How to Choose Your Bow Tie for Evening Wear

In our latest video, Leah is joined by Mickael Korausch, founder of La Bowtique who explains the features to look for when choosing a bow tie for evening wear. They explore bow tie shapes, textures and also the advantage of a self tie bow tie over a pre-tied.



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Today, we're going to discuss how to choose the perfect bow tie for evening wear.

Hi, I'm Leah from Rampley & Co, and joining me today is Mickael, the founder of La Boutique and author of Modern Black Tie. Hi, Mickael.

Hello, Leah.

So, let's dive into the topic of bow ties. Could you enlighten us on the best way to choose one?

Absolutely. The first consideration should be the shape of your face. If you have a rounder face, opt for a slightly squarer bow tie. Conversely, if your face is more on the square side, go for a bow tie with softer curves.

Does the lapel have any relationship to the bow tie?

Indeed, it does. It's important to maintain proportionality between your bow tie and your entire attire. This connection extends to the lapel as well. If your lapel is fuller, go for a slightly larger bow tie. On the other hand, if your lapel is slimmer, choose a slightly smaller bow tie. Similarly, consider your frame size when selecting a bow tie. A larger frame calls for a larger bow tie, while a smaller frame pairs well with a smaller bow tie.

Can you describe the most standard bow tie?

Certainly! The most standard bow tie, once tied, features curved wings. It's a standard size and shape, suitable for most people.

Would it be advisable for someone purchasing their first bow tie to start with this standard option?

Yes, absolutely! If you have an average frame and a standard face shape, the most standard bow tie would be an ideal choice.

In your opinion, Mickael, which fabrics are the most popular to choose from?

Traditionally, there are two fabric choices. The selection depends on the fabric of your dinner jacket's lapel. You can opt for either satin or grosgrain. Satin is a shiny black fabric, while grosgrain has a ribbed texture, offering a more matte look. Match your bow tie to the lapel fabric.

Another celebratory option, which I'm wearing today, is a velvet bow tie. If you choose velvet, stick to dark shades such as deep green, dark purple, or navy blue. When wearing it with an off-white jacket, it creates a better contrast than when paired with black.

Do you recommend matching your pocket square to your bow tie?

I wouldn't advise it. Most of the time, when wearing a black bow tie, it's best to avoid wearing a black pocket square. The idea behind wearing a white pocket square with black tie is to create contrast and add a touch of lightness to the outfit. Instead of a sea of black fabric, a subtle contrast can make a significant impact.

Would you ever consider adding colours?

In specific situations, you could introduce colours. For example, if you decide to wear a red boutonnière with your black tie attire, it's a traditional look. In this case, you can have a pocket square with hints of white, red, and black to complement the red accent. However, I generally recommend avoiding introducing colours that aren't relevant to the overall outfit.

As for patterned bow ties, it's best to steer clear of them. When it comes to black tie, it's all about maintaining a classic and timeless appearance. Stick to matching your bow tie to your lapel, choosing either satin or grosgrain. If you want to add a touch of uniqueness, consider a velvet bow tie or one with subtle texture, but make sure to keep the same colour as your lapel. If you do opt for a pattern, ensure it is extremely subtle, almost invisible.

A self-tie bow tie, or one that you need to tie yourself, always provides more volume than a pre-tied bow tie. Pre-tied bow ties are essentially a flat rectangle of fabric with minimal life. In contrast, a self-tie bow tie has two loops at the back and two ends, creating more volume and elegance. It's a superior choice compared to something that appears flat.

Thanks for watching, and we'll see you next time.