Can You Wear a Bow Tie to an Interview?

Bow ties are fashionable and can be a fashion statement. You can wear it on some formal occasions, with a tuxedo and it will look really good. But for a job interview, the answer is no, you can’t.

There are a lot of reasons, and we will look into them now. Whether it is for a lucrative white-collar job interview, a summer job interview, or even a part-time job interview, you can’t wear a bow tie.

It is even one of the things you should never wear to an interview no matter the type of job you want to start.

Why you should not wear a bow tie to an interview

Can You Wear a Bow Tie to an Interview

  • They are unprofessional and very casual
  • They are usually worn for events like parties
  • They are not statement accessories for interviews

To begin with, bow ties are considered by most as unprofessional, inappropriate, and sometimes childish. Many children wear bow ties that’s why bow ties on men are considered somewhat childish.

Bow ties are also worn by clowns and I take it you know what I mean. Especially if yours has spots. You may stand out in a crowd of interviewees (if you are the one that has a bow tie on) but it will appear inappropriate.

You never know if it is against the dress code of your prospective place of work or may not be included.

Aside from that, bow ties are mostly worn to elegant or classy parties and most times with tuxedos. Even on such occasions, they are a bit of a casual classic.

It is a job interview so you should not have a bow tie on. A three-piece is not a tux and a bow tie is still not appropriate.

Now some people might argue that some professions accept bow ties. Okay but that is the profession and job you are going for.

So, does that match the dress code of the organization you want to work for? Is it suitable for your position? Like I said it is just risky to go with a bow tie.

Another reason is you never know who you are going to be speaking to. You see, bow ties are not something you always wear. They are a kind of risk.

Your dressing is a statement about you and you don’t want to get a bad statement. Aside from all the qualifications you might have, it is the next thing they see about you.

They assess that part of you and judge you by it first before they hear anything else. Whoever is interviewing you may not have a thing for bow ties too.

They might see it as plain weird that you turn out different from others.

So what type of tie can I wear to a job interview?

I knew you would ask and I got you. Wearing a tie to a job interview is good if it matches the position you are applying for. By that I mean a nanny will not wear a tie to apply for a job, would she?

So, first, you have to make sure it is appropriate. Note the word appropriately. Check out the work setting and the dress code.

If it is alright then you will have to select a tie. It adds to your overall appearance and helps to build an impression in the mind of the interviewer.

And now to the tie. Regular ties are the best and by a regular tie, I mean an apron necktie.

The apron necktie is very popular. In fact, you may own up to a dozen of this type of necktie but not know its name!

It is pointed at both ends with one end of the tie being longer and wider than the other end. Ring a bell? I thought as much. It can be tied into different knots.

For example the Windsor, the half-Windsor, the Pratt (or Shelby), and four-in-hand knots. They are acceptable in many formal gatherings and are a great choice for a job interview.

Here are some good examples of patterns that apron neckties come in. They are also top ranking in terms of quality and style:

  1. Solid ties
  2. Polka dot ties
  3. Geometric pattern ties
  4. Diagonally striped ties

Solid ties

Versatile yet simple. They come in just one color. They are good for a work setting, business casual, and even a casual outing.

The solid tie will give you a mature, responsible look. The color matters too. Dark colors like navy blue and black are good for an interview.

You can also try lighter colors that won’t pull all the attention to your ties like pale purple, lilac, or pink.

Also, be sure to match the color with your suit or shirt. Don’t forget your skin tone.


Polka dot ties

They are fun if you are not a fan of just a plain solid tie. And they will be perfect if the dots are small and they have just two colors.

For example, a royal blue tie with tiny cream dots is perfect. It is stylish and appropriate.

However, something that has too many bright colors and is more than two colors is too shouty and will give you a bad impression.


Geometric pattern ties

These ties have nothing to do with maths. They are like a motif, a small pattern that is repeated on a particular background or grid. They usually have two colors and they add a bit of excitement to plain suits and shirts.

If you also go with long sleeves and a dinner jacket, a geometric pattern tie is still ideal. They are suitable if they have a dark background and a light design. Nothing shouty.

They should also flow with the rest of your clothes.


