How to Wear a Bow Tie Casually


Being the owner of a Haberdashery, I have to dress well enough 7 days a week. I’ve never been much of a full suit kind of guy. Something about wearing a full suit just reminds me of being a banker, or a salesperson. Anyways, for me, I have to get creative on how I wear my bow ties. My style has always been a combination of dressed up casual. Think Polo Rugby Label without the polo shirts. Also, I live in Tampa, FL. So the humidity and heat is a real thing to plan for during the summer months.

Wearing a bow tie with shorts

Wearing a Bow Tie with Shorts

  • This is a classic and great look during the summer months. Especially when you live in the south and chinos/slacks/denim is just not an option.
  • You can easily dress up a nice well-tailored pair of shorts, with the proper shoes and a nice dress shirt, maybe with a fun pattern. The key here, is to choose a bow tie that contrasts with your shirt. This means if your shirt has a lot of patterns, pick a bow tie that does not have a pattern and probably a solid color.  
  • You can easily play this look up with a nice blazer at night to take your casual look to a whole new level.
  • When wearing shorts with a bow tie opt for these patterns:
    • Seersucker
    • Madras
    • Gingham
    • Floral
  • These four patterns are classic prints, that will work perfectly for you during the spring/summer months.
  • Remember, if you are wearing a dark shirt, opt for a lighter bow tie. Vice Versa, a light shirt you should always go for a darker bow tie.
  • Pro Tip: Try a nice brown oxford in this situation. It's a great look that will give people a second look at you. In a good way.  

Wearing a Bow Tie with an Untucked Shirt

  • When done correctly this can be a very nice look. The key here is the fit of both your pants, whether they are chinos or denim. Along with the fit of your dress shirt.
  • Baggy pants or an unfitted shirt in any situation will make you look like a bonafide slob. When you try adding a bow tie to the mix...just don't.
  • Your pants need to fit PERFECTLY. There is no room for error here. If they do not, you will just look sloppy. Your dress shirt also needs to be tailored like a dime. Your shirt should sit no more than 4" past your belt. This a key point.
  • Follow these two simple steps and you will surely be looking great in a casual manner. Again. Your bow tie needs to contrast with your dress shirt.

Wearing a Bow Tie with Coordinating Chinos & Blazer

Wearing a Bow Tie with Coordinating Chinos & Blazer

  • Perhaps my favorite look. When I want to be fashionable and comfortable, this is my go to look. To me, this is the easiest look for most men to pull off. This look gets me the most compliments.
  • When attempting to dress in this manor remember a few things. If you go for dark chinos, than opt for a light blazer. Then you can go with a nice printed dress shirt.
  • If you choose a dark blazer, than, you guessed it go for lighter chinos and a darker shirt.
  • How does the bow tie, tie into all of this? Simple. Have fun with this choice. Just remember the rules of contrast.
  • Pro Tip: Role the cuffs of your pants for a great spring/summer look. If you are going to role your cuffs, never-ever wear socks.
  • Pro Tip 2: Add a great fedora to your look, to take things up a notch.

Wearing a Bow Tie with a Short Sleeved Shirt

  • One of my personal favorite ways to wear a bow tie. Simple and unexpected. Ensure your shirt is nicely fitted, nothing too large. This look can be paired nicely with either a well-fitted pair of chinos or even shorts.
  • This look is especially great during those spring/summer months. When it might be a bit too warm to wear a full on oxford. Your bow tie will spruce up your short sleeved shirt in a way that keeps you cool and casual, yet dapper at the same time.

Wearing a Bow Tie with a Denim Jacket & Sneakers

Wearing a Bow Tie with a Denim Jacket & Sneakers

  • The ultimate in casual sophistication, I might just pull this look tonight. The denim jacket always has and always will be a key piece in a man’s wardrobe. There is just something about a guy wearing a denim jacket.  
  • When paired with a nice pair of chinos and a sneaker that is not athletic but more fashion-forward and perhaps a pop of color. You have a winning combination.
  • As for the dress shirt, it can either be long or short sleeved. Thats totally up to you. If you want to roll the arms of the denim jacket, then obvsiously opt for a short sleeved shirt. The key here is to keep you shirt simple. I prefer white in this situation. As it will allow for your denim jacket, sneakers and over course your bow tie to be the main event.
  • Pro Tip: I would have the shirt un-tucked as it gives off a more casual look.

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