How to Rock a Neck Tie or Bow Tie

Neck ties and bow ties are often associated with formal events, but you can still rock them for a casual trip to the mall or a get-together with friends. But first, you need to learn the basics of balance, layering, and tying.

Here are tips on how to rick a neck tie or a bow tie for any occasion.

Bow and neck ties are statement pieces. By keeping this in mind, you will remember that using too many other accessories will make you outfit look disorganized. A statement piece means that it is the focal point by which you decide the theme and the elements that go with it. Wear it like you would a necklace.

A balanced look is the key. Like with any statement piece, the background must be less flashy and more basic. That is why if you pick an extravagant neck tie or bow tie with eye-catching colors or designs, your shirt and trousers must have muted colors and patterns. For example, if you’re wearing a brightly-colored neck or bow tie, wear neutral-colored shirts and trousers to avoid looking like a clown.

Know when you can’t wear it. You can wear a neck tie or bow tie at formal events and at the office, but you can pair it with casual outfits as long as it fits the occasion. For example, if you’re going to spend most of the day under the sun, you will look out of place with your bow tie. General rule of thumb: if you can wear a neck tie for that location or event, then you can also wear a bow tie.

Experiment with different fabrics, colors, and patterns. The type of fabric also determines how casual or formal the look can be. More expensive fabrics such as silk and wool are more suited to formal events like weddings, while cotton or linen can be worn casually. Don’t be afraid to try various bow tie shapes and neck tie colors and patterns. There are also some styles that are already pre-tied which are perfect for casual outfits.

Know how to tie them properly. Keep practicing the different ways to tie knots. Some of the most commonly used styles for the neck tie are the classic knot if you’re wearing a spread collar, four in hand if you want a more informal look, and the simple knot for skinny neck ties.

Take note of the length and width. When purchasing a neck tie, make sure to measure the length. You will know that the length is right for you if the tip of the tie ends just about the beltline, not above or below it. There is also a basic rule when it comes to the width of the neck tie. For casual looks or for shirts with narrow collars, always pick narrow ties. If you have a bulkier body, however, pick wider ties and avoid the skinny ones.