From Rami Malek to Pharrell Williams, the bow tie has graced the necks of many fashion-forward men in recent years. In fact, this underrated fashion accessory has played a huge role in landing many male celebrities on the “Best Dressed List” this year.

It’s not difficult to see why. The bow tie has gone in and out of fashion over the years, and those who wear it well deserve some style accolades for their fashion risk-taking.

The bow tie isn’t reserved for celebrities. With the following tips, you can rock a bow tie as well as any stylish gentleman.

Ease Your Way into Bow Ties

Anyone can pull off a bow tie, but we understand if you’re a bit nervous to start wearing this menswear accessory. To make yourself more comfortable working them into your everyday style, begin wearing them to formal events first.

Bow ties are inherently formal, which makes them much easier to dress up for elegant occasions than it is to dress them down for everyday wear. Start wearing them to weddings, cocktail parties, and other black-tie events to become more accustomed to this stylish accessory.

Keep the Rest of Your Outfit Simple

Bow ties are an excellent way to make a powerful style statement. However, they are considered unconventional and, as such, they should be paired with simple pieces to avoid overwhelming your outfit.

A classic navy or gray blazer is a fashionable, yet understated piece that goes well with a bow tie. Pair one with a gray blazer, cuffed navy chinos, and leather loafers, and you will have an outfit that is effortlessly casual and stylish.

Pocket squares and bow ties work amazingly well together, but be careful not to overload your outfit with too many menswear accessories. Remember, simplicity is the key to styling the bow tie.

fashion male purple bow tie

Contrast Colors and Patterns

Formal bow ties are usually a solid color, whereas informal bow ties offer you the chance to have fun with patterns and colors. However, there are rules that should be followed if you want your bow tie game to be strong.

For the best contrast, choose a shirt that is lighter than your bow tie. Sure, there are some exceptions, but this is a safe rule to follow if you’re a beginner.

Some gentlemen match their pocket squares to their bow ties, but this is generally reserved for formal occasions. For casual events, avoid matching your bow tie and pocket square. Try juxtaposing the two accessories with a complementary color or pattern.

Pay Attention to Scale

If you’re going to be bold and pair a patterned dress shirt with a patterned bow tie, then pay attention to the scale of your patterns. The pattern and pattern size on your bow tie should be different from your dress shirt.

For example, you could wear a classic gingham dress shirt with a bow tie featuring a large, striped pattern. The two patterns are different, but they create enough contrast without overwhelming the outfit.

sharp dressed man bow tie

Change Fabrics for the Seasons

Part of the fun of bow ties is experimenting with different fabrics. The colder months are perfect for wool and flannel bow ties, while madras and seersucker are better for bow ties in the spring and summer.

The same goes for patterns. Save the florals for spring and summer and opt for plaid and gingham during the fall season. Look for colors that bring fall to mind, such as yellow, brown, burgundy, and ivory.

Switch Things Up

People around you will know that you only own one bow tie if you wear the same one each week. Switch things up by expanding your repertoire of bow ties.

While you’re waiting for your bow ties to arrive, you can get more mileage out of your current bow ties by playing around with your style. For instance, you can dress down a bow tie by ditching your suit jacket and wearing a leather jacket instead.


Whether you’re attending a wedding or it’s simply another day at the office, a bow tie is a great way to spruce up your look. Putting on a bow tie shows that you are a confident and classy gentleman who has a keen sense of style. Just follow the tips above, and you can start making a statement with this dapper menswear accessory!