Expression of elegance par excellence, the bow tie is a sartorial accessory that allows any man to stand out for refinement and style. Always matched with formal suits and worn for celebrations and special events, over time has managed to free itself from the most binding rules to become accessible to all and perfect for any occasion. The bow ties branded Graffeo, made with the best fabrics and a totally handmade, are able to meet different ages, needs and styles, offering the wearer versatile accessories and, at the same time, extremely prestigious. Scopri di più >
The bow tie, also known as cravattino, farfallino or butterfly tie, is a male accessory that has always been an antagonist of the classic tie.
Its origins date back to the Thirty Years’ War: Croatian mercenaries, in fact, used to wear a bow of cloth to tie their shirt that, apparently, did not have buttons. This detail did not go unnoticed by King Louis XIV who, being a fashion lover and very attentive to his own style, decided to introduce it as a trendy accessory within the French court. From here, the bow tie spread like wildfire all over Europe; in Italy, in particular, it soon became a symbol belonging to futurists, communists, anarchists and revolutionaries in general.
Subsequently, the bow tie has taken on a prestigious and refined connotation, becoming the highest expression of elegance and luxury, so much as to be matched to the most exclusive dresses, such as the tailcoat and the tuxedo.
The changes in fashion, over time, have made the bow tie a versatile accessory, which can also be worn on suits and informal occasions, involving even younger age groups and eager to look elegant without sacrificing a touch of originality.
Bow Tie: characteristics and types
The bow tie can be made of different materials, such as silk, cotton, wool or satin and have different patterns, patterns and colors just like any tie. Depending on the dress to which it is matched, it can take on different names:
- the black bow tie, to be worn with a tuxedo, is called black tie;
- the white bow tie, to be worn with the tailcoat, is called white tie;
- the black bow tie, to be worn with the ceremonial uniforms of the Carabinieri and the Air Force, is called black silk satin tie with horizontal bow.
The bow tie, in fact, consists of a tie knotted in a small, symmetrical bow that serves to close the collar of the shirt. And it is precisely according to the way of knotting it that it is distinguished in:
- bow tie to be knotted: it is a loose, shaped ribbon that must be knotted after being placed around the neck;
- pre-knotted or pre-assembled bow tie: in collar or brooch version, it has a knot already sewn, so it must be simply applied to the closure of the shirt collar.
Those who love to wear the bow tie and care a lot about the final look tend, of course, to choose the first model, although it is the most difficult to tie and position perfectly. The second version is more suitable for beginners, those who do not have much experience but still want to wear a prestigious accessory.
Depending on the fabric used for the realization, the occasion of reference, the color or pattern presented, the bow tie can belong to different types that, through their characteristics, respond to needs, tastes and styles completely different from each other. Here are the main ones:
Ceremonial Bow Ties
Generally made of silk or satin, ceremonial bow ties are the perfect accessories for all important celebrations. Whether it is a wedding, an inauguration or a gala event, the bow tie proves to be an excellent choice to express professionalism, reliability and unparalleled style.
Available in both pastel and warmer winter colors, as well as patterned, the ceremonial bow tie is the finishing touch to an extremely elegant outfit that reveals the style and taste of the wearer.
Cotton Bow Ties
Perfect for the warmer season, cotton bow ties prove to be viable alternatives to the tie at outdoor and daily events. Chosen in pastel variants, such as lilac, pink, light blue or yellow, the bow tie turns out to be refined and elegant even on undemanding suits, light and suitable for the season.
Thanks to the freshness of the fabric of realization, cotton bow ties allow the wearer to be impeccable despite the heat, without suffering from high temperatures and maintaining a refined and original look.
Wool Bow Ties
As well as ties, wool bow ties lend themselves as must-have accessories of the winter season. Warm, comfortable and enveloping, they give the final detail to even the most sober outfits, giving the wearer an enviable comfort. Wool, in fact, is known for its thermal properties, which maintain body temperature while protecting from the cold outside.
Checked or striped models are the best to wear for an evening by the fireplace and are perfectly matched with heavy jackets and typical winter shades, such as brown, burgundy and bottle green. A touch of liveliness that absolutely cannot be missed.
Satin Bow Tie
The satin bow tie is the ideal accessory for special occasions, during which one has the desire to show off a refined and prestigious detail. Satin, in fact, has always been considered a luxury fabric, intended for the realization of high quality products that, of course, do not go unnoticed.
Perfect for ceremonies and celebrations, satin bow ties give an unmistakable touch: their smooth, soft and shiny surface creates an attractive and seductive play of lines and movements, which makes every formal outfit really chic. In the plain color versions, then, can transform any look into a unique and original style.
