When it comes to bow-ties, there are just too many choices to deal with. This applies the same to first time buyers and seasoned buyers. The best way to narrow down what you want is to have a familiarity with the product. Below are the types of bow-ties available and how they differ from one another. About the only universally accepted truth with them is that the clip on bow-tie is a last resort option. Everything else? Completely up for grabs.

Bow Tie Styles

Often overlooked and underappreciated, bow tie can be a good alternative to the regular tie. Wearing a wrong tie can swoop in and take over an otherwise excellent suit. A wrong bow tie, however, is a little less controlling to the image represented. It sits there in its own little world, and for some people may be a better solution. If preparing a regular tie is a headache, of course.

Based on the production model of the bow-tie, there are three different styles you can choose from: Clip-on Bow-Tie, Pre-Tied Bow-Tie and the Self-Tied Bow-Tie.

The Clip-On Bow-Ties

The lack of frustration with a clip-on bow-tie is why sales continue to be high for this particular product. No matter the level of the user, these bow-ties are absolutely easy to clip on. And they stay put, even after hours of dancing and mingling. Where they fall short are the available styles and the material. There is also the lack of a personal challenge, but that’s another story. The most important thing to remember about clip-on bow-ties is that they will always come off center or adjust in weird ways. Suits bought directly out of the store without any fittings, are made as a one-size fit to all, similar to bow-ties. So even if it never comes off, adjusting it through the night may become more hassle than it’s worth.

clip-on-bow-tie

The Pre-tied Bow-Ties

Classing it up a little bit from the clip-on is the pre-tied. The fun thing about this type is that it has the same effortless features of the previous type but is better suited to go with all types of suits. That means less adjusting, and better quality all around. Beyond the obvious advantages with industry adoption, pre-tied bow-ties work well as a backup when time is running low. It isn’t uncommon for most suit wearers to have one of these on standby, even with an arsenal of self-tie bow-ties. They are pretty close in quality to the top of the line self-ties, and every now and then surprise customers by keeping up with trends.

pre-tied-bow-tie

The Self-Tie Bow-Ties

And then there is the cream of the crop, the most professional: self-tie bow-tie. They include all of the top brand names, fabrics, colors and even experimental designs. On the downside, there are no magic tricks to getting one of these on. Everyone has a method that works, so there really is no wrong way. Tying shoes has the same amount of difficulty as doing a self-tie bow-tie. This style is the preferred purchase of serious suit wearers, with everything else considered a downgrade.

self-tied-bow-tie

Bow Tie Shapes

So far in modern society, men in suits have been introduced to the butterfly, batwing, big (jumbo) butterfly, diamond point and the slim diamond point. These are the varieties and ways to tie your bow-tie yourself as well. The standard style is of course the butterfly, also known as the thistle shape. Getting the shape right however, isn’t as imperative as the color/pattern. Do your suit a great favor by always coordinating colors/pattern long before worrying about the shape of the bow tie. Nevertheless, it is normal for every person to find one shape more suitable then others.

bow-tie-shapes-and-styles

Complications

Tying a bow tie is a little less efficient than a normal tie for the unskilled user, which is one of its downfalls. A bow tie turns out to be an entirely different beast. Even for men that have perfected putting a tie together in mere seconds. Pretty much like the normal tie, there are a million of ways to show men how to do it. However, only a few are worth using. And unlike regular clip-on ties (which are already considered bad), a good clip-on-bow tie is just not something that it isn’t worth considering. Earn your stripes and learn the process, and it’ll be better for the overall look of the suit.

Take a Pick

It all comes down to taking the shortcut, or doing it the long way. Saying that there is only one type of bow-tie worth buying is a bit presumptuous. Wear what works the best for an outfit and place everything else in the shadows.

Having a choice between a variety of bow ties should be a privilege and not a concern. Consider the pros and cons of each shape and style, and base your decision on a wide range of options of worlds.