How to Buy a Bow Tie for Your Wedding

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How to Buy a Bow Tie for Your Wedding

Dressing for a wedding is no easy task. Even for men there is more to it than getting fitted for a tuxedo or a suit. All people hope that a wedding is something that they only do once in their lifetime, so a great amount of effort is focused on making it perfect. Selecting the right clothing accessories helps a lot as attention to details is of crucial importance. If you wear a suit on your wedding day, a necktie might be a better choice, but if you have decided on the more formal approach by selecting a tuxedo, a bow tie is unavoidable.

The bow tie looks fairly simple, but there are still a few things that one needs to know to make the right choice. In todays world there are less events that require formal clothing, so not all are well acquainted with the bow tie as a clothing accessory. Before deciding on what bowtie to purchase for your wedding, one should know the basics including the different types, and styles available. The basic principles of understanding bowties can come in handy, especially when shopping online.

Different Styles of Bowties

When it comes to deciding on which style of bowtie to go with, it can seem a bit overwhelming if you are not familiar with the three predominant styles. Those styles include that of the butterfly, the batwing, and the diamond point. First, take a look at the two different styles in more detail so that deciding which to choose becomes much easier.


The butterfly is generally wider and considered to be the most common bowtie with straight ends. In addition it is sometimes referred to as the thistle. The tie itself flares outward, and because of it is narrow center it is considered to be much easier to manipulate in the shape that you desire.

Within the butterfly style of bowtie’s you have the choice between a common butterfly, or that of the modern butterfly. The difference between the two is that the common butterfly is much larger in width than that of the modern butterfly. With the modern butterfly the width is equal to that of 5.5 to 7 cm, while the common butterfly measures in at 7.5 to 9 cms.


The batwing bowtie is not as common as one may think, however it is a favourite of many men, because it ties a much wider knot. If you are familiar with the black bowtie, then you know just what the batwing looks like. The batwing is usually cut straight, but sometimes has a slight wave design to it with a diamond pointed end. It is considered to be a slim, much more modern bowtie.

Diamond Point

The diamond point is not considered to be a new shape in itself, but however is a variation between that of the batwing, and butterfly. Instead of ending with a straight line feature, the diamond point tapers down into a point. This helps to give the bowtie an asymmetrical appearance, and provide a look that mixes it up a bit in accordance to the traditional bowtie.

Features of the Bowtie

When it comes to choosing a bowtie for your wedding, there are a few features that can be helpful in making this decision.

Basic Bowtie Rules

The overall size of the tie might vary, so there are a few rules that apply for choosing a proper one. The basic rule was that the tie must never extend beyond the edges of the collar, but this rule is not that universal as there are many different shirt styles now. The most acceptable rule is that the outer edges of the bow tie should alling somewhere between the width of the face and the outer edges of the eyes. Modern wing collar shirts now have considerably smaller collar region so this rule provides a more accurate estimate.

Size And Model

The size and the model of a tie are in close relation when it comes to a bow tie. The models can be self-tied or pre-tied and sizes are expressed as fixed-size or adjustable.

Fixed Sized

This choice involves careful selection and knowledge of handling a tie of this sort. One of the main advantages of the fixed size models is that they are designed to match the proportions of your head and neck. The length of a fixed size bow tie is expressed in centimetres and matches the length of your shirt's collar. With a fixed size model, the risk of a tie not fitting is minimal. Also, a fixed size tie is made of one material and looks better if the collar doesn’t cover the tie in the back or the sides.


The adjustable models are not that bad either. The difference is that the size of the bow itself is not customised and represents an average size. Adjustable bow ties do come in different sizes, but without a predetermined length, the only way to be sure whether you have the right one is to try it on. The dimensions of the bow are also included in most online stores, but the best way to know which size to choose from is to pre-determine your neck size. The adjustable ties can be turned into fixed-size models with a simple trip to the tailor.


Many people easily reach for the pre-tied models out of fear and lack of experience, but those are considered the clip-on ties of the bow tie world and are deemed only fitting for a child. Tying a bow tie is no big deal and in just a few tries it becomes as easy as tying your shoes. If you still feel uneasy about purchasing a tie that you might not be able to put on by yourself on your wedding day, just keep close to you someone who knows how to do it. The difference in looks is worth the extra effort.

