Jul 07, 2014

How to wear bow ties with suspenders (B)

Whenever you put an outfit together, you should always make...

Whenever you put an outfit together, you should always make sure that the overall outfit has presence. An outfit with presence is always a complete outfit: this means that everything is in place and that all the clothes fit just right.

A great way to gain presence is by adding layers or accessories to your outfits. A great combination of accessories is wearing suspenders and a bow tie. There are many ways in which you can wear suspenders with bow ties and the results can really be incredible.  Wearing bow ties with suspenders will frame your body well and result in a creative, open look.

Purple wine linen suspenders

Fantastic products we found on Dana Eckert’s shop

Finding a good pair of suspenders and a nice bow tie should be quite easy. You can even find qualitative products on the Etsy website. For example, Dana Eckert Events is an Etsy shop where you can buy original, hand-made custom pieces and have them shipped anywhere in the world. Dana’s shop features a wide range of products, from ties to bow ties and pocket squares and even some kid’s pieces. We think that owning custom-made pieces is always a great thing and being able to communicate so personally with the creator of your accessories is a bonus.

What we like about Dana’s ties, bow ties and other accessories is that they are highly appropriate for everyday wear of for semi-formal events, as in this guide we want to focus on how to wear bow ties with suspenders and how to incorporate them in your outfits, should you wear them on a daily basis or just at a semi-formal event.


Before we talk about how to wear bow ties and suspenders, we need to establish a few basic rules when it comes to wearing these two pieces. These are not unbreakable rules, but if you follow them, you will be sure that you will be making the right sartorial choices.



Basic bow ties and suspenders rules


When you wear suspenders or braces, you should always make sure that you follow a few rules. Of course, you can create your own rules and we encourage you to do that, but following these rules will guarantee that you will look your best.

Suspenders are quite simple pieces; however, there are a few things you need to look out for before putting a pair on. The most important thing is the size of the suspenders. Like any accessories, suspenders come in different sizes. For best visual results, go for a pair of suspenders that is proportionate to your body size. This way, men who are bigger should put wider suspenders on, while thin guys can go for thinner ones.

Another very important suspenders rule is that you should never wear your suspenders with a belt. They both have the purpose of keeping your pants up, so why would you then want to wear two pieces that serve the same purpose?


Bow ties

Bow ties follow pretty much the same basic rules as suspenders, you need to wear a bow tie that is proportionate to your body size. The best way to go is a medium bow tie, as very big ones are considered casual, and small ones, even though they are more on the casual side, they should be worn only by men who are rather small.

Another thing you need to take into consideration when choosing a bow tie is the shine of the piece. Remember that if a bow tie is shiny, it is formal, while matte bow ties are more casual. Also, black and white bow ties are reserved for special occasions only, so if you want to wear a casual or semi-formal bow tie, you should opt for a more colorful version, or even a piece that features a pattern or a print. Bow ties are amazing ways to add a pop of color to your outfit and to complete your look.

In terms of tying, there are two types of bow ties, as pre-tied or self-tied bow ties. Self-tied are considered to be more personal, more sophisticated and more elegant, but self-tied bow ties do the job just as well.



How to wear bow ties and suspenders

Monochrome schemes


Burgundy bow tie and suspenders

Wearing a bow tie of the same color as your suspenders will result in a polished look, especially if the color is as amazing as this one!


A safe bet when wearing bow ties with suspenders is to have them both in the same color. This way, there will be almost no way to go wrong and to wear mismatched colors.

If you want to get a look that has more dimension and more depth, a good idea would be to wear the same color for both pieces, but in different shades. For example a light shade of purple goes great with a darker shade. This way, it will appear as if the outfit has more depth (this does not mean that you will look oversized). This principle also applies in art, when the painter creates a depth of field by using different shades of the same color.


Dark navy linen suspenders

Mixing two shades of the same color will result in a dynamic look


One thing to check when you are doing a monochrome scheme is the other colors you are wearing. Think of your shirt as the canvas for your painting. To play it safe, you can always wear a shirt in a neutral color, such as beige, brown, white, gray, ivory, tan, khaki, etc. These colors go with anything and therefore you can wear any color with them.

If you want to wear a bright color with your bow tie and suspenders, make sure that the colors go together well. Make sure you check out our guide on coordinating the colors of your clothes for best results.

Of course, you can always opt for monotone achromatic schemes (wearing neutrals), but then we’d recommend that your shirt is the pop of color of the outfit, as it should make the two accessories stand out.


Polychrome schemes

The colors of your suspenders and bow tie don’t need to match, meaning they don’t have to be the same color, but they do need to work well together. You can create a color scheme which follows the rules of the color theory to always make sure that you get good results.

Another “rule” you can follow is to have one of the pieces in a stronger color and the other one is a color that is more toned down. Again, you want the two items to work together as a team, not to clash.

To make sure that you do this right, one of the two accessories can be in a neutral color. Neutral colors are those colors that go with anything. Once again, neutral colors are beige, khaki, ivory, tan, etc.


Bow tie with suspenders

Notice how the same bow tie, once paired with neutral suspenders and once with light blue ones gives a different overall look


Black and white are also neutral colors, but we don’t recommend wearing a black bow tie or a white one unless you are attending an event that requires one. Of course, if you are a boxing referee, than you should wear a black bow tie outside of a formal event, but take it off once you leave the boxing area. White suspenders might look a bit off as well, but black suspenders should look right in any setting.

Wearing colorful bow ties and suspenders in casual settings always makes for a good look, but we are not very big fans of wearing colorful patterns as well. The bow tie – suspenders combination is quite strong in itself, so it does not need very much other support. We do encourage you to wear patterned bow ties or suspenders, but not together.



Suspenders and ties

Even though in this article we focus on bow ties and suspenders, we also need to mention how you can wear suspenders with ties. Suspenders can go very well with ties as well, even though the overall feel of the look changes. A tie worn with suspenders results in a more corporate look, rather than a creative look, so the choice you make when choosing between a tie and a bow tie should be the result of the look you wish to obtain.


Lime linen suspenders

Wearing a tie with suspenders will result in an elongating effect. This is a great idea for guys who wish to appear thinner or taller. The products are available on the Dana Eckert Events shop


Moreover, wearing a tie with suspenders elongates your torso, as the three lines will have a slimming effect. We don’t recommend that you wear a tie and suspenders with vertical lines: it will not make you thinner, but rather like an optical illusion or a zebra.

In another article, we will look at how to wear ties with suspenders to make the best of your look.


Wearing bow ties and suspenders can be a great way to create a powerful and sophisticated, yet elegant and relaxed look. It’s always recommended that, if you are not used to wearing a certain piece, we know many guys are not used to wearing bow ties for example, you should wear it around the house a few days before going to the event where you are planning to wear it. This way, you will get used to it or maybe even realize that it does not represent you.

Comfort is key in fashion and we want you to feel and look your best. Following these guidelines will ensure you that you are going to have a great sartorial experience when wearing a bow tie with suspenders.


Fraquoh and Franchomme





Further reading:

The guide to suspenders

When and how to wear a bow tie


P.S. Do you like wearing bow ties with suspenders? What type of color combination do you opt for? Share your thoughts, comments or questions in the space below and don’t forget to follow us via e-mail or on our social media!


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