The Bow Style Do's and Don'ts

The Bow Style Do's and Don'ts

What is your reason for wearing a bow tie? Could it be you're wanting to do something different? Did you see someone with one and thought you should give it a try? Was it a photo you saw that piqued your interest? No matter what your reason is... you're now telling the world you're going to be different and you're going to subscribe to your individuality.

To accomplish the most from wearing your bow ties let's consider "The Bow Style" Do's and Don'ts for wearing bow ties.


  • Allow your bow tie to make a statement about you and the confidence you want to exude. 
  • Master the technique of properly tying a bow tie. A badly tied bow tie can destroy the look of a great outfit
  • Contrast your bow tie with your entire outfit. In other words, balance your bold vibrant and bright colors and patterns with more subtle patterns and neutral colors (gray, white, tan & gray).
  • Mix and match patterns by understanding the 3 pattern rule. Jacket can be one pattern, shirt can be second pattern and bow tie can be another pattern. Also, keep in mind patterns need to contrast in pattern size (i,e, polka dot tie and gingham shirt can work as long as there is a noticeable difference in the size of the patterns) Future blogs will go into more detail.
  • Shirts should be lighter than bow tie.
  • Wear self-tied bow ties
  • Be versatile by having at least 9 bow ties every man should have (black, red, green, yellow, striped, paisley, floral, houndstooth and red with micro pattern)


  • Don't take the "just throw something" together approach. Style and fashion is all about planning especially when deciding which bow tie to wear.
  • Don't wear formal bow ties with casual outfits and don't wear casual bow ties with formal outfits. Know the difference.
  • If you're not in elementary school by no means should you be wearing a pre-tied bow tie. Don't think you're fooling anyone, pre-tieds are very easy to spot.
  • Try to make your self-tied bow tie look like a pre-tied bow tie. It shouldn't be perfect and it should be obvious it was manually tied.
  • Ever think they will become outdated. Bow ties have been around since the 17th century. In fact, bow ties have continued to increase in popularity.

These represent my top Do's and Don'ts in wearing bow ties.

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    Wallace Gentry, The Bow Style



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