Though bow ties were invented for the functional purpose of holding the collars of men's shirts together in the 17th century, they're synonymous with formalwear. Most famously, bow ties are the finishing touch to a tuxedo which, for most men, is a look reserved for black-tie weddings, be it their own or that of a friend or family member. Of course, certain men routinely don bow ties as a means to showcase their personal style while others attend events and soirees where the formal neck fixture is par for the course. For those who don't veer as formally, it can be tricky to figure out the right kind of bow tie for you.
Whether you're the groom, a groomsman, or a wedding guest, wedding bow ties can go in many directions. If you're the traditional type, a black or white bow tie is undoubtedly your best bet. Shades of grey and navy are rather timeless, too, as are subtle patterns like stripes or polka dots. For the statement maker, a more striking bow tie will be up your alley; whimsical motifs, bolder colors, and luxe textures like velvet or satin all stand out. Then, of course, there's the man with modern taste. A refined and uncomplicated bow-tie with a slimmer cut will suit him best, whether in classic black, a deep jewel tone, or a subtle texture. For the guy whose all about simplifying the process of formalwear, a pre-tied bow tie is unquestionably the way to go.
Whether you have a specific style of bow tie in mind or require a little more inspiration, keep scrolling for our edit of the best wedding bow ties from timeless to bold, with options selected for every budget.
For a Fall Wedding: Calvin Klein Wine Grosgrain Pre-Tied Bow Tie
A colorful bow tie is an excellent option for the groom and groomsman when coordinating with a bridal party. This rich wine hue is an attractive choice in the fall or winter.
For a Formal Wedding: Tom Ford Pre-Tied Silk Bow Tie
A master of formalwear, Tom Ford always delivers dapper accessories and bow ties are no exception. This black style is cut from lustrous satin and will feel extra special for a wedding day.
Most Universal: Saks Fifth Avenue Collection Pre-Tied Grosgrain Silk Bow Tie
Department stores like Saks Fifth Avenue are an excellent one-and-done place to get all of your tuxedo essentials like this pre-tied bow tie. The grosgrain ribbon is a sophisticated choice for those that don't want a shinier fabric like silk.
For a Modern Wedding: Paul Smith Dark Green Pre-Tied Silk Bow Tie
If you're the bold type, a green tuxedo is a fresh and modern look. To complete the look, you'll need a coordinating bow tie, of course.
Most Convenient: Nordstrom Men's Shop Silk Pre-Tied Bow Tie
This black pre-tied bow tie is the epitome of classic, made from pure silk. It's a dapper addition to a black, white, or navy tuxedo.
For a Black-Tie Wedding: Ralph Lauren Purple Label Barathea Bow Tie
Ralph Lauren's Purple label is an elegant go-to for formalwear, and this sleek bow tie is no exception. For a bolder wedding look, we love it with a white tuxedo jacket with black lapels.
Most Luxe: Tom Ford Liquid Velvet Bow Tie
This hunter green bow tie in plush velvet will level-up your formalwear look for a luxe effect.
Most Statement-Making: Charvet Neat Square Silk Bow Tie
Whether you're sticking to neutral tones or planning to don a bright shirt, this patterned bow tie is a statement-making finish. The scattered squares feel unique without entering into flashy territory.
For a Classic Wedding: Bottega Veneta Silk Bow Tie
Minimal and sleek, this Bottega Veneta bow tie is perfect for the classic groom with designer taste. The textured silk and slimmer cut take it in a timeless yet modern direction.
Best Budget: ASOS DESIGN Knitted Bow Tie
For the guy who likes to stand out, this bow tie is ideal. More than colorful in a burgundy shade, it's knitted for an extra special effect.
Most Dapper: The Men's Store at Bloomingdale's Solid Satin Pre-Tied Bow Tie
It doesn't get more timeless than a solid satin bow tie. This pre-tied style comes in black, navy, red, and white.
Most Splurge-Worthy: Emporio Armani Silk Bow Tie
You can't go wrong with this Emporio Armani bow tie for a wedding whether you opt for black, dark blue, silver, or white. The lustrous silk fabric and meticulous design are perfect for a formal wedding look.
For a New Year's Eve Wedding: John Varvatos Star USA Metallic Pre-Tied Classic Silk Bow Tie
With a little razzle and a little dazzle, this metallic bow tie makes a strong statement. Though you can wear it year-round, it's especially well-suited to a holiday or New Year's Eve-timed wedding.
For an English Garden Wedding: J.Crew English Satin Point Bow Tie
Channel an English look with this point bow tie in silk satin. Though it's black, the unique design will set your formal look apart.
Most Sophisticated: Lanvin Pre-Tied Silk Satin-Trimmed Velvet Bow Tie
A plush velvet bow tie is the ultimate in luxe sophistication. If red is your palette, look no further than this pre-tied style by Lanvin.
For a Spring Wedding: Brooks Brothers Butterfly Bow Tie
A grey bow-tie is forever elegant, and this silk style is perfect for spring or summer weddings. Try yours with a dark charcoal tuxedo or as a contrast color with tan or light blue.
Most Daring: Gucci Pre-Tied Silk-Grosgrain Bow Tie
A dicky bow tie in black is a stylish alternative to color and print for statement-making style. Whether you're wearing a tuxedo or dress shirt and jacket, you'll set yourself apart with this grosgrain style.
For a Nautical Wedding: Brooks Brothers Rep Bow Tie
For a dapper wedding look with a dash of prep, this striped bow tie is a classic. We can picture it on a groom, groomsman, or guest at an oceanfront venue.
Is a bow tie appropriate for a wedding?
What are the different types of bow ties?
Is tying a bow tie hard?
While trickier than a necktie, it's not that difficult to learn how to tie a bow tie. There are plenty of video tutorials online and, if you really can't get the hang of it, there are always pre-tied or clip on options.