“Should I wear a bow tie or necktie with a tuxedo?”
We get this question often here at Christopher James in Fort Wayne.
Our answer is always the same: Bow tie.
(Sorry if that was anti-climatic.)
The explanation is more fun, promise.
A matter of etiquette
Black tie is all about rules, and dressing accordingly shows respect for the event, person, place, etc. for which you’re dressing up. Your wedding, for example. Or an elegant dinner party, reception, or formal dance.
Your date didn’t spend hours primping like royalty to spend the evening with a dude who looks like he couldn’t be bothered to gussy all the way up. (And you don’t want to spend a long evening by the punch bowl.)
Not to mention: a long tie with a tux just looks odd.
It’s not quite a tuxedo, but it’s certainly not a suit. It’s a conundrum, that’s what it is.
Don’t be fooled by celebrities on the red carpet, either. Subtract the glitz and glam of Hollywood (not to mention all the heavy photo editing), and a guy even like, say, Chris Hemsworth, will look goofy in a tie tux combo.
Also keep in mind that a stylist, looking to make a name for him or herself, is often behind the red carpet looks of many celebrity men. To stand out, a stylist must sometimes push boundaries, which is especially true for men’s formal wear because hasn’t changed all that much in the past century.
We don’t mean to sound like a sartorial hall monitor, and we certainly don’t want to squash personal expression. Although you can’t break the rules here, we never said you couldn’t bend them.
Therefore, here are a few ways you can have a little more fun with your bow tie.
- Nobody said your bow tie must be black. Experiment with a darker color, like burgundy or navy. Patterns are all the rage these days too.
- Bored with silk satin? Try a lightly textured fabric, or if you’re feeling bold, go black velvet.
- Butterfly schmutterfly. There are many other knots you can create, including the batwing, the diamond point, the club round, and the jumbo butterfly. Mix it up.
If you’re in the market for fun bow ties, or you want to just see how a patterned bow tie will look with your tux, come see us. We have a superb selection of bow ties here at Christopher James Menswear and we’d love to help you experiment.