The Bow Tie Guide: Wear it, love it


Men always have the opportunity to wear a bow tie: at a wedding, a gala, a party, a graduation party? Some wear it every day and love the elegance it exudes. For others it is a less light accessory and they prefer the tie. If you're here, it's because you probably have a few questions. Are you hesitant about style, materials, colours or patterns? Maybe you think it is reserved for tuxedos and other very chic outfits? Do you want to learn how to match the bow tie to your clothes? Or do you simply want to get to know it better? Here are some tips on how to enhance your style with this timeless accessory.

The return of the bow tie

At weddings, it comes back to the fore...

The bow tie, synonymous with chic and elegance, is making a big comeback at weddings. When a special occasion arises, a wedding bow tie is a good way to underline the occasion. However, simply wearing a bow tie does not immediately make you an elegant man. But if you follow a few rules, it will be a valuable ally. Whether you choose a fly for a special occasion or to match a theme, a bow tie makes it easy to stand out from the crowd.


...but it's not just for formal wear and dandies...

With a great variety of shapes, colours, materials and patterns, the bow tie offers an excellent space for creativity. In the collective imagination it is either chic or eccentric. In reality it is more nuanced and finds its place in different styles, from chic to preppy to casual chic. Of course you can't always dress the way you want in everyday life, but the bow tie is a great accessory for those moments when you can choose more stylistic freedom.

Why you should wear bow ties now!

At the same time original because it is rarely worn and timeless in its form, the bow tie has everything to seduce.

Bow tie or tie?

Do you want to enhance your everyday style with a touch of elegance? Men's bow ties require some attention, but rest assured that they are easy to handle! This really has something different to the tie.


The bow tie in 2020

The bow tie is an accessory that can be worn at any age and in all important moments of our lives. You can change it often and build a real collection or just wear it when the opportunity arises. It is relatively small, but immediately visible because it is placed directly under the face, so you have to choose it carefully. Despite changing trends, it is still a synonym for masculine elegance.

What to wear with a bow tie?

Which shirts fit with my bow tie?

Generally prefer a formal men's shirt, although a casual shirt can also serve the purpose. As for the collars, some are perfectly fitting while others are strongly discouraged.

Let's start with the ones to be avoided. Of course, shirts with stand-up collars, such as the mandarin collar, the band collar and shirts with reverse collars, are worn without accessories. With the more classic collars, the cutaway collar should be avoided, as it is too wide open. It drowns out the fly in the gap that separates the two sides of the collar and does not reinforce it.


Let us then talk about collars that are made for the bow tie. First of all the French collar, for example for a wedding in the country side, combine a shirt with a French collar with a Liberty bow tie, simply and effectively. The shark collar, despite its large opening, works with large flies. The wing collar, which is often worn with a tuxedo, should be reserved for very chic occasions. The round collar, as above, is also an excellent choice. Its retro touch makes all the difference, and its rounded edges gently adapt to the bow tie. Finally, the narrow collar is also a good choice and works perfectly with a slim bow tie. Be sure to think about the balance of patterns and colours.

Which accessories fit?

The pocket squares

For the tie you can choose the same fabric as for the pocket square. However, it is elegant to choose a different pattern or a simple colour reproduction. For example, combine a green faux-plain bow tie with a green pocket square. In this case, the colour of the handkerchief will be slightly lighter and the polka dots will add originality but remain sober.


The other accessories

Other accessories such as socks or knee socks and cufflinks allow small colour memories. Suspenders can work with bow ties, especially at a wedding, but be sure to choose plain suspenders if you already have a design on your bow tie.


How to wear the bow tie

There are a few basic rules that you need to know in order to wear a bow tie properly. Like embedding strong patterns in solid colors. It is easiest to start with a white or light-coloured shirt. This enhances the bow tie and makes it a natural part of the outfit. Several patterns can coexist in the same outfit, but this requires a certain amount of mastery. In fact, fashion is not a science, and you will gain confidence with experience.

According to the face shape

Your morphology plays a role in choosing the shape and size of your bow tie. For most of our bow flies the size is classic and fits the largest number of people. But we also offer pre-tied bows, larger, smaller and slimmer. The aim is to find harmony through the balance of volume.


