November 2, 2018

10 Tips for Wearing a Bow Tie Like an Aficionado

Published by Brent Kraus

1. Tie Your Own Bow Tie

The golden rule of becoming a bow tie aficionado is to learn/know how to tie your own bow tie.

If you want to be taken seriously with your style this rule is a must. The pre-tied bow tie should only be worn by children and pet dogs, period. As they say, practice makes perfect and if you want to master the bow tie, practice is what it will take. Learning how to tie your own bow tie will garner you the respect of your peers and friends and strangers alike. A bow tie wearing man is a man who is going places. If you do not already know how to tie a bow tie, watch our video.

2. It’s All About Contrast

As with many things. There are general guidelines to follow when it comes to wearing a bow tie. Generally speaking, the bolder the bow tie, the more subdued you want your shirt to be. Likewise, if you are wearing a dress shirt with a bold pattern, opt for a solid color bow tie. A Chambray bow tie is a great option here. Just like denim, a chambray bow tie can really go with any outfit. Remember, if you are going to opt for a pattern on pattern, that is perfectly fine, just ensure the two patterns are different sizes, in the extreme sense.


6 years ago, when I started wearing bow ties, I walked into a local bar wearing one. I felt like the music stopped and every single person in the bar stopped what they were doing and just starred at me for the next 10 mins. — Brent Kraus

3. There is Perfection in Imperfection

Always remember this: A bow tie is NOT a necktie. We understand there are hundreds of ways to tie the perfect knot for your necktie, and each way is exquisite. But perfection is not the language of the bow tie. Less you look like you are wearing a clip-on and as we discussed in rule number 1, nobody has time for that. There is perfection in imperfection when it comes to bow ties. An excellent knot is slightly lopsided and asymmetrical and simply beautiful.

4. Know When Not to Wear a Bow Tie

For the past 6 years, if neckwear was required, my weapon of choice has always been a bow tie. With one exception. Funerals. I view the bow tie as not only the ultimate accessory in formal wear. But also, a token that represents my personality of being fun and carefree. It is in my most humble opinion a funeral is neither the time nor the place for this. 10 out of 10 times I would highly recommend skipping the bow tie and opting for the necktie when it comes to funerals or wakes


5. Know When to Wear a Bow Tie

This depends on your goals and logic. Do you want to be that guy that continuously out dresses everyone else? Do you want to be known as the bow tie guy? Or do you simply want to replace the word necktie with bow tie in your wardrobe? If its a formal event then a bow tie is my go-to 110% of the time. Weddings? Without question a bow tie. What about the office? Be prepared to be a leader and have other office mates follow you. Maybe you can even start a bow tie Friday in the office? We can tell you are headed straight for upper management. On dates? I've done it, and its always worked out well.

6. Know your fabrics

Believe it or not. There are more casual bow ties than others. Take for example your Chambrays, Seersuckers, Gingham or Madras bow ties. These bow ties are perfect for just about any occasion. But fare better for the more casual summer months. With that said. You can dress anything up to match the attire/look you are going for. Traditionally speaking, silks and wools work better for more formal events.

7. Understand Bow Tie Shapes

When it’s all said and done. The shape of your bow tie matters little. Many newcomers get worried that they might be picking the wrong shape. This simply is now true. The shape of your bow tie does not affect the way it is tied either. This is all for your own personal preference. We make three different cuts, as we call them. The 2.5” Butterfly, the 2” Butterfly and finally the 2” Diamond, my personal favorite. I tend to stay away from the 2.5” butterfly as I feel its a bit too large and if tied wrong, can easily make you look like a clown.


8. Know That Lots of Really Cool People Wear Bow Ties, Which Will Make You Awesome By Association

Let’s be honest. We are not wearing bow ties to be like others, or to fit into a preconceived notion of how we are supposed to dress. We are wearing bow ties because we have moxie, a bit of bravado, along with an “I don’t give a f*ck” attitude, I guess you can say a bit of arrogance. But we also must acknowledge where we come from. Who paved the way for us to so freeingly wear bow ties today. Not to worry, we are in great company. Bow tie aficionados include Winston Churchill, Bill Nye, Fred Astaire, Charlie Chaplin, and Steve Jobs.


9. Use Your Bow Tie to Break the Ice

I’m going, to be honest here. It’s the end of 2018. More and more men are becoming comfortable with wearing bow ties. They just are not that uncommon these days. It's hard for a guy wearing a bow tie to stand out if that is your goal. One way to certainly stand out in a crowd is by wearing a bow tie that is an instant conversation starter. Signature ELLA BING Wooden Bow ties are the sure fire way to do exactly that. Each piece is uniquely crafted by hand and are all one of a kind pieces. I’ve been minding my own business in a restroom at the urinal. And have men start convo’s with me about my wooden bow tie. Uncomfortable? Hell yes, but still pretty amazing? Most certainly. Likewise, I have been with a large group of men and have been singled out by women wanting to start a conversation about my wooden bow tie. To say the least, they are an amazing icebreaker.

10. And Finally

Bow ties are just damn cool.

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