When it comes to dressing up, one of the major decision men tend to ponder up on is whether to go with mens bowtie or simply put on a mens long tie and get it over with. Every year events like weddings, parties, gala or anything of that sort pop up that require of you to don on a formal suit and then the oscillation starts again. Some men seem to avoid wearing a bow tie to a great deal but there is no need to shy away from the elegant accessory. If you are hesitant about the style it means that you do not fully know about the accessory and unsure whether you can pull it off or not. Or you just flat out dislike it. This article is for the former group of men who needs some advice and tips on how to enhance your style further with this timeless accessory.
The bowtie was gone for some time but now it is back with a bang especially in the weddings. Even when you dress up from head to toe in elegant style, the bowtie is the one that properly completes your whole look. For properly rocking this accessory there are some basic rules for it to aid your look.
Before we go into the details let us know about the history of this vintage style that had its peak in the past. It all started when the Croatian soldiers marched into France wearing something like scarves around their necks. The then ruler of France, King Louis XIV loved this style and wanted to adopt it into style. This scarves called Cravattes were the forerunner of the styles of mens bowties that we have now. It was the staple of the Croatian army uniform during the 16th and 17th century. At that time the soldiers used these scarves to tie together their shirts to prevent it from gapping. But when the French elites started to adopt this style it was more for aesthetic purpose rather than practical purposes as like the soldiers. The cravats were mostly made of linen and lace with the silk gaining prominence in the late 1600s.
By the start of the 18th century Beau Brummell entered the scene. He is widely known as the father of the modern clothing style that we have now and is one of the reason that we don't wear height embroidered and flapping jackets. He was simply a middle class man who dreamed of upper class life but he didn't only dream. He was known to take the simple styles that were available to him and turn them into fashionable garments thus making him popular among the locals. Soon the Prince Regent of that time noticed the man and invited him into the fortress falling for his eccentric designs. He was known for his massive influence on fashion at that time and he was the one who promoted the personality dressing.
Beau Brummell was the one who introduced the idea of matching a full length trouser suit with a mens bowtie. At that time stockings and breeches were all the rage but Brummell stuck with his formal trouser style and this formed the basis of the suits that we wear today.
The mens bowties soon gained momentum and were by the end of the 19th century the symbol of academic people. Surgeons and doctors were the ones who greatly wore the style since it was a great alternative to long ties which tended to get in the way when dealing with their patients. The mens bowties were known to be the hygienic alternative to the long ties. When the industrial revolution took place again the mens bowties regained importance since the workers replaced their long ties with bowties so that it did not get in the way while working with the machines. By the 1920s sandier versions became more famous. People wore bowties with loud patterns and vibrant colours. The Oscar ceremony which took place in 1929 there was a lot of black and white bowties on the red carpet.
Many iconic personalities preferred the bowtie styles and one among them is Winston Churchill. The nation's leader loved the navy blue and white polka dot bowtie and this look became iconic thus selling out like crazy. By the 1940s and the 1950s the craze around the bowties started to dwindle and when the post war rationing came the style still more disappeared. From that time the bowties ceased to be a part of daily menswear and was reserved to special occasions like weddings and others. By the start of the new millennium the hipster looks gained prominence and the bowties with it. But by the 2010s it again took a backseat only emerging out for special events.
While in the past the mens bowties were for the academics in recent times there is no such restriction or presumption. Most of the time men avoid wearing bowties simply because they don't think that they can pull it off or simply because they don't know how to tie it. So when you are thinking of dressing up for any special event you should try out this style and check whether it suits you. Chances are that you will definitely rock the style since mens bowties greatly complement most body and face types.
So if you are thinking of purchasing a mens bowtie then there are different types in it. The first major category is the pre tied bowties. As the name suggests these bowties are already tied and there is a clip at the back by which you can attach it straightly. This type of bowties form the major part of the market. They are popular since most men do not know to tie the bowtie and do not require to know since they don't wear one often. If you are a teenager dressing for the prom then pre tied bowties may work. But if you want to look elegant and stylish then it is best to go with the traditional bowtie option since the pre tied bowties always shows like a cheap style would. This is because they are perfectly symmetrical one which can never be obtained by tying one and are also usually made from cheaper and shinier fabrics thus making you look like a small child.
