Bow Tie with Suit: Your Comprehensive Guide to Formal Fashion

When you put on a bow tie or pair it with something, it has everything to do with the energy you carry. If you are comfortable and confident, you can wear one every day.

The combination of a three-piece suit and bow tie is particularly dapper and somewhat unexpected for semi-formal occasions. Most business casual events welcome dress as you are from the office, which means slacks with a sports coat or blazer and necktie orbow tie.

An individual wearing a bow tie with a suit is not only expressing himself but also making a statement. Understanding the occasion, the suit's cut, the bow tie's style, and the overall aesthetics do not happen by accident.

Traditionally, the attire of a man is the first sign of his character, the first handshake, and the first hello. As your sartorial compass, I will help coordinate the color and pattern, select the appropriate materials, master the style, and avoid common errors when wearing a bow tie with a suit.

Can a Bow Tie Be Worn With a Suit?

Wearing a bow tie with a suit is not only acceptable—it's an expression of style that exudes sophistication with a dash of élan.  Bow ties add the perfect finishing touch to any suit, regardless of the season. It can be worn daily, making every day just a little more special!

Matching a Bow Tie With a Suit

Bow Ties: How To Choose the Right One

Two things should be taken into consideration when selecting your bow tie: the style of your suit and the occasion. For instance, if you are attending a business meeting, keep it conservative with a black or navy bow tie. However, for a more vivacious event, why not sport a festive color or pattern like a polka dot in emerald green?

Ensuring the Correct Balance of Patterns and Colors

In order to keep things in balance, you should choose a solid-color bow tie with your suit if it has pinstripes or sophisticated checkered patterns. Likewise, a patterned bow tie can provide a delightful contrast when your suit is a solid or understated color.

Matching Bow Tie to the Suit’s Lapel Width

Wear a bow tie that matches the width of your suit's lapels for a harmonious appearance. For example, a slim-fitted suit with a narrow lapel should be paired with a slim bow tie. On the other hand, a broad lapel suit should be worn with a wide bow tie.

Styling a Bow Tie With a Suit

Making the Right Choice: Pre-tied vs. Self-tie

There's nothing quite like the gratification of personally tying one's bow tie and appreciating the charmingly imperfect bow that ensues. Self-tie bow ties lend an air of authenticity and give off a certain je ne sais quoi that a pre-tie cannot.

However, if you are panicking at the eleventh hour, a pre-tied bow tie can suffice.

The Positioning of the Bow Tie

Glance in the mirror and adjust as necessary to form the perfect alignment of your bow tie. It should sit right in the middle of the collar and frame the face in a symmetric balance. Positioning is quite important to your overall appearance.

Accessorizing with Pocket Squares and Cufflinks

Adding a little panache to your outfit never hurts if done in good taste. To illustrate, the color or pattern of a pocket square does not have to be an exact match with your bow tie, but it should reside in the same color family. In order to achieve a more modern look, feel free to venture outside the color family, but ensure it complements your overall suit and tie combination.

Cufflinks really add to your look, so wear them appropriately to compliment the allure of the rest of your attire.

Color and Pattern Combinations That Work

Choosing Complementary Colors

A bow tie should complement your ensemble without overpowering it. When choosing a bow tie, think of the aesthetic, not the color. It should enhance the ensemble rather than distract.

For instance, a gold or burgundy bow tie makes a navy suit pop like nobody's business. A nice gray suit is just begging for a cherry red or emerald green bow tie. And for that classic black suit, any strong color will be the perfect punctuation mark.

Mixing and Matching Patterns

Striped suits pair well with polka-dot or paisley bow ties in a similar hue. Solid-colored suits allow for a bit more play. There is something fun about chevrons, plaids, and tartans. It's just a matter of keeping the rest of your outfit simple.

Seasonal Considerations

Adapt your style to the seasons: embrace earthy tones for fall, opt for seersucker suits and pastel bow ties in summer, and don deep, dark velvet suits with silk or velvet bow ties for winter.

