The Art of the Bow Tie

Maybe it’s sitting on the top shelf of your closet or maybe you’ve never even purchased one, but it’s about time you brought out the bow tie for your next formal event. The thing about bow ties is that wearing one will definitely get you noticed; it’s just up to you if it’ll be in your favour or not.

Not everyone can relate to the classic James Bond reference, so think of a few of today’s modern gents like George Clooney and Justin Timberlake to get an idea of the serious swagger that a bow tie can produce. Sure, they look badass while wearing a tuxedo, but they can easily be pulled off with a black suit too. Bottom line, they’re for men who take pride in their appearance, who see the bow tie as an opportunity to show a dash of confidence. Let’s look at a few basic styles below:

Large Butterfly

This number’s best used by men who have a larger neck, face and chin. Anything but, and you risk looking a bit on the dorky side. It measures at around 3’’ – 3.5’’.

large butterfly bow tie


Also known as the classic option, the semi-butterfly is your safe bet. Tried and true. It measures at around 2.25’’ – 2.75’’.

classic bow tie


Pretty awesome name; probably not a first choice for Bruce Wayne though. It’s debatable if it’s more on the formal or informal side, ultimately up to you. It’s also a better option for guys with narrower faces and small collar sizes. It measures at around 1.5’’ – 2’’.

batwing bowtie

DailyXY tip: We’re going with the “semi-butterfly,” black, hand-tied.

One more rule to consider for bow ties; forget the clip on. It’s time to man up and do it yourself. Hand tying one of these sleek suckers at first might seem to be a mission on its own, but once you master this, you’ll gain serious brownie points in the “DIY” realm.

Above all, check out this neat stop-motion animated video via the good folks at the Hill-Side on how to properly tie a bow-tie:

Jeremy Singer is a freelance writer and reporter from Toronto. He has a journalism degree from Ryerson University, and enjoys covering all aspects of men’s lifestyle and pop culture. He hopes to one day try on an $8,000 suit but not buy it, because he’s afraid of commitment. Feel free to contact him on Twitter or at his website.

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