A Bow Tie, also known as a dickie-bow is essentially a formal accessory commonly worn with a tuxedo/suit for men. The bow tie is typically made out of silk/polyestor/cotton and is symmetrically tied around the collar forming a loop on either side of the knot. When it comes to bow ties, there is the “self-tie” version and the “clip-on.” The clip-on doesn’t require you to tie the bow-tie (which does require knowledge of how to do so – see our how to tie a bow tie article) as opposed to the “self-tie” bow tie.
It is uncertain whether the neck-tie or bow-tie first came into existence. What is known is that they were both inspired by neck-scarves worn by Croatian Missionaries during the Prussian Wars of the 17th Century. The word cravat which the neck-tie was originally known as is inspired by the French word for Croat.
The bow-tie itself is usually designed for a specific neck size. Although there are also one-size-fits-all bow-ties, these cannot be worn with wing tip collared shirts as this type of collar will expose the buckling of the cloth due to the adjusting – not a great sight.
Bow-ties are stereotypically known to be worn by University Professors, Politicians, and Architects, and more so in Europe than in North America. The bow-tie does also have some practical application for certain professions. For example, a pediatrician would benefit from a bow tie since it is not as easily grabbed by his patients
Either way, the bow tie is less commonly worn than the neck-tie and this typically means that it will add a level of uniqueness to your look – i.e. heads will turn so add one to your wardrobe.