In recent years the bow-tie has made a huge resurgence in popularity. This return to glory was no doubt catalyzed by the United States’ recent fascination with 1920′s fashion. Unlike the tie which is universally accepted as formal wear, the bow-tie is an oddly stigmatized accessory. The bow-tie uniquely occupies both the most and least formal dress for events, making it by far the most dynamic of neck wear. To help you navigate the world of ties and bow-ties we are going to break down what to wear in a couple different scenarios.
Black Tie Event
Standard dress for any Black Tie event is a black tuxedo. With your tuxedo you should always, always, always wear a bow-tie. Don´t let Hollywood fool you. Wearing a standard tie with a tuxedo still looks goofy.
This setting is a little more tricky. Because of a bow-tie´s asymmetry, they are often considered light hearted and a little less formal than a standard tie. A future employer especially if he/she is of an elder generation might view your bow-tie as a sign that you aren’t taking the interview seriously. Although as with all fashion rules, there are exceptions. Our best suggestion is to play it safe with block colored or diagonal striped tie for your big interview.
At this event you will more than likely be wearing a button down shirt and chinos. Because of the event’s inherent informality adding a bow-tie is a less harsh way to dress up your outfit. Wearing a tie to an event such as this may come across as stiff, however a well tied bow-tie will come across as lighthearted and fashion forward. As an added bonus you will not have to worry about your bow-tie falling into your soup.
What type of bow-tie to wear?
Because bow-ties are already a very flamboyant accessory, bright colored fabrics and bold patterns should be avoided as a general rule of thumb. A little goes a long way with bow-ties. Navy, red, and black are some of our favorite colors of bow-tie. These colors retain a certain level of class and also match with almost anything. Our final bit of advice is that if and when you decide to wear a bow-tie, you should only wear self-tie bow-ties. Clip on and pre-tied bow-ties look stiff and cheap. You will lose the asymmetry that makes the bow-tie such an elegant accessory.