How to Wear a Bow Tie Casually

How to Wear a Bow Tie Casually

Many gentlemen would consider their bow ties to be a necessary accessory in their wardrobes. Because it catches the eye and makes a statement, it often proves to be a focal point for many ensembles.

Bow ties are therefore mostly associated with formal wear; however, it is certainly acceptable to dress down an outfit and still sport your favorite bow.

As spring quickly approaches and we welcome warmer weather with open arms, clothing choices become lighter, and more opportunities arise to showcase a more casual side to our style.

Below are several ways for any gentleman to wear a bow tie casually, and look his very best:

  • Pair a bow tie with your favorite dark wash jeans
  • Pair a statement bow tie with a button down shirt
  • Pair a bow tie with a lightweight sweater or braces in lieu of a more traditional jacket

How to Wear a Bow Tie with Jeans

Often, the words “casual dress” and “jeans” go hand in hand. Many people believe that jeans will instantly “dress down” an ensemble; however, there are ways to pair your prized jeans with your favorite bow tie.

For a well-kept look with a more casual feel, try pairing a nice pair of dark wash denim with a lightly colored button down, a choice blazer, and your go-to bow tie.

For a more relaxed look, floral bow ties would be worn well with a dark denim, a pale blue button down, and a navy blazer. For a polished look when styling denim with bow ties, avoid jeans with an obvious amount of distress, simply because it will distract from the overall ensemble.

blue bow tie

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Can You Wear a Bow Tie with a Normal Shirt?

Bow ties are often associated with formal ensembles because they are most commonly accompanied with evening wear, such as a tuxedo or a dress suit. With that being said, bow ties can also be worn with a “normal” shirt for occasions that do not require formal dress code, or for everyday wear.

During the spring season, a gentleman is always looking for lighter clothing alternatives that are still sophisticated and stylish. For a casual look, try pairing a statement bow tie, like our Bar Stripes Quad Bow Tie, with a button down and a staple pair of khaki pants.

Another great way to style a bow tie with a regular button down is to select a solid colored bow tie, and pair it with a patterned shirt, such as a floral or a plaid.

bar stripe bow tie


Can I Wear a Bow Tie Without a Jacket?

While jackets often are needed for a more traditional look, there are certainly ways to wear a bow tie without a jacket.

For example, try swapping your jacket for a sweater or a basic cardigan. Both options provide a balance within the outfit, but they are often a more lightweight, or casual alternative to your everyday jacket.

Another easy way to accessorize a look without a jacket is to add suspenders to your ensemble.

Man wearing a bow tie without a jacket

And while it is acceptable to wear certain attire without a jacket, the most important thing to take into consideration when styling an outfit is where you will be wearing it. If the location or the specific event calls for a dressier ensemble, then a jacket is a must. 


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