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What do I need to know about the bow tie? The guide to the cross tie

Benno Büchler, 29.03.2023

Nowadays, the bow tie is worn mainly on special occasions.

Whether for formal occasions or as a fashion statement, it's hard to imagine the world of festive menswear without the bow tie.

Originally known as an accessory for the man of the world and dandy, the bow tie has experienced a renaissance in recent years and enjoys great popularity among younger generations.

But which bow tie suits which occasion? How to choose the right color? In general, what do I need to know about the bow tie?

The cross tie, also called the bow tie or colloquially bow tie, is fastened around the collar instead of a tie, tied like a shoelace. The bow tie is mainly worn at blacktie or whitetie events or as a fashion statement by dandies in everyday life. They come in a wide variety of colors and patterns.

In this blog post, you'll learn everything you need to know about bow ties and get valuable tips on how to perfectly complete your outfit with a bow tie.

The History

The history of the fly goes back a long way.

Initially, the bow tie was a long scarf worn by military riders in Croatia. From this long cloth arose among other also the current term of the tie.

Later, the long scarf evolved into a bow at the neck and only at the end of the 19th century the bow then became the bow tie as we know it today.

Although it should correctly be called a loop, we will stick with the commonly used term "bow tie".

The occasion

Blacktie / Whitetie

"Blacktie" events require a formal dress code and a bow tie is an important part of that.

A black bow tie is the traditional choice for such occasions and goes best with a black suit, (respectively, this dress code is talking about a Tuxedo.) and a white shirt.

The even more formal "Whitetie" dress code calls for a white bow tie, which should be worn on a black shirt.

Note that only waiters are allowed to wear a black bow tie at a "whitetie" event.

On these occasions, you can expect to strike up a conversation with veteran gentlemen. Men who can quickly tell if your bow tie is self-tied or if you are wearing a cheap, pre-tied model.

Weddings and other formal occasions

Weddings and other distinguished events offer the opportunity to wear a colored bow tie as a gentlemanly accessory.

A colored bow tie can be a proud statement, but it's most important that you feel comfortable wearing it.

Choose a color that you like and can identify with. It is also important to make sure that the bow tie fits well and is comfortable. Trust your own style and feel comfortable in your skin

For example, your bow tie can also reflect the color of the dress that your companion is wearing. This will give you together a beautiful joint image.

The dandy

Do you know the dandy lifestyle?

The dandy lifestyle requires courage when experimenting with colors and patterns. Flashy colors and eye-catching patterns are quite appropriate in this style. However, it is important that the colors and patterns are in harmony with each other and create a harmonious overall picture.

A bow tie in a bright color or eye-catching pattern can be an eye-catcher and enhance your outfit.

If you want to try the dandy look, I recommend doing it occasions like a nice dinner or a walk by the lake. It's important to feel comfortable zu and enjoy what you wear. Then you can also enjoy the attention gained to the fullest.

The style

Black bow tie

A black bow tie is an absolute must in a gentleman's closet, much like a black suit. It is a safe choice for a formal event.

Timeless and elegant, it gives any outfit a certain dignity.

Colored bow tie

A colored bow tie is a bold move for a gentleman, but chosen correctly, it can elevate the outfit to a new level.

It is important to match the color of the bow tie to the skin tone, so that it looks harmonious. Thereby strong colors like red, blue or purple fit better to a light skin tone and green or brown, rather to darker skin types.

The color of the shirt should also be in harmony with the bow tie. For example, a light blue shirt with a blue bow tie.

 Another good rule of thumb is not to choose identical colors for your bow tie and pocket square. This would otherwise draw the focus away from your face and towards your torso. For example, a blue bow tie with red polkadots would look good with a red pocket square.

The psychology of color

Choosing the right fly color can have a big impact on what emotions are triggered in the people around you.

One way to ensure that the color of your bow tie has the desired effect is to use and understand color psychology. By understanding what emotions certain colors evoke, you can better tune your choice.

Here is a chart of some commonly used fly colors and the emotions they evoke:

RedPassion, energy
BlueCalm, trust
GreenHarmony, peace
YellowJoy, optimism
PurpleCreativity, mysticism

It is important to note that these emotions are subjective and can, of course, be felt differently from person to person.

Ultimately, you should always feel comfortable in the color you wear. Experiment with different colors and find out which one suits you best.


To sum up and conclude, there are many aspects to consider when it comes to choosing the perfect bow tie. The choice of the right bow tie for each occasion and for each person is individual.

It's all about choosing the right bow tie for a certain occasion and personal style, considering the color psychology and combination of colors, and making sure you feel comfortable with the chosen bow tie . Also, make sure that the bow tie you choose goes well with your skin tone and eye color.

Another important element is tying the bow tie yourself, it is a valuable skill that every gentleman should master.

The bow tie is an important accessory that enhances the appearance and self-confidence and emphasizes your elegance.

Source cover image: Pexels | edited post

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