The next type is the self tie bow ties. This also as the name suggests should be tied newly everytime you put it on. If you are daunted by this you can go with the ones that have clip ones that let you clip the bow once you tie it, so that you don't have to do it again and again. The added benefit with these type of bow ties is that you can change the way you tie your bow tie every time you wear it. Sometimes you can go with a bigger version and sometimes a smaller version depending on your mood and outfit choice of the day. This cannot be achieved with the clip on or the self tied fashions. There are two different subcategories in the self tie mens bowties. Adjustable bowties that are mostly preferred by men nowadays since you adjust it to be smaller or bigger based on your choice. You can also lend it to anyone and not worry about the size. For it to be adjustable they are provided with mechanisms like metal clips or buttons. The next type is the fixed length self tie bow tie. These are the best choice for evening bow ties. Apart from these traditional styles many contemporary designs like wooden bowties and bowties made of bird feathers and such are also available in the market for people who like to try on new styles. These types of mens bowties are often flashy and are best for people who don't mind being the centre of attention at any event that they attend.
Now the next thing is to know about the basic styles of mens bowties available in the market. Knowing about the different styles makes you choose the best one and the one which suits your need and taste perfectly. There are numerous shapes and styles available in the market but here we will talk about the basic shapes available.
The first basic shape of the bowtie is the butterfly shape. This is named so since the style resembles a butterfly in shape and it is the best option when it comes to evening ties. These mens bowties are tied with small knot and the wings relatively larger so that it perfectly resembles a butterfly. These butterfly bowties tend to have straighter edges unlike the cheaper ones that have curved edges. For a versatile look and long performance it may be best for you to go with the medium size without it being too large or too small. Also you can purchase them according to your face size. If you have a large face go with the large bow tie and for smaller heads go with small ones so that your look is balanced.
The next popular style of mens bowties is the batwing bow tie. They are normally rectangular and gets slimmer when nearing the neckband. They make for bigger knots and some men may feel it to be a difficult choice to try since the it may be a little harder to tie.
Pointed end mens bowties looks like a little diamond and are always asymmetrical since the pointed end is in the front side on one end and is back on the other side. This makes them look different every time you wear it based on how much you pull the tie on both ends. It is a great option when it comes to daywear but are considered to be a little on the casual side when compared with other formal styles. It usually looks good on most of the face types and therefore is a very good versatile option.
Asymmetrical bowties are as the name suggests not symmetrical on any side be it bottom and top or left to right. These bowties may look odd when you see it untied but looks perfectly good once you tie it. This gives you the perfect elegant look since a perfect symmetrical look looks like a pre tied one. You can wear them to weddings or with tuxedos when the need arises.
Single end mens bowties have the bowtie shape on only one end. Once you tie it they look very similar to the normal bowtie. They look simpler and cleaner than the other versions since there is only a single layer involved.
The next thing that you will have to note is the fabric from which the bowties are made from. If you are wearing a tuxedo it may be best to go with the fabric with which the lapels of the jacket are faced with. The next best option is to go with silk bowties. Silk is one of the most popular and widespread option when it comes to mens bowties. They come in different shapes, weaves and lustre. Apart from the silk you can also find wool bow ties, blended bow ties, cotton bow ties and many more. It is always best to stay away from synthetic materials like nylon and polyester since they have a unnatural sheen and lustre about it which makes them look cheap.
If you are wondering when it is appropriate to wear a bow tie then there are no restrictions if you are confident enough. But if you want to stick to the basics then you can wear them to the formal events like weddings, garden parties, and family gatherings and of course the black and white tie events. It is always better to know how to tie one yourself and if you don't know it isn't very hard to learn and a basic tutorial on YouTube would definitely do the magic.