9 Things to Consider When Choosing a Bow Tie

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A bow tie is a popular alternative to a conventional necktie. Not only are bow ties more formal than neckties, but most men will agree that they are easier and more comfortable to wear. For these reasons, you can’t go wrong with a high-quality bow tie. It’s a simple yet meaningful way to accessorize your suit. You shouldn’t wear just any bow tie, however. To take advantage of this formal accessory, you must choose the right type. Below are nine important things to consider when choosing a bow tie.

#1) Shape

Bow ties are available in a variety of shapes. Granted, nearly all bow ties have a characteristic bow-like design, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they all feature the exact same shape. Some have a slim and narrow shape, whereas others have a more traditional wider shape. Regardless, you should consider the shape when choosing a bow tie.

#2) Size

In addition to shape, something else to consider when choosing a bow tie is the size. If it’s too big, it may look awkward when worn around the collar of your dress shirt. If your bow tie is too small, it may look equally as awkward. For a clean and concise appearance, you need to choose a bow tie in the right size. Even if a bow tie is labeled as “one size fits all,” you should take the time to try it on. Doing so allows you to see firsthand how the bow tie looks, as well as feels, when worn. If a bow tie doesn’t fit right, place it back on the store’s shelf and look elsewhere for this essential suit accessory.

#3) Fabric

Of course, you should check to see what fabric a bow tie is made of before purchasing it. You can find bow ties in a variety of fabrics. Not surprisingly, cotton is a popular fabric in which bow ties are made. Cotton bow ties are inexpensive, soft, easy to clean and long-lasting. With that said, bow ties are available in other fabrics as well. Silk bow ties, for instance, offer a viable alternative to their cotton counterparts. You can expect to pay more for a genuine silk bow tie than a cotton bow tie, but there’s no substitution for the lustrous sheen and glimmering texture of a silk bow tie. Besides cotton and silk, other common fabrics in which bow ties are made include polyester, wool and velvet.

#4) Color

Bow ties are available in nearly every color. So, what color bow tie should you choose? There’s no single “best” color for a bow tie. Rather, you should choose a bow tie in color that matches the rest of your outfit, including your suit. A good rule of thumb is to choose a bow tie — or a necktie for that matter — in the same color as your belt. If you’re wearing a white dress shirt with a black belt, for example, you can’t go wrong with a black bow tie. If you’re wearing a light blue dress shirt with a brown belt, you can wear a brown bow tie. Following this otherwise simple fashion rule will help you create a cleaner and more concise outfit in which all your garments and accessories match.

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#5) Clip-On

Some men prefer the simplicity of clip-on bow ties. As the name suggests, clip-on bow ties feature a clip that’s used to fasten the bow tie onto the collar of your dress shirt. There’s no denying the fact that clip-on bow ties are easier to use than traditional knotted bow ties. The downside, however, is that often look uneven or misaligned. If you’re trying to create a formal appearance, you should probably stick with a traditional knotted bow tie. They are more difficult and time-consuming to put on and take off, but they look better than clip-on bow ties.

#6) Brand

What brand is the bow tie? Like with other fashion accessories, bow ties are manufactured by many different brands. Some of these brands use higher-quality materials and craftsmanship than others, resulting in higher-quality bow ties than their counterparts. Keep in mind, the brand of a bow tie doesn’t always reflect its quality. There are many high-quality bow ties available from generic brands. However, it’s still recommended that you pay attention to the brand when shopping for a bow tie.

#7) Pattern

Some bow ties have patterns rather than just a single color. Plaid bow ties, for example, have a become a popular choice in recent years. Plaid bow ties don’t have a single color. Rather, they feature two or more colors in a plaid pattern. You can also find polka-dot and striped bow ties. Polka-dot bow ties are unique because of their dotted pattern, whereas striped bow ties offer a timeless and classic appearance that looks great no matter how they worn. The bottom line is that you need to consider the pattern when choosing a bow tie. You can always opt for a single color bow tie.

#8) Comfort

How does the bow tie feel when worn around the collar of your dress shirt? Most men will agree that bow ties are more comfortable to wear than neckties. They don’t constrict your neck, nor do they cause pain or discomfort. However, some bow ties are more comfortable to wear than others. As a result, you should take the time to feel a bow tie before purchasing it. It feels rough or otherwise uncomfortable, don’t purchase it. Instead, choose a softer bow tie for maximum comfort.

#9) Price

Finally, you should consider the price when choosing a bow tie. You can find bow ties available for as little as $5, whereas others cost over $100. How much money should you spend on a bow tie exactly? If you’re on a budget, try to stay within the $10 to $30 range. There are dozens if not hundreds of high-quality bow ties available for sale within this price range.