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How to Determine the Correct Size of a Bow Tie


When it comes to accessories, the attention is indeed in the details. An accessory as small as a bow tie can either make or break your outfit. Selecting the correct size of a bow tie is essential to creating a harmonious and stylish look. This article will guide you on how to determine the correct size of a bow tie and will provide tips to complement your outfit and occasion. 

The Importance of the Correct Bow Tie Size

The size of your bow tie affects not only the aesthetics of your outfit but also your overall comfort. A bow tie that is too large or too small can disrupt the balance of your ensemble and draw attention for the wrong reasons. Moreover, an incorrectly sized bow tie can cause discomfort around your neck. Therefore, understanding how to determine the correct size of a bow tie is crucial for both style and comfort.

Factors Influencing the Correct Size of a Bow Tie

Several factors influence the correct size of a bow tie, including your neck size, face shape, and the style of your collar. Considering these factors will help you select a bow tie that complements your features and your outfit.

Your neck size is the most important factor to consider when selecting a bow tie. To measure your neck size, use a measuring tape to measure around the base of your neck, where your collar would naturally sit. Add half an inch to the measurement for comfort. The majority of bow ties are adjustable and will fit neck sizes between 14.5 inches and 18.5 inches. However, if your neck size is outside of this range, you may need to consider a custom-sized bow tie. 

Your face shape also influences the size of your bow tie. As a general rule, the width of your bow tie should not exceed the width of your face at its widest point. If you have a narrow face, consider a slimmer bow tie. Conversely, if you have a wider face, a larger bow tie may be more suitable.

The style of your collar will also affect the size of your bow tie. A standard point collar, which is the most common collar style, works well with most bow tie sizes. However, a spread collar, which has a wider gap between the collar points, may require a larger bow tie to fill the space. Conversely, a narrow or close-set collar may be better suited to a smaller bow tie. 

Types of Bow Ties

Bow ties come in various styles and sizes. Understanding the different types of bow ties will help you select the one that is most suitable for your outfit and occasion.

Classic Bow Tie

The classic bow tie is the most traditional and versatile option. It is characterized by its symmetrical shape and is suitable for both formal and casual occasions. Classic bow ties are typically available in a range of sizes, from small to large, making it easy to find one that complements your features and outfit. Check out the bow tie collection at OTAA for a variety of classic bow ties.

Butterfly Bow Tie

The butterfly bow tie, also known as a thistle bow tie, has flared ends and a larger, more dramatic shape. This style is ideal for formal occasions and is best suited to individuals with a larger neck size or a wider face. If you have a smaller neck size or a narrower face, consider a slim butterfly bow tie for a more proportionate look.

Slim or Skinny Bow Tie

The slim or skinny bow tie is a modern and stylish option. It has a narrower width than the classic bow tie, making it ideal for individuals with a smaller neck size or a narrower face. Slim bow ties work well with slim-fit shirts and narrow collars. Browse the skinny ties collection at OTAA for a selection of slim bow ties.

Diamond Tip Bow Tie

The diamond tip bow tie has pointed ends, giving it a more angular and contemporary appearance. This style works well with a variety of face shapes and collar styles. The diamond tip bow tie is a great option for adding a unique touch to your outfit. 

Tips for Selecting the Correct Size of a Bow Tie

The occasion will influence the size and style of your bow tie. For formal occasions, such as weddings or black-tie events, a classic or butterfly bow tie in a conservative color, such as black or navy, is appropriate. For casual occasions, such as a cocktail party or a date night, a slim or diamond tip bow tie in a more playful color or pattern is suitable.

Your bow tie should complement your outfit rather than dominate it. Consider the colors and patterns in your outfit when selecting your bow tie. If your outfit is mostly solid colors, a patterned bow tie can add a touch of interest. Conversely, if your outfit already includes patterns, a solid color bow tie may be more appropriate.

Your bow tie should be part of a cohesive look. Consider the other accessories you will be wearing, such as a pocket square, cufflinks, or a tie bar. These accessories should complement your bow tie and your outfit as a whole.


Selecting the correct size of a bow tie is essential for creating a stylish and harmonious look. Consider your neck size, face shape, collar style, and the occasion when selecting your bow tie. Remember to complement your outfit and accessories for a cohesive look. With these tips in mind, you will be well on your way to selecting the perfect bow tie for any occasion.




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