While there are many mens accessories they are never the same in the degree of usage. Every one of them have a different style to project, and we often see men doubting themselves whether they can pull off the accessory without turning the day into disaster. One such accessory is the mens bowtie. Most of the men tend to get very uncomfortable when they first try it and simply seems embarrassed ( not many of us have the fierce confidence of Berlin from Money heist).
Also, some who have a bad experience come under the category of once bitten twice shy. Now is the time you let go off all your doubts because we assure you no matter your age or your style you can definitely pull off the bowtie style given that you tie it properly and get some of the details right. Of course there are clip ons but it is always better to know how to tie it for yourself since it is meant to be tied ( the name. Duh!). It isn't reserved for people of certain lifestyle and income level but is one accessory that can be flattering and elegant.
We can hear your groan saying " I have neckties. Why should I my neck?”. This problem of yours with bowties isn't exclusive and most men share the same sentiment. This is because of the fact that people have become accustomed to the neckties while the bowties still haven't become familiar. But once you come out of that judgement bubble and try out the new style you would note the approvals and compliments you would gather thus irrevocably making you confident.
If you still aren't convinced the long history of the accessory is the best proof. Bowties are one of the oldest forms of neck wear in mens fashion. It has almost a 150 years of history which it has survived without much or no changes in its structure. What has changed is its status when compared to its cousin the neckties? While both originated around the same time the bowties have climbed the social ladder settling way higher than the neckties. While the bowties have way more advantages than the neckties like less of getting in the way and complementing more face shapes, a man who confidently carries this style is still a rarity.
Now for the origin of this style, the first group of men to decorate their necks with any form of fabric were the Croatian soldiers who served as mercenaries in the 30 years war against the German Empire. This style captivated the then King of France Louis XIV and his subjects who soon adopted the style and named them cravat which came from the expression à la Croate, a nod to the original wearers of the style.
The cravat style soon flourished and eventually became the inspiration for the bowties. By the mid 19th century, the people started wearing a simple swath of material mostly lace tied around the neck in knots which mostly resembles the style we have now. Soon a standard style was developed and the fabrics were cut according to that design resulting in the tie becoming synonymous with the formal attires. They were worn with luxury outfits like the tuxedos and the tailcoats that required ties. Before this they were widely used by the working class men who felt that the neckties were impractical when working with machines. But soon it moved to the influential class when famous personalities started rocking the style. Some of the greatest icons of that time like Winston Churchill and Frank Sinatra wore ties which let the civilians follow suit. It was by the end of the 20th century that the bowtie usage dwindled to the lowest level but the recent times have seen a rise again.
Now to rock this style you will have to get rid of the stereotypes that surround it. Not all men who prefer bowties are nerds, conservatives or worst still old fashioned. Its just their taste and people who are comfortable in the style wear it. The bowties are also more practical compared to neckties since they don't get in the way often unlike their longer counterparts and also the best choice for summer.
Now if you have gathered enough confidence and interest to try out this style then it is time to understand the details and the different styles available in it. Selecting one that matches your style and purposes needs some time and help the latter which we are going to provide through this article.
The main styles of the bowties in the market are explained here. Pre tied bowties probably has the largest share of the selling market. So fear not if you don't know how to tie a bowtie since it is not an excuse that is going to work. These pre tied bowties also come with clip ons which makes it still easier. They are made of shinier fabric, symmetrical and cheap which makes them easier to identify. This is the reason why you should avoid them if you want to look stylish. It is basically for children who aren't capable of tying or who wouldn't keep still when someone ties it for them. So if you aren't any of those it is better to learn how to tie it rather than getting these pre tied styles.
Next comes the self tied bowties or the free styled bow ties. As the name indicates it is the type where you have to tie it for yourself. As we have insisted from time to time learning how to tie a bowtie isn't such a hard thing and is a fairly easy process which just requires patience and practice. Also don't be so concerned about the symmetry. As said before a perfectly symmetrical bowtie looks like a pre tied one thus the uneven lines and the shape is the essence of the true style. But that also doesn't mean you can tie it in a haphazard shape and call it a freestyle. In self tied bowties you get to choose the size of the bowtie and change it according to your mood and outfit. But there is also an option for this - the adjustable bowties. These day wear styles have a provision that lets you adjust its size and have buttons or metal clips.