Fantasy Bow Tie
For those who have some familiarity with the combination of colors and are not afraid to dare with their look, the bow tie fantasy is the most suitable accessory: original and extrovert, allows the wearer to express their personality through the best contrast.
The main rule of the perfect match is to combine a patterned bow tie with a plain suit and vice versa, but if the goal is to impress and attract attention, indulge becomes the new watchword!
Patchwork Bow Tie
The patchwork technique, born as a poor art, has become over time a sartorial work of prestige: it involves the sewing of different pieces of fabric together, each with different fantasies, in order to achieve an original product based on contrast.
Wearing a patchwork bow tie is synonymous with daring and not being afraid to do so. Perfect accessory for those who have an extravagant and unconventional personality, it adapts to plain clothes with the ability to give them liveliness and movement.
Printed Bow Tie
Among the most appreciated types of bow ties, the printed bow tie is the best alternative to the silk or satin bow tie: elegant, sober and refined, it usually has a lower cost than the other models because it is made of fabrics with machine-made prints. This allows it to be accessible to everyone, even the youngest, who can wear elegant clothes and accessories without too much difficulty.
The geometric patterns, motifs and designs presented are carefully studied, so as to match perfectly with any outfit. Generally, at least one color of the prints should match the color of the dress but, for those who have some experience with combinations, a contrasting bow tie can also work.
Standard Bow Tie
Simple, sober and discreet: the standard bow tie is the ideal accessory for those who do not like to be conspicuous but, at the same time, do not want to give up the utmost elegance. In its version to be knotted and, therefore, classic, the standard bow tie can be combined with both more formal and more casual outfits, depending on tastes and contexts of reference.
In its plain colour version, it lends itself as a detail to show off at ceremonies and special events, while in its patterned version it is more suitable for parties with friends and informal occasions.
Solid Color Bow Tie
As well as the solid color tie, the solid color bow tie is the solution to any doubt or indecision. Choosing a single color accessory, in fact, can help those who will have to wear it to find the right balance between formality, elegance and good taste, since the solid color matches perfectly with both monochrome and patterned clothes.
Even in this case, you just need to follow one rule: on a multicolor dress better a plain bow tie and vice versa. If it is made of silk or satin, it is a detail that should never be missing on special occasions.
Choosing and wearing a bow tie
Wearing a bow tie, nowadays, is no longer linked to binding contexts or looks: it has become a versatile accessory, it can also be combined with casual outfits and shown off in informal occasions. This, however, does not mean that it has completely lost its charm, on the contrary: the rules for wearing it perfectly remain unchanged and choosing the right model is certainly the most essential.
To obtain a harmonious result, not make a bad impression and be able to express themselves at their best without sacrificing elegance and style, here’s how you should proceed:
1. Choose dress and shirt
The suit and shirt should be chosen together and, if you have the opportunity, the bow tie should be contemplated. This is because it is an accessory that will be placed right on the collar of the shirt, so the two are closely related to each other. The advice is to consider a point collar for weddings or exclusive parties, since it would perfectly accommodate a bow tie, as well as a button-down collar for less formal events. The white shirt, then, is perfect to receive any type of bow tie, which can be combined with suspenders or a pocket handkerchief.
2. Choose shape and style of bow tie
Second, you have to choose the model of bow tie between pre-knotted, to be knotted or with clip. As already mentioned, the real elegance draws the second but, considering that it takes a long time to be presentable, for the less experienced better to opt for the first or third model. The shape, then, depends a lot on the event you have to attend: butterfly bow ties are good for any occasion, while pointed or batwing ones are more suitable for informal occasions and bold looks.
3. Choose fabric and texture
The fabric used to make the bow tie depends on both the season and the outfit: a wool accessory, in fact, will be suitable for the colder months, while cotton will be perfect for spring and summer. Next, we must take into account the texture, which must blend perfectly with the rest of the garments: combining different textures, in fact, makes the outfit lose elegance. Better to combine wool on wool, satin on satin and so on.
4. Matching the color of the bow tie
Here is the most delicate moment: the combination of colors. If on a white or black shirt you can range, but always keeping in mind the context of reference, on patterned or colored clothing becomes a bit more complicated: the advice is to choose complementary colors to create the right contrast and to keep a lighter shade of the shirt than the bow tie.
5. Wear patterns carefully
Finally, a tip regarding the choice of patterned bow ties: never overdo it. It is always better to combine shirt and bow tie with patterns of different sizes, in order to create a pleasant and not excessive contrast. For the less experienced, the plain bow tie is definitely more suitable.