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Learn More About Bow Ties
Bow ties are often worn for extravagant occasions like black tie galas, anniversary banquets, cruise ship balls, or anywhere else you need a little extra oomph. Bow ties are usually considered more formal than neckties, which is why they’re often worn with tuxedos. Matching a bow tie with a pair of suspenders can be a bold way to steal the spotlight. It worked for Charlie Chaplin, after all.
Not just for fancy affairs, bow ties look just as fresh with khakis as they do with cummerbunds. Choose a boldly patterned bow tie to put some pep in your step for a dinner date outfit or wear one with a pop of statement-making color for a weekend brunch. Who says grownups are the only ones with a flair for the debonair? Bow ties for boys and girls are an oh-so-adorable accent, perfectly suited to holiday feasts and weddings. While you’re at it, give Fido a refined finish with a dog bow tie and have the whole gang stepping out in style at your family holiday card photo shoot.
There are three types of bow ties: pre-tied, clip-on, and self-tie, each with its own benefits:
- Pre-tied bow ties can be thrown on in a flash so you can focus on your awards ceremony acceptance speech. They’ll be there for you when you’re busy with best man duties, are in a hurry to get to the dance on time, or if manual dexterity just isn’t your thing.
- Clip-on bow ties are a no-fuss option that lessens the stress of dressing up, especially for kids. These ties are easy to remove when your little one inevitably decides they’ve had enough. Try a classic pink clip-on bow tie in their hair or a deep burgundy that’ll stand out at their next music recital.
- Self-tie bow ties are a long ribbon you tie up yourself, similar to a necktie. They’re the gold standard suit and tie accessory for upscale events and give you the freedom to sprinkle a little character into your dapper ensemble.
Tying a bow tie for the first time can be intimidating, but the charming touch it adds to an outfit makes it well worth the effort. With just a few steps, you’ll be a bow-tying boss in no time:
- Flip up your collar Dracula-style and do up the top button.
- Adjust the bow tie to your neck size. If you don’t know your neck size, use a tailor's tape or a piece of string to measure around your neck. The numbers inside the bow tie should correspond to your neck size in inches.
- Place the bow tie under your collar so one side hangs slightly longer than the other.
- Cross the longer end over the shorter end and bring the longer end up behind the neck loop. If done right, it should look like the first step when tying your shoes. Pull tight and let the longer end hang.
- Fold the shorter end with one hand to shape the bow in place. Bring the longer end over to form the middle of the bow. You’re nearly there.
- Here’s the tricky part: Pinch those butterfly wings on your bow together and pull slightly forward. See that small loop in behind? Finesse the longer end into that loop so that both bows line up with each other. Practice makes perfect.
- Drop your collar and adjust the shape by playing with the ends until your bow tie reaches optimal snazziness.