Once you’ve chosen your tuxedo or suit, it’s time to pick your ultimate accessory: the tie. Believe it or not, your choice of neckwear can make or break your look, which is why the decision on whether to wear a bow tie or a necktie isn’t always an easy one. Bow tie vs necktie: what is best for you? Not sure where to start? Here are some questions to help you figure out what will work best for you.
What is the dress code?
The answer to this question could make the decision an easy one. If it is a black-tie event, you are most likely wearing a tuxedo. In that case, stick with a bow tie. If it is a less formal affair (semi-formal, cocktail, etc.), then you can choose between a bow or necktie.
What kind of shirt are you wearing?
Your style of shirt will also help determine the right tie for you. For example, if your shirt has a bib or a wing tip collar, you need to wear a bow tie. If your shirt has a spread collar, you can wear either a bow tie or a necktie.
Are you wearing a cummerbund?
Do you want to stand out?
The majority of men seem to opt for a necktie most of the time, so whether you’re the groom or a guest, a bow tie will definitely help you stand out from the crowd. Keith Phillips of Classic Photographers always recommends bow ties for grooms because it is such an important occasion. “Your wedding day is one of the most special days of your life and that should reflect in your attire,” he says. “You will likely not wear a bow tie for other occasions in your life and your wedding should stand apart.”
What color/pattern are you choosing?
The color scheme will play a big part in the neckwear chosen, especially if the groom is leaning towards a bold pattern. While a necktie can be formal or casual in a variety of different ways, if a bow tie’s pattern stands out too much, it can act as a distraction in wedding photos, explains Dwight Zahringer of Pure Cabo.
Does it fit with your personal style?
If you truly don’t have a preference, then take a close look at your physical attributes when wearing both options, says Alexis Alvarez of Lillian Rose Events. For example, long beards can either cut weird with a bow tie or cover them completely.
Which are you more comfortable in?
This is a special event, so you want to both look and feel your best throughout the entire day. With that in mind, you want to choose the neckwear that you are your most comfortable in.
Can you tie a bow tie?
You always want to dress to impress—especially at a special event. Can you tie a bow tie? If you don’t know how to do it, ask a friend or family member (or even the event planner if there is one) if they can help you out. Still not sure? No problem, Generation Tux offers bow ties that are a step above the classic clip-on. Our bow tie looks like it’s tied around the neck, but goes on in a second with an easy loop at the back of the pre-tied bow tie.
How do I get started?Browse bow ties and neckties