with a clip-on bow tie is what keeps sales of this particular product so high. These bow ties are simple to clip on regardless of the user's skill level.

Even after hours of dancing, they remain in place. However, the style and the substance are where they fall short. 

The most crucial thing to remember concerning clip-on bow ties is that they will always adjust awkwardly or come off-center.

When can you wear a bow tie?

Casual events

You are at large to rewrite the rules when there is a "casual" dress code. Those who are wearing bow ties for the first time may gravitate toward supporting items like suspenders, printed socks, and vibrant shoelaces. 

Moreover, you are free to experiment during informal gatherings. So, mingling things (sensibly and within limits) can open up new stylistic horizons.

Formal event

Black tie occasions, to which few people regularly receive invitations, are the most common situations when a bow tie is seen in all its splendor, aside from weddings.

In addition, a white tie event also referred to as "full dress," is even another level of formality.

These events essentially necessitate that your bow tie is made of genuine silk. Plus, ensure the bow tie's texture also complements your tuxedo's lapel.

Semi-formal events

You can play around with your bow tie a bit for semi-formal occasions. Experiment with various textures and colors. However, we also advise against taking too many chances in this situation. So, be aware of the boundaries between innovation and mistakes. 

Moreover, as the bow tie is so eye-catching on its own, keep the rest of your outfit plain. Keep your suits dark gray, navy blue, or black, and your shirts white.

What to consider while choosing a bow tie?

  • There are numerous shapes for bow ties. Some are slender and narrow, while others have larger and wider shapes. Whatever the case, you should take the bow tie's shape into account.
  • Another thing to consider is its size. It will look awkward and embarrassing if it is too big or too small. So, try it on before buying the 'one size fits all.'
  • Fabric is yet another thing to think about. Cotton and silk are the most common fabrics used to create bow ties. So other options also include wool, velvet, and polyester. 

Final Words on Bow Ties

Unlike traditional times, style-conscious men are willing to include bow ties in their clothing style. Moreover, they also do not consider it comical or bizarre. In addition, bow ties have become a style statement.

This is a point of emphasis. So, when you wear a bow tie, you wear an art piece that tells a story! A Gentleman's story!

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