One recent style of bowties incorporate unconventional styles like wooden bowties, bowties with bird feathers and even are made of leather. They are flashy and definitely garner attention hence if you are a person who likes to make fashion statements then you can go for this style.
Now comes another major thing you will have to note - the shape of the bowties. The most famous style is the butterfly shape. This is named as such since they resemble the shape of the butterfly. This classic style is best for evening events. When untied they look the wings of the butterfly and can be narrow or wide. They have straight edges and it is best to keep everything moderate if you are thinking of keeping it for a long time. Also, for the size it depends on your face shape and size. If you have a relatively smaller head go with the small size and same for large sizes.
Batwing bowties are mostly rectangular and can be harder to tie. They make bigger knots and aren't much preferred. Pointed end bowties are diamond shaped and can be adjusted to look different by pulling it at the end. Note that they are meant to look asymmetrical since the pointed end is on the front in one side and at the back on the other side. They are considered to be much more relaxed than the butterfly style and is best for casual events.
Single end bowties looks mostly like a regular bowtie but originally has the bow tie shape at only one end. They are cleaner and crisper to look because of the single layer of fabric. Asymmetrical bowties are not symmetrical either along the vertical or horizontal edges. It may not look much when untied but when tied they give you a proper look.
Since the bowties are nowadays used for only special occasions it is also important to select the fabric that it is made of also carefully. Fabrics for the bowties follow the same pattern as that of the neckties. Since they are mostly worn with tuxedos and blazers silk is the most popular fabric when it comes bowties. They are available in various shapes and weaves for you to choose from. The shine of the fabric also varies and choosing them depends on the wearer's choice and his tuxedo fabric. Another great option when it comes to tuxedos and dinner jackets is the velvet. They look fabulous under artificial light and hence a popular choice for evening wears. Bowties are also available in other fabrics like linen, cotton, nylon, polyester and wool. These are best to be worn with basic suits but it is always best to steer away from the artificial fabrics since they look cheap thus disrupting the whole elegant look you are aiming for. As for the weave of the fabric go for finer weaves that are tight. These fabrics perform well and do not pull threads often like the looser weave.
Now as to how style this accessory the answer is "sky is your limit". You can wear them to any formal events like weddings, parties, white and black tie events. They work especially well when in subdued colors since you cannot draw unnecessary attention to one accessory over shadowing the whole outfit. You can wear them well with the blazers when you want to dress up. The blazer isn't a very formal garment and pairing it with a bowtie ups your fashion game. A navy blazer with khakis or gray flannel pants and a white shirt when paired with a proper bowtie makes you ready for a relatively formal event. You can also wear them well with sweaters with shirts underneath. If you decide to wear a bowtie to your office keep everything subtle and pair them with a dark double breasted suit to match the formality.
Now there are some simple details that help you to a great extent when styling this accessory. First thing you will have to consider is your face width. Wearing a bowtie that is too small compared to your face and vice versa makes you look disproportionate so select the bowtie size in par with your face width.
If you are dressing for a formal event that has dress codes then keep it simple by following the given rules. If it says black keep it black and if white keep it white. Also, if the invitation says anywhere that something is optional then it is always better to wear it.
If the event that you are attending doesn't bother with a dress code then keep it simple. If you aren't comfortable ditch the jacket and go with a patterned shirt with a nice butterfly bowtie paired with a proper pair of trousers. When it comes to bowties you can experiment with patterns but if you are wearing a checked shirt then keep it solid. But if your shirt is solid get imaginative with the patterns on your bowties.
As said before don't fret much with the symmetry. Self tied bowties aren't meant to look perfectly symmetrical. Also don't go for a matching look of jackets with bowties and pocket squares unless mentioned in the dress codes. It can make you look like a 5-year-old so it is instead better to go with colors that complement each other.
After all this it now purely depends on your choice but all we ask is to give yourself a chance to try out new styles and not to keep restricted to a certain level. Only by trying new things people tend to develop their own sense of style and fashion.
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