When dressing for a formal event, men should wear a suit with a tie. Granted, business casual attire doesn’t necessarily require a tie. It’s perfectly fine to omit this accessory from your outfit in this scenario. For all formal events and occasions, though, a tie is essential accessory that shouldn’t be overlooked. So, should you wear a necktie or bowtie with your suit?
It’s important to note that neither the necktie nor bowtie serves any real function. They are worn strictly for aesthetic purposes, having no affect on the outfit’s function. However, there are some subtle nuances distinguishing bowties from neckties and vise-versa.
Perhaps the greatest difference between bowties and neckties is their formality. Bowties generally offer a higher level of formality, making them ideal for black-tie attire. While still formal, neckties are less formal than their bowtie counterparts. Men can wear neckties for formal events, but they shouldn’t wear them when attempting to achieve a black-tie attire.
Furthermore, tuxedos should only be worn with a bowtie, not a necktie. Also known as a dinner suit, a tuxedo is a style of men’s formal wear that’s characterized by a suit with satin facings on the jacket lapels and buttons. Attempting to wear a necktie with a tuxedo isn’t going to work. Even if your suit jacket has satin facings on the lapels and buttons, it will look like a standard suit and not a tuxedo. Therefore, you should always wear a bowtie with a tuxedo.
Both bowties and neckties are available in countless colors and styles. However, it’s usually easier to choose a bowtie design because of their simplicity. When in doubt, for instance, you can always wear a black bowtie with a black suit. Choosing an attractive necktie, on the other hand, is a little more difficult. If the necktie is too wide, too thin or features an awkward design, it will negatively affect the rest of your outfit.
Tips on Wearing a Tie
As you can see, there are some key differences between bowties and neckties. Bowties are usually reserved for formal events, including black tie attire, whereas neckties are slightly less formal. Regardless of which one you choose, there are a few things you should know when wearing a tie. For starters, choose a color that corresponds with the rest of your outfit. If your tie doesn’t match, it will create an awkward look. Secondly, choose a size that’s relative to your own body size. Whether it’s a bowtie or necktie, size is important when wearing a tie.