Determining Your Neck Size

In order to make the best informed purchase on which bowtie to choose for your wedding, you want to make sure you have the correct size. Before you begin simply guessing, it is very easy to determine your neck size so that you have the proper sizing to choose from. The first step you want to take is to measure around your neck using a measuring tape, starting at the adams apple. It is important to make sure you do not leave any extra space between the tape and your neck. Be sure to take note of this measured number because this is the size you are looking for. Traditionally most neck sizes range between 35.5 to 48.3 cms.

Size Chart

Once you have determined your neck size, you can now purchase your bowtie accordingly in relation to the tie size chart below.

Bowtie Size






Neck Size "cm"

35.56 - 36.83

38.1 - 39.37

40.64 - 41.91

43.18 - 44.45

45.72 - 46.99


It is much easier to make the correct purchase when you understand your exact size, instead of just making an uninformed guess.

Choosing A Material, Pattern And Colour

By selecting the right model and size, you have only done half the job. Choosing the right material, pattern and colour also has a great influence on how good a bow tie fits. A black tux and a white shirt are a wedding classic, so the general advice given is in that direction.


The most solid advice about material is to try and match the material of the tux. Matching materials make the bow tie blend in better and feel like a part of the tux. Even when in a different colour or pattern, a same material bow tie reflects the light in the same manner as the suit or tux and provide a nice matching look. The bow ties come in many different materials among which the satin tie is considered a classic.


Bow ties come in many patterns that make them look very stylish. You can go for the patternless one colour look that is a classic and gives out the most formal appearance, or you can spice things up with a nice discrete pattern that can still be pretty formal with a little style added to it. A black tux and a white shirt goes well with pretty much all the patterns you can think off, but if your chosen clothing has its own pattern, make sure they match the one on the tie.


Avoid bright colours at all costs when selecting a bow tie. Granted, you won't find many bright coloured bow ties even if you specifically searched for one, but it needs to be said anyway. Bright colours distract attention of the face, which is never a good idea, especially at a wedding. Matching the colours of the tie with your tux or suit is also of great importance. Again, a black tux and a white shirt can be combined with many different colours of bow ties, among which the black tie and deep blue tie are popular choices.

Finding Bow Ties on eBay

Finding bow ties on eBay is very easy. Starting from the homepage, you can easily find them from the ‘Category’ menu under ‘Men’s Accessories’. The selection is pretty vast considering that it is a type of formal clothing accessorie. Some bow ties can be found even under the term ‘cravat’ but the same also appear when searching for bow ties in general.

Managing the results according to your preferences is enabled by the filters. With proper use of the filters results can be narrowed down to a pretty specific subset satisfying all of your need. The style, material, general colour can be defined along with ranges for the length and width. The brand of the bow tie can also be specified, but most fall in the unbranded category.

Another easy method of locating the bow ties offered on eBay is by using the search bar. In this particular situation it might be of interest to directly search for a ‘wedding bow tie’ as some of them are marketed as designed especially for that event. This won’t narrow down your choice by a lot, but it removes any doubt that your choice is not fitting for the occasion.


A wedding is probably one of the most important events one has to attend in his lifetime, so good looks are of key importance. The seriousness of the event often dictates a more formal dress code that requires a bow tie. A good selection implies a tie that matches your clothes and fits in nicely with your facial features. Whether you go to a store or try to find one online there are a few general guidelines that all need to abide to.

The length of the bow tie must match the length of your collar in order to get the best fit. Pre-tied bow ties should be avoided at all costs for weddings and strict formal gatherings in general. The style is entirely your choice but keep in mind that it does affect the width of the bow. The material, pattern and colour are all important when selecting a matching tie. The best strategy involves finding a tie of the same material as your suit or tux. The colour and pattern leave some room for expressing individuality but there are still some definitive does and don’ts. Among the definitive don’ts is choosing a very bright colour. There is plenty ties to choose from when shopping online and eBay has a pretty nice selection. Following all the advice given, you can easily make a choice without worrying whether it is the right one.

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