According to the jacket verse

When you have found a shirt collar, you also think of the lapel. The bow tie is often worn with a suit or at least a jacket. And the size of the lapel can vary. Prefer a lapel that is more or less wide depending on the size of your bow tie. A large men's bow tie needs a jacket with wide lapels so that it doesn't look too big.

In chic style

This is the preferred style. As we said before, the bow tie is not enough to be elegant. It must be integrated in a natural way, without being forced. For a very chic outfit, choose classic models such as satin bow ties. If the occasion permits, you can also choose a more original men's bow tie with patterns.


In a casual style

The bow tie is not only suitable for suits and tuxedos, it also has its place in the more casual look. As it is an elegant accessory, it should of course not be worn too casually, as otherwise you run the risk of separating the bow tie too much from the rest of the outfit. This is first of all done by wearing the shirt inside the trousers and being aware of the degree of formality of each piece. One can imagine it for example with a Chambray or Oxford shirt, simple jeans and a knitted blazer.


When its time for bow tie

How I choose the fitting bow tie for a wedding?

The bow tie is definitely appropriate for weddings. In this context, the choice is more or less determined by the style of the wedding (classic, rural, bohemian...), by the dominant colour, as well as by your role in the ceremony.

If you are the groom, plan the purchase of your suit to be as relaxed as possible. You are the king of the day, so you can choose the one you like best. The important thing is to feel comfortable. You can choose a bow tie made of the same fabric as your pocket square, or you can contrast it. Another option is a subtle coloured reminder, this will look more natural and discreet. For example, if you choose a plain electric-blue bow tie, a light blue breast pocket square with small patterns will enhance the contrast and calm the colour of the bow tie. This will make you look less classic.


Which dress code for best man?

It is better for the best man to be informed about the choice of theme and the dress code of the bridal couple so that they can be associated with each other without copying. A coloured reminder is welcome and has an effect. For example, if the groom wears a red bow tie, the witnesses can choose a similar red with patterns. Alternatively the witnesses can choose a dark pink bow tie, a similar colour. If you do not have a specific guideline, remember that you should be in harmony without overdoing it.

Invited to a wedding: How to dress?

As a guest, the rule is simple: do not go beyond the formality of the groom's dress. This does not prevent you from choosing a bow tie as long as your entire appearance respects this rule. Prefer a plain bow tie for a chic wedding, and if the wedding is more casual, you can try a more original model such as a Liberty, tartan or polka dot bow tie.


Which other occassions are possible for wearing a bow tie?


The bow tie is not only intended for special occasions. Like the tie, it can be worn daily. It goes without saying that in the professional world the tie remains the norm, even if it tends to be less systematic.

For an event

Whether for a party, a christening, a gala, a cocktail, a family celebration or for a New Year's Eve - the bow tie is the accessory that underlines the important events of life. The large variety of colours and patterns makes it possible to adapt it to the occasion. The classic black satin bow tie, for a chic and sober gala. Let your creativity speak for itself during a festive evening and dare to create an original men's bow tie.


How to tie a bow tie?

Find out here how to tie a bow tie!

How to dress elegantly with the bow tie? Come to our consultations!

We offer you two consultations in our boutique (English/ French):

  • Mastery of tie and fly knots

Learn how to choose your accessories and how to tie the different knots.

  • Wedding preparation: choosing the accessories for the groom

Find out what dress code you need to follow, including color associations.

Registration is simple and free. Our advisors will answer your questions and guide you in approx. 20-minute workshops according to your needs.

Our blog articles about bow ties

The patterns

Jacquard: a timeless weave with countless possibilities

The wedding preperations

How to choose your bow tie for a wedding?

Choosing a colour for your wedding

Discover our wedding offers

Pick yoour wedding accessories

The pocket squares

Pocket square: tips and foldings

The different materials

Like ties, bow ties are made of many different materials, each of which has its own characteristics.


Silk is a solid and hypoallergenic material, which makes it possible to make very elegant bow ties.


A soft and wintery fabric, wool, alone or mixed with silk, warms up your look.


Cotton is used especially for bow ties with the Liberty motif, which are perfect for a country wedding.


Flax is a summery material. With its irregular aspect it brings authenticity to your appearance.

The fabrics for bow ties

Silk satin

Satin is made with a special weave that consists of covering the crossing points between warp and weft threads. The result: the surface is smooth and satined. This gives a very elegant finish.



Its peculiarity lies in the crossing of threads of different colours, which form a kind of small square pattern.



