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Should You Wear a Bowtie or Necktie?

The interesting thing about the question realised in the heading of this post is that, if you have already settled on everything you are going to wear, you have already essentially decided whether it will be a necktie or bowtie you finish off with. Why? The right neckwear is dependent on the context it’s worn in, so it is determined by things like whether you are wearing a tuxedo or suit, how formal or informal the event is and the style of shirt you are wearing.

Although this sounds incredibly complicated, it doesn’t need to be.

In the following post, we are going to outline some tips and things to remember so that you always choose the right neckwear.

Which Should it Be? – Necktie or Bowtie?

Interestingly, there are only a small number of occasions and situations where you must follow rules about neckwear. Before we discuss those, the best way to choose whether you are going to wear a necktie or bowtie is by considering how casual or formal the event is.

For instance, if you are going to a more formal event, those when you are required to wear a tuxedo or have a black-tie option or black tie dress codes, then a bowtie is best, as it is better to lean on the side of being overdressed than underdressed.

When you are wearing a suit, or know you are going to a more informal and casual occasion, neckties are fine.

Common Situations and the Appropriate Neckwear

Useful clues as to the neckwear you should use are the type of suit you are required to wear if you know it.

You Are Wearing a Pleated Shirt

If you are wearing a pleated shirt, the choice is simple as it is formal. Many pleated shirts are worn with tuxedos and button studs. Neckties in general are casual and would get in the way of the button studs, so it’s not ideal, and you need to wear a bowtie.

You are Wearing a Tuxedo

If you are required to wear a tuxedo, it means the event you are attending is formal and there’s likely already a particular dress code established. If the event is a black-tie one, then you need to opt for a bowtie, not a necktie. However, if there is a bit of leeway, if the event is a creative or optional black tie one, you can wear the one you prefer. Make sure, though, it is a black silk or satin tie.

You Are Wearing a Suit

If you are wearing a suit to an event, then it would normally be recommended that you wear a necktie and not a bowtie. However, if you are looking to stand out, wearing a bowtie will do that.

It can be a little confusing if you are not familiar with the ins and outs and the dos and don’ts of neckwear and different types of events. Hopefully, though, we have helped you to understand a bit more about what you should wear and when.

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