Wearing a bow tie with a tux is easy – after all, colour matching is simple when your options are black and white.
But what about the man who wants to bring the bow tie into everyday wear? Matching something as daring and dashing as a bow tie to a broader range of outfits can be hard, but DÉCLIC is here to make it easy. Style with personality is what we aim for, so if you’re looking to introduce the bow tie into your normal rotation, read on and let us give you seven tips for how to style it.
1 - Match the shape to the event (and your look)
You’d be surprised how many men who style themselves as sartorially minded don’t know that there’s more than one type of bow tie. From the iconic and most common thistle or butterfly shape to the batwing, diamond point and club round cuts, there are a range of bowtie shapes to suit different styles and levels of formality. Think hard about the look you want and are expected to present and ensure you choose a tie that contributes to that.
2 - Patterns are the new black
Getting your head around what patterns to wear, when and with what can be daunting, but there’s no better way to start learning than with a bow tie. Choosing bolder, punchier printed bow ties allows you to add a vivid splash of colour to more conservative shirts. Keeping the rest of your outfit muted allows the bowtie to pop more, letting you really make a statement.
3 - Fabric is as important as colour
The texture of your bowtie affects its appearance just as much as the pattern printed on it. Fine materials like silk and satin give a glossy look that’s more suited to formal occasions. For backyard weddings, cocktail evenings and other less formal events, choose a bow tie in wool, cotton or linen. Not only will their lack of shine make you look more casual, these fabrics tend to be less stiff, softening your image.
4 - Pair it with the right shirt
A patterned bow tie screams fun and sophistication, a colourful dress shirt does the same, but together they can look like a nightmare. Going too loud on both your shirt and your bowtie can make even the suavest man look a bit clownish. A safe bet is choosing a bold pattern for your bowtie or your shirt and a more conservative pattern or solid colour for the other element.
5 - Keep your accessories to the same palette
Ensuring that your bowtie and your pocket square are from the same selection of colours harmonises your look, giving the impression of a more considered approach to your outfit. Don’t make the classic mistake of matching bow tie to pocket square, which can look a bit cheap and a bit too put-together. Instead, go for a patterned bow tie and wear a pocket square in a solid colour from that pattern – or vice versa.
6 - Get it right (but not too right)
Whatever bowtie you end up choosing, don’t feel the need to break out the spirit level. There is such a thing as too perfect, and a dead straight, precisely balanced, perfectly tied bowtie can scream that. The tiniest imperfection – making it slightly off-centre or one side pulled slightly further out – adds an air of what the Italians call sprezzatura, or a studied carelessness. It says, ‘I have the knowledge and the ability to make it perfect, but deliberately have not’ – allowing you to send the message of a well-put together man without looking stuffy.
7 - Add and control colour with a sweater
A necktie’s greatest strength is the symmetry it adds to an outfit, neatly bisecting a suit jacket and creating a clean appearance. By their very nature, bowties cannot do this, often leading to excessive negative space between a man’s neck and his first suit button – especially noticeable when wearing a shawl lapel.
Choosing to wear a thin sweater in a neutral colour not only further softens your image, but it also allows you to have more control over what colour and how much of it is presented beneath your bow tie.
Ready to transform your look? Browse the DÉCLIC range of bow ties today and imbue your wardrobe with a bit of personality, verve and edge.