How To Wear A Bowtie And Shirt – Factors To Consider When Choosing The Perfect Bowtie


When should you wear a bowtie? Unlike regular neckties, a bow tie can be worn at any time. They are the best choice for any black-tie or white-tie event. Bowties match with suits, shirts and blazers. However, wearing a bowtie is much more sophisticated than tying a standard tie. They must be handled carefully.

Choosing the right Bowtie

Types of bowties

There are three types of bowties: self-tie, clip-on and pre-tied. As a man, you should never go for clip-on and pre-tied bowties as they are for children. However, beginners may wear pre-tied ones but people will know the difference. Why? Pre-tied bowties are too perfect and this makes them appear unreal.


Fixed-size or adjustable?

For style purposes, you should go for the fixed-size bowtie. This is due to the fact that the width of the finished bow will be directly proportional to the size of your neck. In addition, fixed brands don’t have excess clasps and fabrics that may become visible when worn with a wing collar shirt.

The funny thing is that adjustable bowties are the most common in today’s market. Their neck straps have an adjustable slider with pre-marked measurements. Just adjust the tie to blend it with the collar size of your shirt. It should be snug but not too tight.

Choosing the Style

Bow-ties come in different shapes. Your choice will entirely depend on personal preference.

  • Bat wing – Also known as the narrow bowtie. This style is less formal but more modern. They are suitable for black tie events and perfect with standard collars.
  • Butterfly – When laid flat, its ends resemble a butterfly. This shape is ideal for winged collars.
  • Diamond point/rounded club – These ones come with rounded or pointed ends which give them an asymmetrical appearance. They are rare and can be worn for formal events.
  • Big butterfly – This is a larger version of the Butterfly and are good for winged collars.
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Matching the bowtie with the occasion

If it’s a casual occasion, you can wear any type of bowtie. However, if the occasion is formal, you have to pick a color and fabric that suits the event. For instance, if you are attending a white tie event, your bow-tie should be as white and pure as silk. Its texture should match the lapel of your tuxedo jacket. If it’s a black tie event, the bow-tie should be black and pure as silk. White events include; evening weddings, formal balls and state dinners. Black tie events include; formal dinners, opera and evening weddings.

The type of shirt collar to wear with a bowtie

Bowties can’t be won with just any type of shirt collar. Here are some types of collars that will go well with bowties:

  • Small collars – This is the most common type of collar. It goes well with all bowtie sizes – small, normal and large.
  • Narrow collars – They go well with a slim bowtie.
  • The Club collar – They have rounded collars and should be worn with slim or normal sized bowties. The details of the collar shouldn’t be covered.
  • Wing tip collars – For dinner suits. Go for a small or normal sized bowtie. A patterned bowtie should provide a bolder and original look.


Bowties are more unique than standard neckties. They bring out the manly-ness in you. The color and fabric of your bowtie should match with – the occasion and shirt.