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Bow ties can be tricky things, but they don’t have to be. Learning to master the bow tie is something you can do, and it’s important to know which bow tie works best for various occasions and looks.
The bow tie has a fascinating history. They date back to 17th Century Croatia, where mercenaries wore a type of neckwear that resembled short scarves to hold their shirt collars together. That particular accessory was called a Hvrt, or “Cravate” in French (the French word for Croatians). This term was eventually shortened to “cravat,” which is a word most distinguished gentlemen recognize.
The right bow tie can add volumes of debonair to your suit, style, and your shirt. Honestly, it’s almost worth it to wear one just for the absolute sheer challenge of actually pulling it off. We know our customers love a challenge, so we say go for it. But how do you get started?
First of all, there are three types of bowties: the self-tie (also called “freestyle”), the pre-tied, and the clip-on. Most of the bow ties you see are pre-tied with straps that pull around to the back of the neck.
When should you wear a bow tie?
For formal attire, nothing beats a bow tie. Besides weddings, the most common places you’ll see a bow tie are at black-tie events or white-tie events. Keep in mind that white-tie events, also called “full dress,” aren’t the places to experiment with colored bow ties.
Bow ties can also be work at semi-formal events. These events are great places to show your creativity with bow ties but don’t go too risky. Lean closer to “formal” than you do to “semi” in this case.
And then there is casual attire. A bow tie lends a hint of fun and playfulness to a casual occasion. For these events, you can basically write your own rules. For these events, bow ties look great with printed socks, suspenders, and even bright shoelaces. Don’t get too carried away, though, and obviously don’t do all of those things at the same time.