Bow Tie vs Tie - What To Wear When and How!

Ties are an important piece of outfit that play a vital role in determing your overall appearance. These accessories, no matter how small they are, speak volumes about your personality. The reason for their prominence in an outfit is that their availability in different colors, materials, and patterns makes them incredibly versatile. However, among the infinite designs and styles available for them, we can divide them into two different types: bow ties and long ties (also called neck ties).

You must be wondering when to wear a bow tie vs tie. We are going to break this down for you, but first, you must understand the difference between a bow tie vs tie.

Bow tie vs long tie

Bow ties and long ties differ greatly in their appearance. Bow ties are tied around the neck in a way that they are shaped like a bow, whereas long ties are long and narrow, and nearly reach the waistband. This difference results in completely different appearances when worn at an occasion.

Now, to answer the utmost important question, “when to wear a bow tie vs tie?”, there are few points to keep in mind for you to decide when to wear or bow tie vs long tie.

When to wear a bow tie?

Consider the following things while dressing up to help decide whether to wear a bow tie vs tie.

  1. Pair bow-ties with tuxedos

Tuxedos are a formal outfit mostly worn on special events like a wedding, galas, black-tie event etc., and the smartest choice is to pair your tuxedo with a bow tie. It is very rare to see a long tie with a tuxedo, and there is only one reason for that---bow ties have a highly-formal appearance. Their formal appearance makes them fit for tuxedos at formal occasions. So, whenever you plan on wearing a classy tux for your event, you do not have to think twice before wearing a bow tie.

  1. To make a statement

Are you heading towards a formal occasion where you thing both bow ties and long ties are acceptable? Are you having a hard time deciding between a bow tie vs long tie? Do not worry, because there is one simple thing that can solve this problem, and that is you! You know yourself better than anyone; your personality, your style, etc. So choose whatever fits your personality best.

If you are a confident man who loves to make a fashion statement by appearing in unique outfits that set you apart, don’t be afraid to wear a bow tie. Wearing a bow tie will let others know that you are not afraid to be unique and confident.

  1. Feather bow ties

 If you don’t want to go through the trouble of learning to tie a bow tie, you can wear a feather bow tie. They have lapel pin-sets attached with them, so you can wear them easily and look striking at fancy events. 

  1. How to wear bow ties casually

Bow ties are always meant to be worn formally. However, with the diverse fashion styles today, men with perky personalities have started wearing them casually too. To wear a bow tie casually, you need to make careful decisions while picking your outfit. Wear tight-fitted pants, such as chinos, paired with a contrasted shirt and a jacket with your favorite bow-tie. Or, wear your bow tie on a short-sleeved fitted shirt with chinos or shorts to nail that summer/spring look.

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This handmade wooden bow tie will keep you looking elegant with your casual attires.


Inspire others with your style with this classy feather bow tie.


Define your style with a pop of color with this amaxing bow tie.

When to wear a long tie?

The following points will help you decide when a tie is a more suitable option for you.

  1. Casual office setting and business occasions

Whether it is an important meeting, a presentation, an important interview with a client, or a celebratory party, never wear a bow tie. Don’t even think about it. Although many intellectuals and famous people have been spotted wearing a bow tie throughout the history, it is still considered unprofessional in many cases. So, it is best to stick with the long tie.

Moreover, you can even wear ties for other casual occasion such as birthday parties, new year celebrations, etc.

  1. To stay in your comfort zone

Remember one those conflicting moments that was mentioned earlier, when you can’t decide when to wear a bow tie vs tie? If you do not think that you can be truly comfortable wearing a bow tie, then put yourself out of misery by wearing a regular long tie. To look formal and classy, you can substitute your bow tie with a solid colored tie, such as black or dark blue.

  1. Pair neck ties with suits

People often get confused between a suit and a tuxedo, and that affects their decisions of selection suitable ties. Firstly, tuxedos are mostly meant for fancy events and are always worn with bow ties. On the other hand, suits are less formal than tuxedos, and can be worn with or without a long tie. So, whenever you wear a suit, a bow tie is out of the question. Always select a long tie with your suit.

  1. Slimming effect

Neck ties provide one benefit that is not available with bow tie: they can have a slimming effect. Due to their narrow and lond shape, they can play a trick on the viewer’s eyes to make you seem a bit slimmer and taller than usual. So, the right length and widht of your long tie will help you create this illusion perfectly.

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You will never regret buying this manly silk neck tie.


This slim neck-tie is a definite addition to your tie collection.


Embrace your unique style with this floral printed neck tie.

Bottom line

This war of bow tie vs tie has been going on for a long time. However, there are only few simple things that you need to remember for making the right decision. Bow ties are usually meant for highly formal and fancy events, and are always paired with tuxedos. On the other hand, ties are worn for work settings, business occasions and celebratory events. Suits are always paired with ties. Now that it’s all clear, you can nail all your looks like a boss!


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