Men’s bow ties: how to wear, what to combine with

In the old days, it was hard to imagine that someone would leave the house without a hat or jacket. An unbuttoned shirt collar is an unthinkable thing: there must have been a neck accessory a tie, bow tie, or neck scarf. And these times are not so long ago. But everything has changed. Nowadays, men feel at ease: if you want, wear a tie, if you want, don’t wear it: no one will say a word to you (only if you don’t work at the bank, there is a dress code). And of course, since such freedom, most ties do not wear. And in vain: a tie or bow tie can radically transform your image for the better. The main source of love for modern men to unbuttoned top shirt button is the inability to choose the right accessories, skillfully combine, beautifully tie and elegantly wear. A closed gate, decorated with a stylish, perfectly matched, slightly carelessly tied a tie (or bow-tie) makes the image neat, but not boring; energetic, but without vulgar sportiness; refined, but not sugary in general, such as what a man with good taste should strive for.

Image of a man in a bow tie

Back in 1964, Hardy Amis, a well-known fashion designer, a connoisseur of style, wrote: “Despite the fact that nowadays men everywhere wear ordinary knitted ties and a butterfly is perceived as a somewhat eccentric sophistication, it has not gone out of use.” Please note the statement of more than fifty years ago but nothing has changed: not all of them still wear bow ties, but there is no tendency to the complete disappearance of this accessory. Any manufacturer of ties in most cases also consistently includes in their assortment a certain number of butterfly patterns, for which there is always a buyer for them. What impression can a person make in a butterfly? There is an opinion (John T. Molloy voiced it in his book “Clothes for Success” in 1975) that no one will ever trust an important business to a person in a butterfly. Knowing that Winston Churchill used a bow tie in his daily business suit, we assume that the statement was rash. Many reputable people used this accessory as the main one. With all this, it is necessary to be aware that in our time the emphasis has shifted somewhat. A modern businessman, banker or lawyer will be skeptical about a butterfly. However, people of creative or intellectual fields of activity will not only have this accessory by the way but in some situations, you simply can’t imagine anything better than it. A bow tie is great if you want to add a bit of irony to the image, a fan of what is called. However, it is worth being careful not to go too far. A few additional flashy details in clothes can shift the focus from the image of a stylish professor to the image of a clown. Be restrained and modest in English: the butterfly itself is already a bright element (regardless of color), therefore, creating an environment for it in the form of a jacket, shirt, and trousers, try to be prudent.

Do not make these mistakes

The topic of clownery and inept eccentricity should be disclosed, giving examples of those mistakes that, in our opinion, should be avoided with taste. Observe proportions. The size of the bow tie in length and width should be adequate to the size of your face. Too large a butterfly looks ridiculous.

Do not wear a bow-tie with a jacket without a jacket, vest or sweater.

Avoid pre-tied butterflies. This design differs from self-bindings in that the knot is still tied in production and fixed so that it is not possible to untie and tie such a butterfly again: I bought it and wear it, you will not need special skills. Their shape is too neat and symmetrical, it looks cheap, unnatural and childish.

Moreover, butterflies made of wood, leather, rubber, etc. are outside the style. They are on sale in a large number of variations. It’s rather difficult for us to imagine the person who buys and wears them (except for gifts).

Finally, don’t wear it if you don’t want to be recognized as a beginner in dressing skills, a bow tie, and a single-breasted pocket square. Such combinations look deliberately and without fiction.

How to combine

Shirt with bow tie:

For wearing with a bow tie, we recommend choosing a shirt whose collar edges are pulled apart at a moderately obtuse (cutaway) or right angle (kent). But it should be just a moderate cutaway, not extreme since extreme (it is also called a “shark”) has too wide edges and can look unbalanced with a butterfly.

For narrow collars, such as in the photo below, it is better to choose a narrower and smaller butterfly.

A button-down collar is also suitable for wearing with this accessory. This combination is very characteristic of the preppy style.

Separately, it is worth mentioning a special collar (wing collar), which can only be combined with butterflies, and only with official ones silk black or white.

As was said, a bow tie should be worn not just with a shirt, but complete with an additional top layer in the form of a vest, jacket, sweater, cardigan. In such an environment, the butterfly looks organically, not too accentuated, and also does not cause unnecessary associations with the waiters. In other words, harmony is achieved if a small section of the shirt, pulled together by a beautifully tied butterfly, remains in sight. Moreover, even a two-button jacket can look problematic, because a butterfly, unlike a usual long tie, leaves too much open space and does not close the bar with a vertical row of buttons.

A vest (possibly knitted), a three-button or double-breasted jacket, sweater or cardigan will come to the rescue.