Dressing in a tux is a big decision, whether you're the groom or a guest! Tuxedos are men's formalwear's mecca reserved for the most elegant occasions. We've got the answers to your questions about how to wear a classic necktie with a tux instead of a bow tie!
First of all, a tuxedo is required for any event with 'black-tie' printed on the invitation. When there is no mention of 'black-tie' attire on the invitation, you can wear a suit instead!
Tuxedos and Ties
Wearing a tuxedo raises many questions about the bow tie. While some people prefer this tie style, others would rather skip it altogether. Traditionally, a bow tie was worn with a tuxedo, but the pairing is less clear-cut today. Recently, more and more customers are opting for slim neckties instead of bow ties. For people who want a less traditional look while still maintaining a tuxedo's level of formality, a slim black or ivory/white tie is becoming a more common accessory.
It may feel unnatural to forgo the traditional bow tie, but it complies with the black-tie dress code. In terms of wearing a necktie with a tuxedo, there are no formal rules. You should follow your gut instinct - based on what you are comfortable with and what event you are attending. Don't hesitate to wear a tie if you love the look and feel of it. If the event specifies black-tie, but you're going to be around mostly friends and family (and you want to change it up a bit), don't hesitate to wear one.
When to Not Wear a Tie
There are times when a bow tie is preferred over a necktie when wearing a tuxedo. In the case of wedding parties or groups that require bow ties, not following the dress code would be a major mistake. For consistency (or even as a uniform), groomsmen or members of a group are usually required to dress the same. If you opt for a bow tie instead of a necktie, it will be totally acceptable as a black-tie option.
Additionally, if you are uncertain about the venue's formality, you might want to avoid wearing a tie. You can never go wrong with the classic bow tie when you are uncertain about the guest list and aren't comfortable taking fashion risks. In order to blend in, it's best to wear a bow tie since most guests will be wearing them.
The Best Way to Style a Tie with a Tuxedo
When pairing your tux with a standard tie, you should always think twice. It is best to wear a satin or grosgrain silk necktie with a tuxedo, but not one that is skinny. It is always a good idea to match the tie to the lapels of the tuxedo. Black silk ties are traditionally used, but navy ties look great with navy lapels. Keeping things simple and leaving your loud prints, thin stripes, and colors at home is the best way to go.
The knot of the tie should also be considered in your look if you are truly fashion-forward. In case you don't wear ties frequently, the Windsor or half Windsor knot are the easiest to learn.
You should wear a bow tie if your tuxedo shirt has wing-tip collars, pleats, or studs (or even a cummerbund); otherwise, the tuxedo will appear off-balance. If you want to wear a necktie, opt for a tuxedo shirt with a classic placket, a no-placket shirt, or a shirt with a fly front.
The most important thing is to dress comfortably, appropriately, and in a way that makes you feel good. Like many fashion "rules" over the years, style is in the eye of the beholder. If you follow the dress code, you can wear any type of tie with your tuxedo!
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