Ah, the bowtie.  How such a small little thing can cause so much confusion in so many men.  We’ve said it before and we will say it again: do not be afraid of wearing bowties.  Particularly during the holidays; they are a great way to add a special touch of style to your holiday attire.  By now, the invitations to countless holiday parties should be rolling in, and what better time to start wearing bowties than right now?  We’ve rounded up all the information you need to know about bowties, from the basics to how to style it.  Check out our holiday bowtie guide below.



How to Tie a Bow Tie: the first thing you need to know about wearing a bowtie is, of course, how to tie one.  Don’t let this complicated looking diagram fool you.  Once you get the hang of it, it’s just as easy as tying a regular tie.  If this diagram doesn’t help you, we recommend you watch this video to get a better idea of how it’s done.



Different Bow Tie Styles: Depending on the look you’re going for, there are a number of different styles to choose from.  Make sure you select the right type of bowtie when purchasing, as these styles are all tied in the same way, it’s just the shape of the bowtie itself that is different.  A butterfly bowtie shape is considered the most formal, while a semi-butterfly follows in close second.  The straight-end and pointed styles are more suited for a smart casual look.



The Wing Collar: If you’re attending a truly black tie event, make sure you’ve got yourself a wing collar tuxedo shirt to wear with your black butterfly bowtie.  Finish off your look with a full tuxedo and black patent leather shoes and you’ve got yourself a truly top-notch formal look.



The Standard Collar: If you’re attending an event that is still formal but perhaps not quite so elaborate and maybe a bit more modern, it is perfectly acceptable to wear your bowtie with a standard collar tuxedo shirt.  Just make sure that the spread of your collar is appropriately suited to the shape and style of your bowtie.



White Tie: Of course, the most formal of all event dress codes these days is ‘white tie’.  What is that exactly?  It quite literally requires a white bowtie, worn with a wing collar, a white waistcoat and black tails.  If you’re not sure about the look, tune into an episode of Downton Abbey and examine the attire worn by the men during their dinner scenes to get an idea of how white tie is traditionally worn.




Smart Casual: A bowtie is a great option for a smart casual look during the holidays.  Simply add one to your favourite white shirt, layer a holiday sweater on top and a tweed jacket over that.  Finish it off with comfortable corduroys and a nice pair of cashmere socks and you’re ready for a stylish holiday gathering with friends or family.



Work Function: Wearing a bowtie to a holiday work function is a great idea.  It maintains a professional look, while adding a touch of special holiday style.  Opt for a three-piece suit for a truly stylish holiday party look.



Modern Formal: It’s likely that you’ll get invited to at least one formal black-tie event this holiday season. To stay on dress code without looking too old or stuffy, take a cue from Mr. David Beckham, who pairs his butterfly bowtie with a timeless crisp white shirt and a modern take on a classic tuxedo.