Diagonal striped ties

This is a timeless pattern. Can they be worn to a job interview? Um yeah, just a few rules. It is best if the stripes are thin. The colors should not be too bright either.

Deep colors are the best for diagonAl stripes.


No matter the style you choose, just make sure it matches the rest of your clothes and is duly appropriate.

What about skinny ties? I have heard of them. They like the thinner versions of a regular necktie and honestly, they are not recommended.

Just like bow ties, they are a bad idea. Better to scrap it off. Maybe when you get the job you can wear it as you please but not to the interview

When should you wear a bow tie?

  • To classy parties
  • To casual parties
  • To weddings

So we are all clear on the fact that wearing bow ties to an interview is a big no-no. So when should we wear it? You can’t rule them out completely.

Bow ties can be worn to elegant and classy parties. They are best with long sleeves. And a dinner jacket.

Another way to wear bow ties is with short sleeves or a suit with shirt sleeves. You can also try tuxedos. They give you a dandy and fancy look.

You can wear them to weddings too. All fancy occasions are a way to express yourself.

If you are not looking forward to completing a formal wear look at all business events, a bow tie will help you break down the look. The wedding is just like a fancy party where people are joined, right?

If you also have black tie events, you know formal social events, like a dinner party after Oscar awards, it is a good time to show off that bow tie and look good in it. Usually, the tie is black as the name implies.

Casual events are also ideal. I mean why not? It is your style and you love it. Some things like a barbeque between close friends, a date, a shopping spree out of time, a picnic even. Anywhere! It will give you that good fashionable impression around town. Nice huh?

Just a tip. You don’t want to wear a bow tie at funerals. They are so off and inappropriate, and style is not a priority on sad occasions.

Can I wear a bow tie to work?

So, the interview was a breeze and you got the job. Yay! Can you now wear them to work? It is not like they are illegal anywhere.

Okay, you can. The truth is bow ties take a lot of confidence to pull off. Like I said earlier it is a fashion statement.

It will draw a lot of attention to you. Whether you want that statement or not is up to you. If you feel you can pull it off and feel comfortable in it, you can wear it.

In some professions bow ties are okay. You can wear it always and not get into any trouble. Teachers for example are allowed this. Same with doctors. That doesn’t exclude the necktie, it just allows both.

However, make sure that they are not against the dress code of the organization you work in if you are not a teacher or a doctor. A company like chipotle won’t have their cook in a three-piece suit and a bow tie cooking up meals.

Another thing is that it must be suitable. Say you are having an end-of-the-year dinner party at work. There are no dress rules. You are just there to celebrate and enjoy the success of the year. You can wear a bow tie.

If you don’t want the bow tie to be a regular thing you can wear it every once in a while. Like when you want to give a speech or presentation. It is also a quiet way to distinguish yourself.

Can I wear a bow tie with a button-down shirt?

Well, why not? Even if you are wearing a dinner jacket, a tuxedo, or a three-piece suit, there will be an inner and it will be a button-down shirt.

You can wear bow ties with a button-down tie shirt. Other clothes are not suitable and they will only make you look silly. (besides name any other cloth that has a collar that isn’t a button-down shirt or that has a turtleneck. Ha!).

What I am saying is that bow ties can be worn with button-down shirts whether the shirts have long sleeves or shirt sleeves.

Are bow ties still in style?

Yes, they are still in style, and bow ties are making a big comeback.

Quick history. Did you know bow ties have been around since 1920? They were not a big hit but they were used strictly for formal dinners it black tie events.

Over the years it has slowly but gradually taken a place in fashion. And what brought back the bow tie? It is normal for some fashion trends to come back but then they only last for a while.

The bow tie however is here to stay, why? The answer is, aside from its elegance and charm, it’s distinguishing because it is not as common in men’s or women’s fashion as the regular necktie.

A regular tie is everywhere. It is even part of the uniform for some secondary schools. The bow tie however is rarely seen and is so respected. It adds a little something to your outfit and changes your whole look.


And that’s a wrap. Wow, all this talk on bow ties makes me want to buy more with all the fanciest designs I can find. I hope I answered all your questions and that you learned something from all this.

If there are more questions please drop them below. Same with comments. Let us know what you think.

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