As you may recall, we already did a video about 12 neckties every man should have, bowties are a little different. Some men are uncomfortable wearing them but if you can pull them off the right way, you really stand out from the crowd in a very debonair way.
Some people will argue they’re a little more eccentric, at the same time they are cooler especially during the summer because you don’t have anything covering your chest. Of course, if you have issues hanging your ties in your food and getting them stained, with bow ties you won’t have that issue.
11 Must-Have Bow Ties In Every Dapper Gentleman’s Wardrobe
1. Black Silk Bow Tie
I think every man should have at least one black bow tie in silk because chances are you’ll be invited to a tuxedo event; maybe it’s a wedding, maybe a gala, maybe a formal evening event, and without it, you simply don’t fit in and it’s bad because you don’t adhere to the dress code. In case you don’t want a tuxedo, I still think you should have a black bow tie because you can wear it with a dark suit and just give a different appearance than if you wear a regular necktie.
Ideally, you should get a silk that matches the lapel facing of your tux and most of the time, that’s satin, it can also be grosgrain, and to learn more about what black silk bow tie is best for your outfit, please check out our in-depth guide on that.
2. Navy With Polka Dots
Winston Churchill famously wore it, the tea magnate, Lipton had one, and it’s just one of those all-time classics that works well with dark suits as well as sport coats, tweed coats, or any other sport coat combination and casual outfits. Most people have one in silk; personally, I prefer one in wool challis such as this one from Fort Belvedere. It has pointed diamond ends and it just adds more texture to the outfit, it’s fantastic for fall-winter outfits, and the tones are rather subdued so they’re not over the top so you can wear them in the suit or with a combination.
3. Red Silk Micropattern Bow Tie
It can be small dots it can be a larger pattern, maybe a diamond pattern, but red is just one of those colors and menswear that combines extremely well with any kind of dark suit no matter if it’s Navy, charcoal, maybe light gray, but you can also wear it with green, brown, you name it. The micropattern makes solid shirts and suits more interesting, but you can also pair it with let’s say a pin dot suit, maybe a striped suit, or even a windowpane suit.
Quite often these bowties come with jacquard woven silk, however, I suggest you don’t go with them and go with printed silk instead because they have a finer weave and if you have facial hair and every man does, no matter whether you shave regularly or not, the little hair will pull out silk threads and it will look very bad, especially on a jacquard woven silk. Probably my favorite red micro pattern bow tie is this one from Fort Belvedere with a micropattern, it’s a madder red, it’s nice and rich but it’s not too bright, and it has accents with a black and a buff which is kind of a form of beige and yellow that’s not too bright but still provides enough contrast for an interesting outfit.
4. Prince Of Wales Check Tie
The Prince of Wales check pattern is a very classic pattern you can find it in suits, you can find it in neckties, sometimes pocket squares, and even socks. For bowties, you can use it, it pairs particularly well with business suits. If you get a very fine pattern and it’s repetitive, its visually interesting but it’s subdued. My favorite one to pair with a business suit is the navy and off-white one from Fort Belvedere with pointed ends. It’s very understated, if you want to go a little louder, maybe you can go with something red. If you go with a larger pattern, the problem you have is that while it works for ties, it doesn’t work for bowties because the pattern is too large and it can’t repeat itself.
5. Houndstooth Bow Tie
This is also part of a Prince of Wales check but this one is just uniform, it’s larger, and as shown above, you can see it in Silk bourette which is a thicker yarn, it has a different twist, it is a madder silk and therefore really well-suited to any kind of tweed outfit, maybe any kind of rustic outfit, anything with more texture basically. Some people also call it dog tooth or Pepita, at the end of the day, it’s all the same thing and it’s one of those classic patterns that will never go out of style and therefore if you invest in a bowtie of this pattern, you will always be able to wear it no matter what the current fashion will be.
6. Yellow Bow Tie
Ideally, you go with something in a pale tone simply because it combines better with traditional men’s suit and sport coat colors because when you go too bright, it just stands out too much and it’s harder to combine because it’s a higher contrast. With a subtle yellow or maybe a buff tone, you can add tones like yellow, orange, red, or green and will always be a dapper combination that contrast well on white shirts, light blue shirts, pink shirts, and any other form of pastel color shirt. My favorite one is probably the one from Fort Belvedere with diamonds on them, with red blue and orange combined because it goes with so many things, it’s one of my favorite travel bowties because I can just combine it with anything I have in my closet.
7. Green Bow Tie
I think Green is one of the most underrated colors in menswear.It is so versatile for bowties. I think for fall/winter, a darker green such as the British racing green or a bottle green is perfect. For spring/summer, a lighter green such as olive, or a maybe linen green, is perfect. No matter when you get a madder silk bow tie that is well suited to suits or maybe something with bourette which is more casual, that has more texture, or maybe wool challis which is a little more matte. A green bow tie goes with most outfits; no matter if you have blue, gray, brown, you can even work with a green suit. Even red tones, purple, and it works particularly well with orange tones so think about adding an orange pocket square with it because it creates a very nice contrast that’s very harmonious.
8. Striped Bow Tie
Traditionally, you have the repp stripe bow tie just like the one here with a red and blue stripe but that is quite good for traditional preppy outfits, however, if you want something else, you could go with maybe a shantung bowtie which adds more texture, it has these irregular silk knobs, it’s softer, and just gives your outfit a more casual character. Multiple stripes can also work, they have more of a regimental character and if you’re not part of the regiment, you can still wear them because there’s so many variations on them and hardly anyone will ever notice what kind of regiment it is. In fact, most stripe bowties are not part of a regiment and if you don’t want to be an impostor, maybe it pays to look it up before you get it, otherwise, just wear it with confidence and enjoy it.
9. Linen Bow Tie
If you live in any kind of warmer climates or if you go to warmer climates, a linen bow tie is ideal. Sometimes blended with silk or wool, it just has a very summery character, it wrinkles in a sophisticated way, it’s usually in lighter colors, comes with a warp oftentimes in white, and therefore, it’s just a summery character and I personally like to wear them with seersucker, maybe with a fresco suit, and you can even pair them with a linen suit.
10. Paisley Bow Tie
Paisley is an all-time classic, it’s a pattern derived from India. It has been revived and reused in menswear and interior design over and over again. It’s a form of a micro pattern but it’s just a style that will always be around and it’s very well suited to any kind of classic object.
11. Velvet Bow Tie
The velvet fabric is very unique in a sense that it has a long nap because basically it is woven and then cut in the middle so it’s very different than other kinds of fabrics and it’s actually a relative of the corduroy fabric. Traditionally, the most prized Velvets were silk velvets. Today however, you’ll mostly find viscose and cotton Velvets which are not as soft and are sparkly. Because of that, I designed some prototypes using only the highest quality Italian velvet with a high amount of silk so you get that sparkle and soon we’ll have them in our shop so stay tuned.
If you have these 11 bow ties, you’re pretty much at every situation covered. In case you want more, you can look into orange, turquoise, maybe other tones of red and brown. Personally, I’ve close to a hundred bow ties because I like to have the different patterns and the different shapes and whenever I find something that’s unusual and I like, I buy it because I also like larger bow ties, and smaller ones, pointed ones, straight ones, batwing ones, butterfly ones, and it’s just a really nice way to change the entire outfit especially a suit because it makes it look so different without having to invest in a lot of other things. If you’re uncomfortable or if you do not know how to tie a bow tie, please check out our video.
What are your favorite bow ties? Which ones from the above-mentioned bow ties do you have?