Posted on by Miguel

 Can You Wear a Bow Tie with a Suit

Accentuating your personal style with a neck tie and suit has been a go-to tradition since the olden days. And while a regular necktie does its job quite flawlessly, opting for a bow tie once in a while is surely a wise idea. After all, bow ties are versatile little pieces that can be worn for both formal and casual occasions.

The tricky part, however, is to pair them up accordingly, especially with a suit jacket. If you lose your sense of style and make the bow tie look out of place with a suit, it will be a total fashion disaster. And none of us want that, do we?

So, if you're planning to shift from being a regular tie guy to picking out the ideal bow tie for your formal wear, aka a suit, we're all pumped up to help!


A Bow Tie with Suits: Is It a Good Choice?

A Bow Tie with Suits: Is It a Good Choice?

When to Avoid Wearing a Bow Tie with a Suit

We'll be pretty straightforward on this. Although we're down with the idea of bow ties with a suit, some kinds of suit just don't look good with bow ties, and that's a fact.

When to Avoid Wearing a Bow Tie with a Suit

One-Button Suit

Let's start with the elimination first. When we're taking one-button suits into consideration, the wide and deep V-neckline makes this type of suit unsuitable for a bow tie. There's too much visible shirt space, which moves your sole focus from the bow tie.

However, given that you have no other suit option, you're free to wear a bow tie with it. Just make sure to grab a vest to balance the outfit.

Suits that Complement Bow Ties

Suits that Complement Bow Ties

Wearing a bow tie can surely become "your thing" if worn properly with the right kind of suit. Having said that, here are some suit styles that can effortlessly work hand-in-hand with bow ties and make you stand out in the crowd:

Two-Button Suit

In comparison to one-button single breasted suits, two-button suits are slightly better when worn with bow ties.

For one thing, they have a smaller chest area, so concentrate on the bow tie instead. Two, when wearing a bow tie, you can go casual or formal depending on your needs. Three, it's the best option for shorter men because the visual heightening effect creates a well-balanced proportion. 

Three-Button Suit

Even though this sort of tailored suit screams "out of fashion" for most, we'd still give it a thumbs up to be accessorized with a bow tie. Since the V-line has a much more confined space when it comes to shirt visibility, a three-button suit jacket made it onto our list.

Despite that, we'd only recommend this to comparatively taller men, let's say 6 ft. and up, as shorter men would look quite disproportional with a bow tie and such suits.

Double-Breasted Suit

On to the next one on our list: double-breasted suits are literally the finest choice when going for a bow tie. These suits have the least chest space, giving the columns of buttons the best chance to steal the spotlight. Moreover, perfect for more formal occasions, the wide lapels create a sharp look and give the illusion of a widened chest, which is definitely a plus for suits.

Our only advice, however, is to stay minimal if you wear a bow tie. This is because the suit already works as the center of attention due to its overlapping front closure and multiple buttons.

Three-Piece Suit

Honestly, three-piece suits are the best way to show off your elegance, right after double-breasted ones. The additional vest reduces the ample shirt space and allows your bow tie to pop. Whether solid-colored or patterned, both kinds of bow ties look fantastic with this suit style.

Those of you "Babylon" fans must remember how dashing Diego Calva looked at the premiere of the show in his Gucci green three-piece suit and a classic black bow tie.

Color Coordinating Bow Ties with Suits

Color Coordinating Bow Ties with Suits

Playing around with colors and patterns seems all fun and games until you end up looking like a train wreck, with no sensibility towards styling. To keep up your fashion forward game, here are some suggestions from us to you:

Black Suit

The all-time classic black suit requires utmost dedication to flaunt your aesthetics as a suit guy. Although a black suit or tuxedo appears flawless when paired with black bow ties, as with a black tie, experimenting with colors once in a while is a must.

Black suits can be pulled off perfectly with colored and patterned bow ties, considering their versatility.

Choose a blood-red bow tie—the timeless black and red combination—to look picture-perfect. Other color combinations to go for include midnight blue, baby pink, deep burgundy, and hunter green. For an intense yet polished look, picking out a shining silver bow tie for your black suit or tuxedo is the trick!

As for patterns, some of the safest bets are the traditional checkered, polka-dots, or pin-dots bow ties or the in-trend floral bow ties.

Charcoal Suit

Charcoal-colored suits stand on neutral and conservative grounds. Thus, it requires enough thought in case you decide to wear bow ties with them.

Our best advice would be to avoid bright and funky colors and stick to earthy or dark, bold ones. Walnut brown, cinnamon brown, or even umber will work well as bow tie colors. Additionally, wear a bow tie in burgundy, midnight green, Sacramento green, eggplant, and wine colors to complement your charcoal suit and make you look effortlessly sleek.

Gray Suit

Assuming that you've decided to wear a bow tie with a gray suit, there are lots of options to explore! In spite of being a neutral and conventional color, the gray hue goes with vibrant colors without fault.

Allow your inner bow tie guy to shine and go wild with the colors! Simply pick a light colored dress shirt and combine it with a turquoise, flamingo pink, powder blue, or cobalt blue bow tie.

Shades of purple like indigo, lavender, amethyst, or even Russian violet look superb with gray suits as well. So don't forget to add these to the list!

Navy Suit

Navy suits, after black and charcoal, are a must have! That hint of color without overdoing it lets you stand out in the limelight in a gentlemanly way.

In such cases, bringing out the fashionista in you is pretty simple. Similar to the impeccable white shirt-white tie combination, just alternate it with a white bow tie and you're all set.

Assuming that you want to wear a bow tie in color, soothing colors such as baby blue, sage green can be the ideal choice. If you're planning on an eccentric outfit, hot pink, crimson red, or champagne bow ties will work best.

Patterned ones such as a paisley, stripes, or polka-dot bow tie may be incredible options if you care to look unique in a subtle way.

Bow Tie: Style Them Based on Fabric

Bow Tie: Style Them Based on Fabric

Combining a bow tie with a suit, depending on the fabric, is an essential way to enhance your looks, as you would with a pocket square.

Whatever the type may be, a clip on, a self-tie, or a pre tied bow tie, selecting one in regards to the dress code is mandatory.


If you want to wear a bow tie with a suit to a formal event, grabbing a silk one is a wise idea. Its light sheen will add richness to your outfit, and you'll achieve a sleek look right away. To be fair, they look even more stunning with tuxedos due to the silk lapels.

Wool or Velvet

Opting for a wool or velvet bow tie might sound like a poor decision, but we feel different about this.

While a wool bow tie is a big no for summer days, it can actually have the opposite effect during the fall and winter seasons. Giving off a warm and cozy vibe, it'll look perfectly put-together with a pure wool suit.

Moving on to velvet bow ties, their rich and lustrous finish goes well with almost any suit, except cotton or linen ones (the texture clash is too much to ignore).

Cotton or Linen

This one seems like a no-brainer, actually. Cotton and linen fall under the "casual bow tie" category as expected and should be worn to a casual event or semi-formal occasions.

As they are quite light, pulling them off in a linen or blended suit is easy and straightforward, especially on a hot summer day.

A necktie with a suit versus a bow tie with a suit is quite controversial to most people. We'll leave this one here and let you decide for yourself. Whatever you do, always remember to do it with style and confidence!