There are several dress codes where you can wear a bow tie. Here are some of the most common dress codes where a bow tie may be appropriate.
Black Tie is a formal dress code common at posh events such as gala dinners and weddings. For men, the black-tie dress code includes a dinner jacket, consisting of a black satin lapel coat, black trousers with silk piping along the legs, a white dinner jacket shirt with a stand-up collar and blind fastening are common. With this dinner jacket, you then combine a black bow tie, a pocket square in white and black patent leather shoes.
Women often wear long, elegant evening dresses or formal cocktail dresses during a black-tie event. It is important to respect the dress code and meet the requirements of a classic black-tie outfit.
White Tie is the most formal dress code, mainly at state banquets and formal galas. For men, white tie includes a dress suit with a black pantie jacket with long slips, a white pique waistcoat, a white shirt with stand-up collar, a white bow tie, a white pocket square, black double-breasted trousers, and black patent shoes. Accessories such as cufflinks, white gloves and a top hat are often worn.
Women typically wear long, formal evening dresses with gloves, jewelry, and an elegant hairstyle during a white tie event. White tie requires the highest degree of formal elegance and protocol.
A semi-formal event such as a wedding or business dinner where a dress suit or dinner jacket is not mandatory may have the dress code cocktail. Men typically wear a dark dress suit paired with a white or light blue shirt with a neat coloured bow tie and neat leather shoes.
Women wear a cocktail dress, or a chic pantsuit combined with stylish accessories and heels during a cocktail event. It is always advisable to properly check specific guidelines and expectations of the event to make sure you don't miss the mark.
If you are going to a themed party that mimics a retro style or era, wearing a bow tie can help create the right atmosphere. For example, at a 1920s Gatsby party, a bow tie would go well with a tailored suit.
Keep in mind that the specific dress code may vary depending on the country, culture, and event. It is always best to check the guidelines and expectations specific to the occasion you are dressing for.