How to Rock a Bow Tie Like a Boss

I’m not gonna lie – I’ve never been a bow tie guy.
But I respect a man who can rock a bow tie and still look like a badass.
And at the end of the day, if it’s good enough for my dude James Bond, they can’t be all that bad.
Recently, Beau Ties LTD (Get it Beauties) sent me a bunch of their bow ties and I have to say, they swayed my opinion of bowties just a bit.
Sporting bow ties with skull and crossbones, bats, fish, polka dots and much more takes wearing a bow tie from classy to badass real quick.
And if you can pull it off, it’s a hit with the ladies.
Picture features a few ties from the Beau Ties Collection.
So they inspired me to learn more about bow ties, and as always – share what I find with you fine gentlemen.

First Off, There Are 3 Types of Bow Ties

When shopping for a bow tie, there are 3 types to choose from.

1) The Self-Tie Bow Tie

2) The Pre-Tied Bow Tie

3) The Clip On Bow Tie

All that needs to be said here is that you only need to know about the first one. If you’re going to rock a bow tie, you better know how to tie one (Don’t worry, we’ll show you how to tie one below), and not be sporting some dinky clip on piece of crap. Another reason why you want the Self-Tie or freestyle bow tie is because the act of tying it yourself creates a slight asymmetrical look which is desired. This adds some charm and quirkiness that a Pre-Tie or Clip on can never achieve.

When to Rock a Bowtie

The first question that came to my mind is when is a suitable time to rock a bowtie?

The answer, whenever you dam well please.

Minus sporting events (that you’re playing in), you can rock a bow tie on a date, going out in the city with friends, to work, and any other social event you can think of. This is because you don’t have to be wearing a tux for it to look appropriate. While you might risk being called a hipster, you can wear your bow tie with any classic button down and blazer setup. A sophisticated look that will give your perceived IQ a nice boost. Just don’t be one of those snooty assholes who wears his bow tie to show how much better he is than you. Just pop it on, and forget about it.

casual bow tie

Where is it a must to wear a bow tie?

At some formal events, it’s required to wear a bow tie. Specifically dress code Black Tie. When attending an event that is labeled black tie, a standard black tuxedo must be worn with a black bow tie.

What Colors to Match it With

To my surprise, it is commonplace to not have your bow tie stand out.

Maybe this seems like a cry for attention.

Most fashion Guru’s, recommend that your bow tie sync with the color of your outfit. And that your bow tie not be so bright that it distracts people from your face. Basically, it is there to add on to your style, not overshadow it. It’s not an attention grabber, just how you role.

But you’re a boss, and you can wear whatever color you want and feel comfortable.

Because obviously, rocking bowties with fish and skulls on them, like the ones from Beau Ties Ltd, is a little more of a bold statement. But as long as they are not a desperate cry for attention, and just part of your personality, you’re good.
BTW, Beau Ties carries a lot of plain, seasonal & formal bow ties as well. They have something for everyone.

What Fabrics to Pair it With

Bow ties come in many different fabrics, and different fabrics work best in different scenarios.
1) For casual, Day Wear or Dates:
In this scenario, flannel, wool, denim, cotton or seersucker are great choices for a sophisticated yet casual look.
2) For Formal Wear
For formal wear opt for a black or white silk bow tie.
3) For Fun Nights Out
For a night out on the town, you can stray to polka dots, fish, vampires, skulls and whatever crazy bow ties people are producing these days.
4) Seasonal
Places like Beau Ties Ltd also offer a lot of seasonal bow ties which are perfect for any holiday party you might attend.

Which Shape Bow Tie to Choose

Yessir, bow ties come in multiple shapes. Picking the perfect shape comes down to your personal style, so read below to see which one works for you.

1) The Butterfly

The most common shape is called the butterfly, or thistle shape. It is the basic bow tie that you see most often and this is because it is very versatile, fits all face shapes and is suitable for all scenarios. It is a staple of any mans wardrobe.

butterfly bow tie

2) The Big Butterfly

The second shape is called the big butterfly. It is a larger bow tie that is more often worn at black tie events with a tux. Recommended for the guys who want to look a bit edgy.

the big butterfly bow tie

3) The Batwing

The third shape is the batwing, and is also known as a straight to slim bow tie. This bow tie is smallest in height. What this style achieves is a clean and modern look and is a little less formal that the ones mentioned above. However, it is still appropriate attire for all formal events.

Batwing Bow tie

4) The Diamond Bow Tie

This up and coming bow tie has pointed ends, instead of traditional flat, to give it a diamond shape. These bow ties are not very often seen, but can add a whole host of personality to your look. What I like most about them is the asymmetrical outcome of the knot which you can see below. This is my boss pick.

the diamon bow tie

How to Size Your Bow Tie

This part’s easy. Bow ties are a one size fits all occasion, so sizing a bow tie is of no concern to you.

That being said, here will be some adjusting needed to made on your bow tie, which will have an adjustable slider or a hook and holes with measurements marked on it. So measure your neck, and tie it on (learn below).

It should feel snug, but not constricting and may take a few tries to achieve the perfect fit, but like anything else practice makes perfect – And soon you’ll be a 1 handed mirror free pro.

How to Tie The Dam Thing

If you’re a bow tie virgin, like myself, you’ve got some learning to do. Tying these bad boys is not the easiest thing to do. You have to put your ego aside and take some direction. Here is the one I followed.
An awesome visual and step by step process on how to tie a bow tie. Provided by the awesome dudes at Beau Ties.
how to tie a bow tie
If this is too small for you to read, see the full size version here.
If you want to see a video for some more assistance, I have added one below.

How to tie a bowtie via

In Conclusion

At the end of the day, rock a bow tie whenever you want & however you want.

If you are comfortable in your own skin (and outfit) then people are going to be comfortable around you. Plus you’ll get the respect you deserve.

Don’t go out and try to peacock for attention, but be the badass mofo you are and wear your bow tie with pride.


More Bow Tie Resources:

Want to learn more about Bow Ties?! Check out these great resources:
Bow Ties 101: An Introduction to Bowties
The Top 10 Reasons to Wear a Bowtie
And if I’ve swayed you to go for a cool bow tie, check out Beau Ties Ltd. They offer the most beautiful handcrafted bow ties for any occasion. From badass to conservative, they are all awesome, top of the line & dam sexy.

Sean Russell

Sean Russell

Sean is a true entrepreneur. After turning his life around after struggling with anxiety and chronic fatigue syndrome he now dedicates his life to being his best self and helping others do the same. Learn more about him and his projects at

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  1. Ryan

    This is an awesome post! I feel like bow ties have really made a comeback in fashion nowadays and see men wear them all the time! Thanks for sharing this!

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