When is it Appropriate to Wear a Bowtie Instead of a Necktie?

Ties are an essential part of a man’s suit. It ties all of the garments together, amplifying the wearer’s looks by adding a splash of color and style to his neck area. Neckwear is heavily influenced by the context in which it is worn—your suit or tux, the formality of the occasion, and even the style of the shirt all play a significant role. It appears to be quite complicated, but once you have chosen the right one, then you’re good to go.

There are only two options for neckwear – bowtie or necktie. And often, men opt to wear necktie over the other. But really, when is it appropriate to wear a bowtie instead of a necktie? Let’s find out!

When to Wear a Bowtie

Sometimes we wonder whether a bowtie or a necktie is better and when we can wear them. Bow ties are typically worn when wearing a tuxedo, as they represent distinction when dressed formally.

Formal Events

If the event is formal, such as black-tie dress codes, black tie optional dress codes, or events requiring a tuxedo, a bow tie will work just fine. It is always preferable to be slightly overdressed than to be overly casual.

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If you are attending a formal work-related event, you can also wear a bow tie. A coworker’s wedding, a formal holiday business party, or a conference that requires formal attire, pair a bow tie with an elegant suit.

And when selecting a perfect bowtie, choose a bow tie that complements your tuxedo and shirt, and avoid busy prints and bright colors that draw attention to your outfit. The most formal necktie accessories are solid black or solid white bow ties.

Business Meetings and Interviews

 Wearing a bow tie to a job interview or a sales promotion /aimed at attracting new customers is not a good idea. People will focus on your tie rather than what you are saying. Because a bow tie attracts attention, you must only wear it in a business context where it is appropriate for coworkers to notice your attire.

Job Responsibilities

If your job requires it, consider wearing a bow tie. Suppose your work entails you visiting patients, attend business lunches, or work with equipment. In that case, the shorter length of a bow tie can be advantageous.

How to Wear Your Bowtie?

If you’re the sort of person who wants to wear a bow tie, you should also want to learn how to tie one. The bow tie is a work of art in and of itself. It’s a statement that shows you’re sophisticated, self-aware, and not afraid to stand out in a crowd.

So, below is the step-by-step guide on how to tie a bow.

  • Hang the bow tie flat around your neck, with side A 1.5 inches longer than side B.
  • To keep the tie from becoming too loose, bring A across B close to your neck.
  • Then bring A up behind B again, forming a loose and straightforward knot.
  • After that, fold B into a bow tie shape by pulling it to the left and then back over itself to the right. The fold should be between the collar points.
  • Drape A over the front of B and fold A and pass it through the loop behind B.
  • Continue to pull A through the loop, but not all the way through. This will be the bow’s back half.
  • Lastly, tighten the knot and adjust until it is even by pulling on opposite sides simultaneously. To tighten, pull the front left and back right sections together, and to loosen, pull the front right and back left ends apart.

Things to Remember About Bowtie

Bowties might be tiny, but it makes a significant impact. Plus, there are a lot of things you need to know about this piece.

You need to know what to wear with a bowtie.

A bow tie can be worn with any button-up shirt or polo that buttons up the front. They are especially useful in the summer because their smaller size creates a better proportion with short-sleeved shirts.

The key to successfully pairing a bow tie with your shirt and any other layer you throw on top is finding a balance of patterns and colors. As a starting point, consider the following: Aim for a one-to-one contrast between bold and subtle.

Learn some tying methods.

You’d have to be a brave person to be willing to tie your Bow Tie every time you chose to wear one. Tying the perfect Bow Tie requires a great deal of skill. Pre-tied bow ties are an excellent option. Many are also customizable from fourteen to nineteen shirt sizes. They’ll have adjustable fasteners that will allow you to tie and then unhook the bow tie for later use.

Find your bowtie style icon.

One of the best ways to perfect your bowtie style is to copy someone who has already achieved the look you want.

Find the right color.

If the event must be formal, a black Bow Tie with a single color may be the solution. For more casual occasions, opt for a tartan Bow Tie with a bold stripe.

Remember that ties are accessories.

It’s tempting to build your entire outfit around your tie. That can work, but it’s better to think of your neckwear as a finishing touch to the rest of your outfit. A Bow Tie is unlikely to work if you own a lot of pinstriped suits. With a colorful and patterned Bow Tie, a plain black suit with a crisp white shirt can look very sharp.

The Bottom Line

Bow ties are a less popular option, so they will make a more significant impression and set you apart from the crowd. More people appear to be at ease wearing a necktie, so while you won’t be the only one, it’s okay to stick to what you know. The truth is that there is no such thing as a “wrong” neckwear choice when wearing a suit or a tuxedo.

READ ALSOWhat Are the Most Underused Colors in Men’s Formal Wear?

Jonathan B. Delfs

I love to write about men's lifestyle and fashion. Unique tips and inspiration for daily outfits and other occasions are what we like to give you at MensVenture.com. Do you have any notes or feedback, please write to me directly: [email protected]

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