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Long Tie Or Bow Tie?

The great tie debate! The quick answer: it’s all about pref­er­ence. There’s real­ly no right or wrong answer. There are pros and cons to each for dif­fer­ent out­fits. Con­sid­er the fol­low­ing when mak­ing your deci­sion:

LONG TIE vs. Bow Tie

Long ties are a clas­sic choice. The size makes for a larg­er area to add more col­or or pat­terns to your wardrobe. Plus, you can use a tie bar to show off your per­son­al­i­ty while being func­tion­al.

Bow ties help to give your look an instant upgrade to ultra-for­mal. They are a great, clas­sic option for tuxe­dos, as they allow you to show off your studs.

groom in gray suit and bow tie

Tie History

One of the biggest ele­ments of for­mal wear is the stark con­trast between dark and light. When wear­ing a bow tie the V ele­ment of the shirt against suit/tux with don­ning a tie is very strik­ing. This V ele­ment cre­ates the look of a thin waist and broad shoul­der. The bow tie is an impor­tant piece in this illu­sion because it draws your eye under the jaw­line and to the face.

Wear­ing a long tie does the oppo­site. It draws your eye ver­ti­cal­ly towards the navel. Long ties are tra­di­tion­al­ly worn with suits only. Think back to lat­er decades, suits and ties were the stan­dards unless you were a blue-col­lar work­er. Dress­ing up required a more ele­vat­ed approach, tuxe­dos and bowties became the stan­dard for for­mal­wear.

Under­stand­ing that for­mal­wear is just that, for­mal, mean­ing to pre­serve a tra­di­tion or form; not rein­vent­ing it. Black tie for­mal­wear is the gold stan­dard for tuxe­dos. Keep in mind you can be unique and car­ry over your per­son­al style with your for­mal­wear choic­es.

groom in blue suit


If you are wear­ing a pleat­ed shirt, you will want to wear a bow tie. Pleat­ed shirts are very for­mal and usu­al­ly require studs. Wear­ing studs, you’ll want to show them off and a long tie will cov­er the shirt studs.

Bow ties are a bit bold­er in a suit. If you are con­sid­er­ing pair­ing a bow tie with a suit, keep in mind you might stand out a lit­tle in a crowd. Ties ulti­mate­ly com­mu­ni­cate a lot of infor­ma­tion about the wear­er, it’s real­ly a reflec­tion of style and per­son­al­i­ty.

The good news? Gen­er­a­tion Tux offers a free home try-on. You can select any style of tie, so if you’re want­i­ng to try some­thing dif­fer­ent, the home try-on is the per­fect oppor­tu­ni­ty to find your right look and try new things.

Pick Your Look Now
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