Pairing the Materials of a Bow Tie with a Suit

Daytime Occasion Materials

For warmer weather, cotton or linen suits are appropriate, while wool suits are appropriate for cooler weather. Bow ties made of cotton or seersucker blend effortlessly with an airy touch in the daytime.

Evening Soiree Materials

Choosing a bow tie that reflects the weight of the night requires more gravitas. Silk and satin ties can capture the subtleties of evening light without overpowering a wool or velvet suit. When a suit has texture, such as tweed or herringbone, a solid or subtly patterned silk bow tie will keep things in check.

Seasonal Materials

Always be mindful of seasonal dance when planning your ensemble. Your suit and bow tie can both benefit from cotton, seersucker, or linen during those hot summer months. Fall and winter call for heartier materials like wool, cashmere, or flannel suits, and your bow tie should serve as a toasty companion with velvet, wool, or grosgrain materials.

Things To Avoid When Wearing a Bow Tie With a Suit

Over Matching Your Ensemble

Being matchy-matchy is not what we are going for here. While it is important to coordinate your suit, bow tie, and pocket square, going overboard is never a good look. Color coordination is one thing, but identical shades throughout can lack creativity and depth.

Wearing Oversized or Tiny Bow Ties

Never let your bow tie extend beyond the outer edge of your collar or wider than your neck. An oversized or undersized bow tie will appear disproportionate and may appear tacky and out of place.

Ignoring the Dress Code of the Event

Being respectful of the occasion is always in good taste. It’s expected and will be noticed. Henceforth, whether it's a black-tie wedding or a seersucker suit event at the Kentucky Derby, always be sure your tie and suit are right for the occasion.

Best Bow Ties To Wear With a Suit


You can wear this effortlessly elegant butterfly bow tie for any occasion, whether it's a wedding, a special occasion, or the office.

Diamond Point

The diamond point bow tie adds an edgy touch to suits, adding a touch of panache without being ostentatious.


Despite its minimalistic appearance, this slim bow tie maintains the formal elegance of traditional bow ties.

Color and Design

If you are going to a business setting, I suggest sticking with solid colors and subtle patterns; for a social occasion, you can go bolder with your colors and patterns, bearing in mind your suit's color scheme.

What Suits Can You Wear With Bow Ties?

Two-Button Suits

If you are more average in height, a two-button suit creates a well-proportioned silhouette. The ample dress shirt space balances out the bow tie while exuding sophistication.

Double-Breasted Suits

An evening soirée or a Southern ball call for double-breasted suits. Their narrow chest space makes waxed cotton bow ties stand out.


In more formal settings - call for tuxedos or white ties - silk bow ties add an extra touch of glamor to your outfit, ensuring your appearance is dressed to the nines.


For suits of darker shades, black leather shoes are your go-to. For lighter suits, choose brown or burgundy shoes for a gentlemanly approach.

Suiting With a Bow Tie: Other Tips

Exude Confidence in Your Attire

When you choose the style of suit and accompaniments, make sure you feel comfortable in it. No matter how perfectly tailored or tastefully accessorized, if you feel ill at ease or out of place, the outfit will fall short of its grandeur.

Personalize Your Look

It's all about the details. Try out different bow tie knots, or incorporate a personal touch with a custom-designed pin or unique cufflinks.

Ensure That Your Suit Fits Perfectly

An appropriate suit drapes over your shoulders, hugs your chest and draws your eye down to your shoes. Your trousers should hang just a bit over your shoes without bunching at your ankles. Invest in a good tailor if need be.

Dress Proudly

Achieving a polished look with a suit and bow tie need not be a daunting task, especially with these handy tips at your disposal. Allow your Southern charm to radiate through your attire, and always bear in mind that confidence is the most exquisite attire a gentleman can don. Dress elegantly and do so with remarkable assurance; I guarantee you shall be the standout at any gathering!

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