Weddings, black and white events and other formal occasions all demand a bow tie to be worn, and the term ‘black’ or ‘white’ tie is synonymous with a bow. But which should you wear, and does the shape of your tie really make much of a difference? In fact, no, although for formal affairs the tie should be of the correct size, and not too large or small. Your collar size and the type of collar you are wearing, with both have an impact on how the tie looks on you.
Some people who have no idea how to wear a bow tie sometimes look a bit strange, particularly if the bow is not tied correctly or the tie has been wrongly sized. Larger and smaller ties can be worn less formally, but when correctly worn, one of the bow tie design tips you must accept is that the width of the bow should be approximately the same as that of your collar – perhaps slightly less.
How to Tie a Bow tie…
The two major tie designs are the butterfly, or thistle, and bat-wing ties. The latter has straight sides while the former is curved, looking much like a butterfly when tied, and the two ends having the outline of a thistle before being tied.
The bat-wing is the bow tie design that most people wear with a tuxedo, while less formal bow ties, including most of the novelties, are more of the butterfly shape. The butterfly tie appears larger than the bat-wing, particularly larger than the slim-line bow that many also wear.
The slim-line is a narrow 1.5 inch version of the straight or bat-wing bow tie, and many with smaller necks wear it since the standard 2.5 inch tie could make them look even smaller. The slimmer version also frequently looks more elegant with a standard shaped collar, with the standard size fitting better with a winged collar.
The larger-looking butterfly also looks good with the winged collar and cut-away collar, but at the end of the day it really doesn’t matter: You can wear a bow tie any way you want, and of all the bow tie design tips you can get, the best is to wear it as you feel most comfortable.