Trend Watch: Suits With Bow Ties
Suits are an imperative element to male formalwear. Whether you’re attending an important business meeting or a friend’s wedding, it is expected that you dress according to the formality of the event. For men, options of attire are limited to suits, and if it’s a really upscale occasion, tuxedos. There’s seemingly little room for creativity. Despite this initial impression, there are, in fact, a number of ways that you can add pizazz to an otherwise drab and routine style of dress. The best way to make a statement when wearing a suit is to accessorize. Some common suit accessories include ties, cummerbunds, pocket squares, cufflinks, tie clips, and even jazzy socks. Many of the aforementioned accessories are traditional pieces associated with suits and add to the boring, expected look of a suit if not implemented with creativity and finesse. One of the primary ways in which many men today are opting to make their suits stand out is by pairing it with a colorful or patterned bow tie.
Bow ties, you may be thinking, are as traditional an accessory as they come. And you’re absolutely right! The bow tie dates back to the 17th century and has been worn by men of distinction for centuries since then. In fact, traditional opinion holds that it is inappropriate to wear anything other than a bow tie with a dinner jacket. For this very reason, bow ties were, in the last few decades, worn primarily by distinguished men with important places to be and those perceived as intellectuals. Today, however, with the advent of new age counterculture and cultural preoccupation with irony, bow ties have transcended class boundaries and are worn commonly. Bow ties are like the browline eyeglasses of suit accessories, if you will; they’ve made a huge comeback!
Everyone now is wearing bow ties, and not just the standard black self-tie version. There are all different types of bow ties. The key to making a bow tie work is choosing the right tie color, fabric, size, and knot style to complement the make of your suit. If you want to stylishly accessorize your suit with a bow tie but don’t know which one to choose, fret not, we’ve got some pointers for you in your selection process.
Consider The Fabric
Bow ties can be made out of a number of materials, but they’re often made of silk, cotton, or polyester. Your choice of fabric should ideally be contingent upon the formality of the event. If you are going to attend a more upscale event, silk is always a great option. Silk ties are timeless expressions of sophistication and class. Cotton ties are a great everyday option if you want to express creativity in your style while still maintaining a hint of formality. Think Kentucky Derby; bow ties can make a statement if you choose one with a bright color or intricate pattern and pair it with an understated suit.
Express Your Personal Style
Bow ties are a great outlet for personal style because they are available in an array of fabrics, colors, and patterns. If you are going to choose a tie with an intricate pattern, just make sure that it does not clash with the rest of your outfit. As a rule of thumb you should only wear a highly patterned tie if it is paired with a subtle shirt and jacket. Another tip to keep in mind is that you should not match the color of your bow tie with the color of your shirt. Matching the two defeats the purpose of the tie as it is intended to provide a tasteful contrast to your dress shirt.
Know How To Tie Your Tie
Last but certainly not least, you need to know how to tie your tie. Not all ties come pre-tied. Wearing a ready-tied or clip-on bow tie to a formal occasion is the ultimate fashion faux pas. If you’re going to wear a bow tie to a nice event, you should learn how to tie it first. There are a number of ways to tie a bow tie, and they all produce slight variations in the appearance of the finished product. The traditional self-tie bow tie usually comes in two shapes; the “bat wing” and the “thistle.” The bat wing bow tie is characterized by parallel straight blade ends that produce a sleek finish when tied. The bat wing is the traditional butterfly shape; the one with which you are probably most familiar. If you’re planning on wearing a self-tie bow tie for the first time and are worried about tying it yourself, don’t worry, there are tons of youtube videos that can give you step by step instructions.
Bow ties are certainly trending now but they are more than just a passing fad. History shows that there is an ebb and flow to the popularity of the bow tie, so they are definitely a worthy investment. If you want to jazz up your suit swagger while maintaining formality and sophistication, you should consider jumping on the bow tie bandwagon.