Armah is a favorite bow tie brand of men's style
resource, Trunk Club.
ties once clung to the extremes of nerd (Pee-wee Herman,
Orville Redenbacher) or hero (James Bond, Winston
Churchill), surfacing in the mainstream only for formal
occasions (weddings, proms, black-tie affairs).
recent years, they’ve been adopted by professionals
and hipsters, proliferating from office to bar scene.
While they are no longer the exceptions to the rules of
cool, they can go awry faster than you can tie one on.
those considering doing so this season, we consulted the
experts for their pointers. Responding below are Adam
Schoenberg and Cory Rosenberg, co-founders and co-CEOs
of hook+ALBERT (hookandalbert.com); Michael Barkin, vice
president of sales at Trunk Club (trunkclub.com); David
Mutter, co-CEO of Beau Ties (BeauTiesLtd.com); Paul
Kelley, a regional manager for Paul Stuart (paulstuart.com);
and Allyson Wicha Lewis, vice president of merchandising
for The Tie Bar (thetiebar.com).
you need a how-to-tie tutorial, Mr Porter offers one of
What width/size of bow tie is best for whom?
If you are wearing a skinny modern suit, the bow should
be on the smaller side. If you are wearing a wide lapel,
the bow can be a bit larger. We recommend matte fabrics:
Wearing a bow makes a statement — the smaller the
statement, the better.
Must the bow be a perfectly symmetrical knot?
Stuart: A slightly askew or unbalanced knot looks more
natural and has a bit more attitude. Also, don’t be
afraid to create a very tight knot as that allows each
of the bows to have deeper dimples, which looks
Is pre-tied or clip-on ever OK?
Club: It’s OK if you are 3 years old or less.
Otherwise, I don’t get it. In the same way that a
to-be-tied bow gives a man an additional dose of appeal,
a clip-on takes that masculinity away. Wearing a
pre-tied bow tie only becomes worse if it’s a brightly
Can a bow tie read casual?
Tie Bar: Chambray bow ties, either solid or printed,
give you that laid-back, cool vibe.
Are bow ties a passing trend or timeless?
Ties: We divide fashion into four basic stages:
loyalist, fad, trend and cultural shift. For most
garments, there is always a small and extremely loyal
group of aficionados that keep the flame burning.
Suddenly, and usually led by students, the style is
adopted and the look becomes a fad. Occasionally, fads
evolve and spread beyond the early adopters and become
trends. On rare occasions a trend spreads so wide and
for so long that a genuine cultural shift occurs. This
is exactly what has happened to bow ties.
Do bow ties need a matching pocket square to complete
No, just be confident with whatever one you pick. Basic
rule: Don’t worry about matching a pocket square with
Should bow ties be reserved for formal wear?
No. If you need or want to wear neckwear, a bow tie is
less fuss, as it does not hang down. It is out of your
reach all day.
What are some of the freshest ways to wear a bow tie
this holiday season?
Tie Bar: To add a bit of luxe to your evening, try a
velvet bow tie or swap out your typical black for a deep
rich navy or oxblood. Another option is a knit bow tie
in your favorite holiday color. The texture of the bow
tie is both unexpected and on-trend.
What has changed since Churchill?
Stuart: Years ago, most bow ties had a shiny silk finish
in basic foulard prints. Now they’ve become more
seasonal. For fall we featured wool/silk blend bows that
have deep tones in a flat finish with more weight and
substance to pair well with flannel suits and cashmere
How shouldn’t one wear a bow tie?
Club: Don’t be the guy who unties his bow tie during
an event and wears it hanging from his neck. That’s a
brutally classless look. Just take it off!