Bow Tie Guide

Suit Buttons

What Are The Different Types Of Bow Ties You Can Get?

Basically, there are three main categories.

1. Pre-Tied Bow Ties

This category probably has the largest share in the market. Sometimes, they also come in a clip-on version and they’re really popular with men who simply don’t know how to tie a bow tie and men who don’t usually wear one. There’s a simple rule if you want to be stylish, never wear a pre-tied bow tie because it always shows.

Typically, they are made of cheaper, less expensive, oftentimes shinier fabrics, they are very symmetrical, and it screams “My bow tie was pre-tied!”. Wearing a pre-tied bow tie makes you look like a 16-year old attending prom and frankly, we believe they shouldn’t wear them either.

2. Self-Tie Bow Ties

As the name implies, you tie it yourself every time. It seems daunting. It’s the only choice for an elegant gentleman and sometimes you can even find self-tie bow ties that have a little clip on mechanism that allows you to remove it. So once you tie it once, you don’t have to tie it again.

Personally, I think that’s not the way to do it because changing the look of your bow tie every time gives your outfit a different air and sometimes, you can decide to have a smaller bow tie, other times a bigger one, depending on your mood. Among the self-tie bow ties, there are two subcategories.

Adjustable Bow Ties – Usually, you find them for all kinds of daywear bow ties. The great advantage is that you can simply adjust the size so sometimes you can have a smaller tie, other times a bigger tie, and you can even lend it to your father, your brother, or friend if they need one and it’ll work for them. There are all kinds of adjustment mechanisms. Some include metal clips while others have buttons. I have all of them and in my experience, they all work.

Fixed-Length Self-Tie Bow Tie – First of all, why would you want to limit yourself to just one size? Basically for evening wear when you wear wing collars, the entire bow tie is visible and having a little adjustment mechanism just looks weird and odd. So what about wearing a tuxedo shirt with a turndown collar? At the end of the evening, it’s very typical practice to untie the bow tie and when it dangles there, you can still see the adjuster and because of that, it’s always advisable to go with a fixed length neck size for evening bow ties.

3. Fashion Forward Bow Ties

With the gaining popularity in recent years, we’ve seen wooden bow ties, we’ve seen bow ties made out of bird feathers, as well as leather bow ties. They’re actually not tied, they’re simply like a clip-on bow tie; they just have the shape of a traditional bow tie. Most of the time, these items are very flashy and I believe it’s a fad that won’t stand the test of time. Of course, if you literally want to look like a peacock, you can go with them. Otherwise, I suggest you stay with traditional self-tie bow ties.

Back to News