Bow Tie 101 – All You Need to Know about Wearing Bow Ties

tips on wearing bow ties

Tying a Bow Tie

If you are one of my regular readers, then chances are you already know how to tie a bow tie. If you don’t, then stop procrastinating, and learn to master this gentlemanly skill. If you prefer classic illustrations then check out my bow tie tying guide. For those of you who don’t like to read, HERE are some awesome GIFs on tying different types of ties – including a bow tie.


Some Notes on Proper Bow Tie Fit

Dressing well is all about mastering proportions correctly. Just like your tie width and collar depth should be in proportion to your lapel size, the width of the bow tie should be in proportion to the width of your face. Ideally the end of the bow tie is in line with the width of your face. It should not extend past your ears, and should not be narrower than the outer point of your eyes.


Finding a Pattern that Suits the Occasion

Bow ties are no longer solely worn at formal, aka “Black Tie“, functions. In fact, bow ties have become hugely popular in the past few year. Bow tie sales in the US have grown 4x faster than the sale of neckties – making up 7% of the total neckwear sales in the US in 2013 (source: Bloomberg)

Because bow ties are now common for everyday wear, they are easy to find in any pattern, shape, fabric, and color combination. When it comes to finding the right pattern, use the general rule that “less is more” as a guidance. The less embellished the pattern, the more formal it will look. For example: If you want a casual bow tie to wear with your seersucker suit and boat shoes, then by all means have fun and sport a bold madras plaid. For more information on neckwear formality, check out this visual guide here


What Days are the Most Bow Ties Worn?

It always surprises me what type of date is available when looking at keyword search traffic on major search engines. When looking at the popular keyword “how to tie a bow tie” it is instantly clear that there are some days that have huge search traffic spikes. The #1 day that has most men dressed in bow ties is New Years Eve, followed by Christmas and Halloween (apparently Pee Wee Herman remains a popular Halloween Costume). National Bow Tie Day, which falls on August 28th, comes in at #5 on the list.

I hope you enjoyed this “bow tie 101” post. As always, your input, comments, and feedback is appreciated. Simply write a comment below and I will do my best to respond within a day or two.

Thanks for reading!

Hendrik

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