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When it’s time to attend a formal event, it’s always smart to air on the side of caution. In black tie terms, that means a bow tie. Being overdressed is less embarrassing than being under dressed, and an accessory that is appropriate for any formal event is the silk bow tie.
While cotton bow ties are appropriate with collared shirts and work with or without a jacket, a silk bow tie is a better match for a tux. The sheen of a silk bow tie is designed to match the lapels on a tux and give off the same elegant finish.
Silk bow ties are a bit more work to care for compared to cotton bow ties, which can be hand washed. Silk bow ties are typically dry clean only, but since they’re not worn all that often, the extra cost won’t be a weekly addition to the budget.
Whether you’re attending a gala, wedding, graduation, or want to really impress your date, a silk bow tie is sure to deliver. Check out four of our top picks below.
1. Silk Men’s Bowtie Self-Tie Bow Tie by John William
Be ready for any occasion with a Silk Men’s Bowtie Self-Tie Bow Tie by John William. The high-end tie is made from 100% soft woven silk for a shiny and classy result. Using the premium fabric choice for finer tuxedos, the self-tie silk bow tie measures 2.5 inches wide. Designed to fit neck sizes between 14 to 18 inches, this tie is the ideal companion for your next formal event. The John William tie is available in five standard colors, including black, navy, red, burgundy and royal blue.
Pros: John William makes their 100% silk ties from hand for a product that looks and feels high end.
Cons: This is a self-tie bow tie, so users will need to know how to tie a tie if they purchase.
2. Gollate Men’s Silk Paisley Self-Tie Bow Ties
Put a fashionable spin on the classic bow tie with the Gollate Men’s Silk Paisley Self-Tie Bow Ties. The Gollate is available in 18 color options and each tie has a delicate pattern that is fun and still appropriate for formal settings. The self-tie bow tie measures 4.7 inches by 2.3 inches when tied. Each tie comes in a high-quality kraft box that makes the Gollate bow ties ideal for giving as gifts.
Pros: The Gollate has the largest adjustable range on our list and is suitable for users with neck sizes ranging from 14 to 20 inches.
Cons: The Gollate is on the thinner side.
3. BUTTONED DOWN Men’s Classic Silk Pre-Tied Bow Tie
Show your personality with the BUTTONED DOWN Men’s Classic Silk Pre-Tied Bow Tie. The Buttoned Down offers a wide variety of colors and patterns, including stripes, polka dots and paisley. The 100% silk bowtie measures 2.5 inches wide with a 4-inch spread. Like the Gollate, the Buttoned Down is suitable for a wide range of neck sizes and is adjustable between 14.5 inches and 20 inches.
Pros: The Buttoned Down is a pre-tied bow tie which makes it more user-friendly than self-tie bow ties.
Cons: The Buttoned Down bow tie is made with textured silk and does not have the same sheen as other ties that are 100% silk.
4. Barry Wang Bow Tie Set
For a truly polished look to any formal attire, we recommend the Barry Wang Bow Tie Set. The set comes with a matching pre-tied bow tie, pocket square and cufflinks. Made with 1,200 stitches of woven silk for a soft finish, the bow tie measures 2.4 inches wide by 4.7 inches. We like that the set also comes with cufflinks and an 8.6-inch square that can be paired with the bow tie or worn separately.
Pros: Barry Wang offers their bow tie, pocket square and cufflinks set in 24 color options.
Cons: The hook on the bow tie in the Barry Wang set can be difficult to close.