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Classic Neckwear – The Black Bow Tie: Timeless Elegance and Sophistication

CEO Tinh Phung
The black bow tie has long been the epitome of formal elegance and sophistication. When a gentleman dons a tuxedo, it is the black bow tie that instantly distinguishes his attire from a simple dark...


The black bow tie has long been the epitome of formal elegance and sophistication. When a gentleman dons a tuxedo, it is the black bow tie that instantly distinguishes his attire from a simple dark suit, adding a touch of refined formality. In the golden era of the dinner suit, bow ties came in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, each adding its own unique charm to a gentleman's ensemble.

The Classics: Butterfly & Batwing

The butterfly bow tie is perhaps the most iconic and classic version, followed closely by the large butterfly bow tie and the batwing bow tie. These variations have stood the test of time and continue to be popular choices for formal occasions.

Self-Tied Always Superior to Pre-Tied Bow Ties

While the choice of bow tie model may seem trivial to some, it speaks volumes about a gentleman's sartorial knowledge. Opting for a pre-tied bow tie at a formal function is akin to using training wheels at the Tour de France. A self-tied bow tie adds a unique flair to each man's ensemble and exudes a sense of confidence and sophistication.


Pre-tied bow ties often give themselves away with their stiff and angled appearance, unlike the self-tie bow tie which effortlessly complements the contours of the face. Tying a self-tie bow tie is as simple as tying a shoelace, and the slight asymmetry adds character to the overall look.

Fixed Size & Adjustable Bow Ties: Finding the Right Fit

Adjustable black bow ties have become the norm in recent years due to their convenience and cost-saving benefits. However, nothing beats the elegance and tailored fit of a sized bow tie. Sized bow ties are proportioned to a specific neck size, ensuring a perfect fit and eliminating excess fabric and unsightly clasps. This is especially important for gentlemen who prefer wing collar shirts.

To address the scarcity of properly sized evening black bow ties, Sven Raphael Schneider designed a range of high-quality black bow ties made from the finest Italian silk. These exclusive self-tie bow ties are available in various sizes, providing the perfect fit for every gentleman.

Which bow tie will suit you best? Watch our video to find out

Overview of Classic Bow Tie Styles

The world of bow ties offers a plethora of styles to suit every gentleman's taste. Consider the following factors when choosing the perfect bow tie:

  1. Beard or stubble: Opt for a smaller shape to prevent catching on facial hair and pulling threads.
  2. Size: Avoid oversized bow ties, as they can appear outdated. Similarly, very slim bow ties may give a dated impression.
  3. Classic shape: The 2.75" Butterfly bow tie, popularized in the 1930s, exudes timeless charm and sophistication.
  4. Peaked lapel coordination: Pointed-end bow ties harmonize well with peaked lapel jackets and wing-collar shirts.
  5. Tying process: Understanding the folding technique of the bow tie is crucial for achieving the desired shape and style.

The Single End Bow Tie: A Touch of 1930s Elegance

The single-end bow tie, popularized in the roaring 1930s, is a butterfly-shaped bow tie without pointed ends. This classic style adds a touch of vintage elegance to any formal ensemble.

Determining Your Proper Bow Tie Size

To ensure a handsome and proportionate look, follow these guidelines when choosing the size of your bow tie:

  • The outer edges of the bow should not extend beyond the edges of the collar.
  • The finished bow should fall between the width of the wearer's face and the outer edges of their eyes.
  • Tie width can vary by bow style and current fashion trends . Wider ties work well with higher collars, preventing the bow from appearing insignificant.

For a timeless and debonair look, opt for a bow tie with a height of 2.75 inches.

Classic Black Bow Tie Fabrics: Elegance in Every Detail

Maroon_Barateha_Bow_Tie Maroon barathea bow tie

When it comes to classic black tie attire, the color and material of the bow tie play vital roles.

Color: Black

As the dress code implies, black is the only color suitable for a classic tuxedo. Even if your tuxedo or dinner jacket is made from midnight blue fabric, the lapel facings will always be black. Anything other than black runs the risk of appearing outdated or resembling the attire of a bygone era.

Material: Silk

A quality bow tie will always be crafted from pure silk, just like the lapels of the jacket. In some cases, cotton blends are acceptable for velvet bow ties, as pure silk velvet is no longer produced. The texture of the bow tie should be chosen to complement the lapel facing of the dinner jacket. A silk satin lapel calls for a satin bow tie, while faille or grosgrain facings require a ribbed or textured finish such as barathea or wide rib grosgrain.

For double-breasted dinner jackets or jackets made of velvet, a black velvet bow tie adds a touch of sophistication.

Bow Tie Placement: A Matter of Etiquette and Style

When wearing a bow tie with wing collars, it should be placed in front of the wings. This positioning not only adheres to proper etiquette but also ensures that the collar's wings keep the bow in place.

Tying a Bow Tie: The Art of Elegance


A true gentleman knows how to tie his own bow tie. This essential skill adds a sense of accomplishment and sophistication to one's attire. Learn how to tie a bow tie with our simple, step-by-step video guide.

Bow Ties of a Different Color? Watch Out

Maroon_Barateha_Bow_Tie Maroon barathea bow tie

Though the dress code is called "Black Tie," there are instances where deep jewel tones can be worn. However, caution must be exercised to avoid resembling the wait staff or appearing out of place. For example, a maroon bow tie can be worn with a white dinner jacket, but be mindful of the risk of being mistaken for a member of the staff.

In conclusion, the black bow tie remains an enduring symbol of timeless elegance and sophistication. Whether you choose a classic butterfly, large butterfly, or batwing style, always opt for a self-tied bow tie to showcase your sartorial knowledge. The perfect fit can be achieved with a properly sized bow tie, ensuring a debonair look for every gentleman. Stick to black silk bow ties to maintain the essence of the black tie dress code, and remember to tie your own bow tie for an added touch of elegance.