This silk or wool fabric has a texture reminiscent of knitting. It is decidedly modern, original and elegant at the same time.



Cotton velvet is a material that warms up your look. In navy blue or black, the velvet bow tie is chic and adds a touch of originality. Ideal for a winter wedding.

Jacquard Silk

Jacquard silk weaving makes it possible to integrate patterns directly into the weave. This is made possible by special looms.


Silk knitted bow ties are less formal and fit more easily to a casual outfit. Just like knitted ties, they add an interesting texture to your outfit, making it more casual.



The wool flannel has a soft, fluffy feel that creates an interesting contrast. The flannel bows can be integrated into both chic and casual looks.


History of the bow tie

Who invented the bow tie?

For a long time men have worn pieces of cloth around their necks. The history of the bow tie is not entirely clear, but one thing is certain, it is closely connected with the history of the tie. The latter has its origins in the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648), when Croatian horsemen wore a kind of scarf in different colours according to their rank. The French were inspired by this to make their outfits more elegant. The word "cravate" (tie in french) is a deformation of the Hvats in Croatian.

According to some, the bow tie was created at the same time as the tie. Croatian soldiers sometimes tucked the ends of their scarves into their shirts to keep them in place. So it looked more like a bow tie than a necktie.

In others, the origin of the fly may date back to the 17th century, but it is believed to be related to the jabot, a white lace fabric tied around the neck and covering the torso. In addition, the term "bow tie" might come from the French "jabot".

Another hypothesis gives the authorship of the bow tie to Beau Brummel, a famous British dandy of the early 19th century, who had the idea of wrapping his tie around his neck several times and then tying it to create his own style of bow tie so that it would not move too much.

The term "bow tie" was used from 1904, after the successful performance of Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly, in which the hero wore this accessory. This tie form thus refers to the title of the work.

In the 20th century the black bow tie became a must for weddings, galas and all important occasions with the fashion for tuxedos. This outfit became a synonym for chic and elegance and is mainly adopted by show business.

The bow tie was also worn by certain professional groups, such as doctors, for practical reasons. At the end of the 20th century, when worn outside of certain occasions, the bow tie became a synonym for eccentricity because it was less conventional than the tie. This phenomenon is reinforced by the cinema, where figures of scientists and nerds often wear bow ties. And it must be said that they are not the best representatives of male elegance.

Recently, the bow tie has regained ground, and great designers are again interested in this symbolic accessory. In 2000/2010, artists and hipsters have modernised their image. The bow tie is now worn in more versatile, casual chic outfits with less formal shirts.


With which bow tie should I start?

It is true that the bow tie is a less obvious accessory that should be held in the hand than the tie because it is less present in our daily lives. If you want to wear it regularly, it is better to practice with the basics, in simple outfits. Then you prefer models with rather loose fabrics like braided wool or silk knitwear.

WHich bow tie is better? Preknotted or to tie yourself?

Obviously, each has its advantages and disadvantages. We mainly offer pre-tied bow ties. They are more practical and can be put on more quickly. Tying flies takes time, but has the elegance of imperfection.

How can I order more bow ties for my wedding? Are there some deals?

We are proud to have been accompanying the future bridal couple for several years in the preparation of their costumes and those of their best man. We propose an offer for ties, bow ties, handkerchiefs and lavallière: a discount according to the number of articles in the same collection and the same colour: -10% from 5 articles and -15% from 10 articles.

How I wear my bow tie the best?

A few simple rules will help you to avoid mistakes. In particular, don't put too many patterns on top of each other, as there is a danger that your gaze will be saturated. For example, if you choose a Liberty bow tie, choose a simple shirt or one with fine stripes and not a flowered shirt. With a little experience you will learn to combine different patterns subtly.

Bow tie or tie as a groom?

First of all, it is a personal decision, both are indeed possible, and the most important thing is that you feel comfortable in your clothes so that you do not feel like you are dressed up. There is no right or wrong time to choose. Since the bow tie is more stylish, it makes more sense for the groom to wear it. This way, the guests are not afraid to be more elegant and can choose between a bow tie or a tie.

The lavaliere is undeniably much more atypical and therefore reserved for this type of occasion. It allows you to stand out more.


We hope that we have given you some useful insights into the world of bow ties. Here you will also come to our Tie Guide, especially to know how to make a tie knot and to discover the secrets of its manufacture.

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