Bow Tie Styles: Knot-So-Basic Guide

Who better emanates Southern sophistication than good old Rhett Butler from 'Gone With the Wind'? I mean, his black bow tie turned his simple suit into a symphony of style.

There's a Southern saying that goes, "You need a bow tie for all seasons and reasons," and this couldn't be more true.

A small but powerful statement piece, the bow tie has donned the necks of politicians, artists, and trendsetters for generations. But what sets these small, symmetrical wonders apart from one another? Join me as we unravel the captivating world of bow tie shapes, where each knot tells a unique story and adds a dash of personality to your attire. Let's dive into:

  • Bow ties of various shapes
  • Suitability for various body types and occasions
  • The best bow tie for every occasion: expert tips
  • A guide to the best bow tie shapes, colors, and patterns

Bow Ties Come in Different Shapes


The Butterflya.k.a. 'The Classic' or 'The Thistle' - this bow tie's classic, drooping elegance represents the original shape. Its large, symmetrical wings are perfect for those wanting a commanding presence. For black tie events such as a formal wedding or a textured linen bow tie in a bold hue for an afternoon soiree.


I would like to introduce you to the Batwing for those seeking something more minimalist and streamlined. Its straight, narrow shape makes it feel unique and minimalistic.

Diamond Point

A pointed end sets this bow tie shape apart. This unusual design starts many conversions by adding a unique twist to the classic tuxedo.

Club Round

A navy Club round bow tie is a nice alternative to the conventional bow tie shape, ideal for casual, less formal occasions. The Club Round exudes a retro allure that is simply irresistible to those who appreciate vintage style in their attire.

The Best Bow Tie Shape for Different Body Types

Butterfly: Wide Face or Broad Shoulders

This iconic silhouette is the immediate mental image conjured when envisioning a bow tie. With its expansive wings and a noticeably larger presence, the Butterfly style excels particularly well on men with broader facial features or wide shoulders, as its generous wings contribute to a harmoniously balanced appearance.

Batwing: Slim or Longer Face

The Batwing bow tie offers a stylish appearance thanks to its straight-end design and slender width. Its compact size elongates your face, creating a contemporary and streamlined look.

Diamond Point: Adds Depth to Softer Facial Features

A Diamond Point bow tie draws the eye upward and outward, emphasizing the face's length. It adds complexity to your style and depth to softer facial features. This style is great for people with soft or square faces.

Club Round: Oval or Round Face

It is not seen often but should be used by those gentlemen with a round or oval face structure. The rounded edges and narrow profile of this frame make your face appear more elongated because it counteracts its roundness.

Different Bow Tie Shapes for Different Occasions

Formal Events: Butterfly or Diamond Point

For formal occasions like weddings or galas, choose classic styles like the butterfly or diamond point bow tie. The butterfly radiates elegance, while the diamond point adds an unexpected flair to your outfit.

Semi-Formal: Batwing or Club Round

The slimmer batwing or club round is spectacular for cocktail gatherings or casual affairs. For example:

  • Batwing bow tie in a mellow shade or soft pattern pairs well with a dress shirt and blazer.
  • The often-overshadowed club round bow tie shows you are not afraid to go the road less traveled. Give it a try!

Casual Gatherings: Pick the Shape that Feels Right

The door is wide open when attending casual events such as a chilled-out backyard barbecue. Let your personality shine with playful patterns and colors. For example:

Tips on Choosing the Right Shape of Bow Tie

Don’t Fear Trial and Error

Bow ties, like accents, need experimentation. Get various shapes - butterfly, batwing, diamond point - to find what suits your jawline or style. For instance, a butterfly bow tie could accentuate your face, while a batwing could complement your modern, sleek looks.

Keep Comfort in Mind

If a bow tie shape feels awkward, it won't be for you as a Southern gentleman. Your comfort will enhance your confidence, resulting in an improved appearance.

Consider Your Overall Look

Bow ties are important, but your entire ensemble needs to be considered as well. A large bow tie may overpower a narrow collar or skinny lapel, so it is important to ensure it complements the rest of your outfit, especially your jacket, lapel, and shirt collar. Conversely, with a wide collar or lapel, a small bow tie might appear disproportionately tiny.

Heed Your Style

The dashing and daring among you may prefer a diamond point bow tie, while the more reserved may prefer a butterfly bow tie.

Best Combinations of Bow Tie Shapes, Materials, Colors, and Patterns

Connection between Your Bow Tie Shape and Shirt Collar

Think about how your bow tie style matches your shirt collar. Butterfly ties complement wide-spread collars, while diamond point ties give a modern touch to forward-point collars.

Material Should Mirror the Occasion and Season

The summer months require lightweight fabrics like linen, cotton, or seersucker for airiness and comfort. But winter dons heavier fabrics like wool and velvet for warmth and style.

Color Match the Setting

Formal or professional settings should be met with solid colors such as navy blue, black, or burgundy. A navy-blue silk bow tie is great for a business meeting.

On the other hand, informal events allow for greater experimentation. Bold colors or crazier patterns are permissible. A coral, linen, butterfly-shaped bow tie can be a delight at a spring garden party.

Pattern Should Complement the Rest of Your Outfit

When wearing a solid shirt and suit, you can rock a patterned bow tie. Wear a plaid diamond point bow tie at a casual event to add fun to the navy suit.

Wrapping Up

The world of bow ties is a diverse and stylish realm where different shapes and styles serve as unique expressions of individuality and sartorial flair. From the classic butterfly to the daring diamond tip, there's a bow tie for every occasion and personality.

As we celebrate the art of dressing well, remember that your chosen shape can make a powerful statement about your style. So, whether you opt for tradition or take a bold leap into the avant-garde, never underestimate the impact of a well-chosen bow tie. It's not just an accessory; it's a conversation starter, a symbol of elegance, and a testament to the enduring charm of timeless fashion. So, go ahead and tie one on, and let your bow tie shape tell your unique story in the fashion world.

Next Steps

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