The options for men's formal wear are not necessarily as diverse as they are for women. However there is a lot to be said beyond a simple suit and tie. Although some men do not take advantage of them, bowties and cravats offer men a completely different look that goes beyond film premieres and weddings. In fact, learning how to tie the bowtie and cravat is a simple and inexpensive way for a man to exponentially increase his wardrobe options and style savvy look.
Whether it is black, blue, patterned, or solid, there is only one way to tie a bowtie. In a way, this makes it a simpler neckwear option as compared to ties and cravats. However, as any seasoned bowtie wearer knows, tying one is as much an art as it is a science. There is a clear process, but the best way to tie a bowtie is with plenty of practice.
- Drape the bowtie around the neck so that one end is hanging about 5 cm below the other.
- Cross the long end over the shorter end and bring it up and under the loop created, allowing it to hang down in front of the shirt.
- Use the shorter (back) end to create a bow using the thumb and forefingers of both hands.
- Take the longer, dangling end and pull it up behind the bow to make another loop.
- Continue to hold the bow firmly with one hand and push the longer end behind it, through the knot just created.
- Pull the ends of the bow with both hands to tighten.
Once wearers are confident in their tying skills, learning when to wear a bowtie is important. A bowtie makes a statement and can easily become a conversation piece at a party. Any time it is appropriate to wear a tie, it is appropriate to wear a bowtie of the same calibre.
Loosely defined as a broad form of neckwear worn with an open collared shirt and the fabric tucked in such a way as to cover the shirt, there are two, distinct types of cravats — the casual and the formal. Though traditionally used as a man's accessory, cravats have seen increasing application in women's wear as well.
How to tie a daytime cravat
The day cravat, also called the casual cravat is less formal and often tucked into an open shirt collar. There are a few different ways to tie a casual cravat that. Choosing one to wear depends on taste, material, occasion, and skill. However, there is a basic strategy that works with most casual cravat options.
- To begin, drape the cravat around the neck and even out the ends.
- Cross one end over the other and loop it up around the area between the neck and the cravat, forming a simply, loose knot.
- Hang the tied end over the other and tuck into the front of an open button-up shirt.
How to tie a formal cravat
The formal cravat, also called a wedding cravat, has a more distinct application to weddings and formal events. Like the daytime cravat, there is some leeway in the different styles one can use for a formal cravat. However, by far, the most popular look is the scrunched knot.
- Hang the cravat around the neck with one end hanging about 15 cm below the other.
- Wrap the longer end across the front end of the shorter one and continue wrapping until a full loop forms.
- Repeat this process to create a double fold at the front of the cravat.
- Begin to pull the long end around once more, but stop to pull it through the loop between the cravat and neck, as with a tie.
- Pull the long end down through all of the loops, again like a tie, until it hangs down the front.
Like the casual cravat, the point of the formal cravat is to tuck the completely tied piece into something, in this case a vest or waistcoat. The folds of the cravat itself should create the desired "scrunched" effect.
How to buy bowties and cravats on eBay
Once you are confident in your bowtie and cravat tying skills, searching on eBay for new pieces with fun patterns and colours is a great way to take your style to the next level. Sellers on eBay provide men with a variety of fashion choices, which are easy to limit according to features such as brand, material, and price. It is also possible to exponentially and inexpensively grow your wardrobe by purchasing lots or bundles of men's formal wear items.