Choosing The Best Bow Tie For A Wedding
Bow ties come in many shapes and sizes. When choosing the perfect one for you, it’s important to consider the event and your own proportions – specifically your face. With that in mind, here are the five most common bow tie shapes and fabrics.
Most Common Bow Tie Shapes
From the conservative semi-butterfly to the more relaxed diamond point bow tie, there’s something for every occasion.
1. Big Butterfly
As a general rule, the size of your bow tie should be proportionate to your face. The big butterfly bow tie, or jumbo butterfly, looks similar to the traditional butterfly bow tie, but it’s larger. Because of this, it’s best for men with wider faces and necks or who want to really stand out.
It pairs well with nearly any formal attire, including the classic tux, and is suitable for weddings and other formal get-togethers.
If you’re going for a classic, conservative bow tie type, the semi-butterfly might be the best one for you. In terms of size, it’s narrower around the bow than the big butterfly. It should also be between 2 and 2.5 inches across when measured end-to-end. Since it’s neither too large nor too small, it’s a great choice for nearly anyone.
This look is a little less formal than the more classic big butterfly, as well as a bit more modern. When worn with a pleated tuxedo shirt, it gives the wearer a sleek, sophisticated look.
A straight-end bow tie is a classic option that still manages to look modern and sleek. It has a narrow bow with virtually no curve, thus the name. This type of bow tie gives the wearer a slightly more laid-back look that’s perfect for evening weddings and other formal events. As a result, it pairs well with a more casual dress shirt.
This type of bow tie is less common than the butterfly shapes, so it stands out from the crowd. If you’re a non-traditionalist or have a narrower face, this could be the perfect style for you.
4. Diamond Point
The diamond point bow tie is another classic. It’s perhaps most recognizable as the one James Bond (Sean Connery) wears at the beginning of Dr. No.
This bow tie has pointed ends that give it an elegant, refined look. It works best for men with a big personality or for those with narrower faces.
5. Modified Butterfly
The modified butterfly bow tie is a non-traditional shape that still keeps the traditional look while maintaining intrigue. It’s straight on the top with a regular butterfly shape on the bottom.
This type of bow tie is classic and won’t draw too much attention due to its understated style. Because of this, it’s the perfect complement to any formal attire for any occasion.
Velvet Bow Ties
Velvet bow ties don’t generally pair well with a classic tuxedo or dinner jacket since they tend to clash. However, they go great with a velvet jacket and are a wonderful statement piece. These bow ties also complement satin or grosgrain jackets, as well as those with self-facing lapels.
Self-Tie Bow Ties
Self-tie bow ties are those you tie yourself – and, in nearly every setting, they’re the way to go. Some people opt for clip-on or pre-tied bow ties, but these can really detract from your overall style.
If you don’t know how to tie a bow tie, it’s a good idea to learn how to do it. Once you’ve got the skill down pat, you’ll see a massive difference in the way you look.
Choosing The Right Fabric
Formal bow ties generally come in either satin or grosgrain.
Satin bow ties tend to have a smooth, shiny finish, while grosgrain bow ties have a heavier, ribbed appearance. Both are highly popular and can work well with any formal outfit.
The most important thing to remember when choosing a formal bow tie is that the bow tie fabric should match the lapel fabric. If you have a satin lapel, go with a satin bow tie. If you have a grosgrain lapel, choose a grosgrain bow tie.
With this in mind, there’s a good chance the fabrics will vary slightly. To ensure they match perfectly, you’ll need to get a custom-made bow tie cut from the same fabric as the lapels. Or you’ll need to choose a bow tie that comes from the same brand as your tuxedo.
But what about if you have self-facing lapels or those made from the same fabric as the rest of the jacket? In that case, either a satin or grosgrain bow tie will look just fine.
Ultimately, there are five main types of tuxedo bow ties: big butterfly, semi-butterfly, straight-end, diamond point, and modified butterfly. It’s hard to truly go wrong with any of these options, but there are ways to make sure you look and feel your best.
Whatever else, make sure the bow tie matches your face shape and personality. Along with this, the fabric should match the lapels, except in the case of self-facing lapels. For the most sophisticated look, go with a self-tie bow tie, too. Once you’ve got all of that figured out, you’ll be ready for any wedding or formal event.