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How to Choose the Right Bow Tie for Any Occasion



Wearing the right bow tie can elevate your look, but with a myriad of choices out there, how do you select the perfect one for every occasion? We've curated a comprehensive guide to assist you in navigating the world of bow ties. With a range of exquisite designs, OTAA’s Bow Tie Collection is a treasure trove waiting to be explored.

The Cultural Tale of Bow Ties

Each region has uniquely adapted and styled bow ties. From the chic European runways to the lively streets of New Orleans during Mardi Gras, bow ties reflect cultural essence and individuality. While universally loved, bow ties mirror regional nuances. In Asia, for instance, they might be paired with traditional attires, adding a fusion touch. In Western countries, they’re often the choice for upscale events and niche gatherings. 

Understanding Bow Tie Essentials

Choosing the perfect bow tie begins with understanding its core elements:

Design and Shape

Bow ties are available in various shapes - the classic butterfly, the slender batwing, the pointed diamond-tip, and the rounded club. Each offers a unique statement, and understanding these can immensely help in refining your selection.


From luxurious satins, breathable cotton, rugged tweed to plush velvet, the choice of material sets the tone of your outfit. Each material brings a distinct texture and weight, crucial in determining the bow tie's look and feel.

Color and Pattern

While black, navy, or grey are timeless classics, exploring plaids, polka dots, stripes, or even thematic patterns can add a vibrant twist, especially for less formal events.

Understanding Bow Tie Varieties

Before diving into occasion-specific selections, it is important to grasp the plethora of options available in the world of bow ties. First, there is the choice between classic and novelty bow ties. Classic bow ties in solid colors or subtle patterns exude timeless elegance and are perfect for formal occasions. On the other hand, novelty ties with unique themes and vibrant designs showcase personality and zest, making them ideal for more casual or creative settings. Then, there is the choice between self-tie and pre-tied bow ties. For purists, the self-tie bow ties offer authenticity and the satisfaction of tying the bow oneself. However, for those prioritizing convenience, pre-tied options are a boon as they come ready to wear. Lastly, size matters when selecting a bow tie. Should one opt for standard, narrow, or wide? Your choice should harmonize with your face structure, collar type, and personal preference to ensure a balanced and cohesive look.

Matching Bow Ties with Occasions

Selecting the appropriate bow tie for an occasion is essential for making the right impression. For formal events like weddings, gala dinners, or opera nights, sticking to classic designs in subdued or monochrome shades is wise. These events often have a strict dress code, and while you can play with textures, it's best to keep colors muted. A satin bow tie from the Bow Tie Collection is often a preferred choice. For business or corporate events, it is important to strike a balance of subtlety and style.


While it's essential to adhere to conservative norms, introducing slight patterns or offbeat colors can make you stand out. However, ensure the design isn't too flashy, as the goal is to look polished and professional. In contrast, casual events are where your bow tie can truly shine. Opt for playful patterns, vibrant colors, and even experiment with materials like cotton or wool. These add a touch of flair without being overly formal. Lastly, themed or festive events are opportunities to showcase your creative side. From novelty patterns to festive motifs, the sky's the limit. Just ensure the bow tie complements the event's theme and doesn't clash with it.

Fabrics: More Than Just Aesthetic

Fabrics play a crucial role in determining the overall look and feel of an outfit. Satin, for example, is perfect for most occasions as it offers a polished look that is both elegant and refined. On the other hand, cotton is ideal for creating a casual, laid-back vibe, making it a great choice for relaxed settings. Velvet, however, is reserved for ultra-formal events where you aim to impress. It adds a touch of luxury and sophistication that is sure to make a statement. So, while the aesthetic appeal of fabrics is certainly important, it is also important to consider the occasion and the message you want to convey with your choice of fabric.

    Enhancing Your Look with Complementary Accessories

    A bow tie alone can be a statement, but pairing it with the right accessories magnifies its impact.

    1. Pocket Squares

    When coordinated well, pocket squares can be the cherry on top of your ensemble. They can mirror your bow tie or introduce a contrasting element.

    2. Tiebars

    A bow tie doesn't require a tie bar, but if you're also sporting a vest or a cardigan, a matching or contrasting tie bar can be an attractive addition.

    3. Cufflinks

    These are the unsung heroes of men's fashion. Ensure they harmonize with your bow tie and other accessories to create a coherent look.

    Sizing and Proportions

    Ensure your bow tie suits your physique and outfit. For instance, a broader bow tie can overwhelm a slender frame or a skinny suit lapel. Conversely, a petite bow tie might look lost on a larger individual or with a wide-lapel suit.


    Choosing the right bow tie is a journey of understanding oneself, the event's demands, and the nuances of fashion. By considering the shape, material, color, and accompanying accessories, you can craft an impeccable look for any occasion. Remember, fashion guidelines are there to assist, not restrict. With the extensive range at OTAA, you’re bound to find the perfect bow tie for every moment.



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