White tie attire is the most formal dress code that exists, and it’s usually reserved for the fanciest of events. Although it’s been around since the 19th century, it isn’t all that popular anymore. If you’re lucky enough to be invited to a white-tie event, you’ll need to follow specific guidelines as you plan your outfit. One of the primary features is a white bow tie.
Of course, you can wear a white bow tie even when the dress code doesn’t require one. If you’d like to learn more about wearing and styling white bow ties, keep reading this article. We’ll share all you need to know to make a fantastic fashion statement on every special occasion!
When to Wear a White Bow Tie
As mentioned, white bow ties are most commonly worn at formal events, particularly white tie dress codes. They are very formal, and usually, people only wear them when the dress code requires them to do so. A white-tie event will likely have an enforced dress code, so you will need to make sure you have solid satin or cotton bow tie.
Even still, you may be able to get away with wearing a white bow tie at a formal event unless the dress code calls for a different color. Your white bow tie is likely acceptable at prom, cultural events, or holiday parties. Paired with a crisp white dress shirt and a tuxedo, it makes an impact.
You may also choose white for your wedding bow tie. It’s your wedding, so you make the rules! (Just be sure to check with your future spouse.)
If you style it right, white bow ties might even work at a semi-formal or casual event. However, you’ll have to be very careful about your suit and accessories if you want to pull a white bow tie off.
Tips for Styling Your White Bow Tie
If you want to look confident and stylish in your white bow tie, the following tips can help. Not only will they help you avoid any fashion blunders, but they’ll also give you some ideas for enhancing your overall look.
Understand the Event
If you aren’t sure whether the event you’re attending would allow you to wear a white bow tie, be sure to verify the dress code. You can find this information on the invitation if you received one. If not, you may be able to find out more by contacting the host or coordinator of the event. Ask them specifically if what you plan on wearing is acceptable.
If it’s a formal event, you can probably wear one without any issues unless the host specifies another type of attire, such as black tie. At black tie events, you need to wear a black bow tie, and wearing a white bow tie would be a faux pau. Moreover, some party hosts ask their guests to dress casually, and in these situations, it’s best to avoid a white bow tie. It’s also important to note that bow ties are not appropriate for somber occasions, such as funerals.
Leave the Patterns at Home
White bow ties pack a punch, so there’s really no need for patterns on your bow tie or other elements of your outfit. Wear a solid bow tie, suit, dinner jacket, and dress shirt. We promise it won’t look plain. Rather, steering clear of patterns will keep your outfit looking sharp and prevent the elements from clashing with one another.
Keep It Classic
The best way to style a white bow tie is to stick to a classic monochrome combo. For example, you may choose a black suit and a white dress shirt.
If you don’t want to wear a black suit or tuxedo, you may opt for another solid color, preferably a dark one. Navy blue is a good alternative, but you can also choose a grey suit. Three-piece suits or double-breasted jackets are good choices because they are relatively formal.
Another way to wear your white bow tie is with a white dinner jacket and black pleated suit pants. For extra formal events, you can even wear a patterned white waistcoat under your jacket.
Style with Textures
Instead of adding bold patterns or colors to your look, try mixing in different textures. Some of the white bow ties in our shop have texture to them, such as subtle polka dots or diamonds. Since they aren’t colored, these patterns are hardly noticeable from a distance but add some personal touches to your outfit.
You can also pair a silk bow tie with a velvet dinner jacket, making the contrasting fabrics stand out. Or, if your bow tie is cotton, you can wear a crisp shirt and a silky tuxedo.
Practice Tying Beforehand
If you plan on wearing a self-tie bow tie, it’s a good idea to get the hang of it beforehand. It takes some time and patience to master the bow tie, especially if it’s your first time wearing one. In this case, you should choose a material that’s easy to work with, such as a satin bow tie. Even still, you should spend time practicing as soon as you can so you aren’t stressed as you try to figure it out last minute.
If you don’t know how to tie a bow tie, you can learn with our tutorial. Or, if you’re in a pinch and don’t have time to learn, you can opt for a pre-tied bow tie. These bow ties boast increased accessibility, plus they are less likely to come untied.
Best of all, they aren’t noticeably different than self-tied models. That’s because, unlike clip-on ties, they don’t turn or come off-center while you wear them. No one will really even notice the difference between your pre-tied bow tie and one that you would have tied yourself.
Shop for Premium Silk White Bow Ties with PRIME Neckwear
After reading this guide, you know how to wear and style a white bow tie. PRIME Neckwear specializes in silk neckwear, and we have a wide selection of pre-tied and self-tie bow ties, including several styles in solid white.
Take advantage of our great prices to add other great pieces to your wardrobe. Whether you’ve been eyeballing paisley bow ties or navy blue bow ties, you’ll find them in our shop. We recommend checking out our best sellers and new arrivals for inspiration. Even if you don’t plan on buying them now, save your favorites to your wishlist while you shop!
In addition to silk bow ties and neckties, we also sell a wide variety of accessories to create the perfect polished look. Pick up a pair of cufflinks, a pocket square, or a lapel pin to wear to your formal event!
Before you head to the checkout, sign up for our loyalty program which gives you rewards and coupon codes from our first order!