Bow Tie Thickness and Length

Bow Tie Thickness and Length

If you have ever dealt with ties, you know that each one is its own beast. Even ones of the same brand and type sometimes behave very differently from each other. Two of the main factors that affect the behavior for me is the fabric thickness and the tie’s length.

I actually prefer ones that are on the thicker side since I seem to get better knots out of them. If they’re rather thin, then they are floppy and don’t stay in place well. Don’t get me wrong, I like all of my bow ties, but it certainly helps if this factor is optimal.

Take for instance these two ties:

Gray Bow Tie with Blue and White Stripes

This tie is rather thin, and that makes it harder to shape it how I like it.  I’m not saying that it wasn’t compliant, but the lack of thickness made it harder to get a substantial enough mass of fabric to get it to hold a desired state easily.  However, I still like this particular piece of neckwear.

Blue Paisley Bow Tie

This one is thicker, and that makes it easier to get the desired bow shape.  It is also easier to maintain its shape.

So, it’s always nice to find a tie that has some heft to it.

Length is another issue.  Most bow ties are adjustable when it comes to width.  Typically there’s either a buckle or hook that one can use to determine the length.  That way, the neckwear is more or less one size fits all.  When it comes to adjusting one’s own, Alton Brown recommends that one doubles their neck width and adds two inches.  I’ve found that it really depends upon the particular tie.  Thus, I really don’t have a standard measurement.

Just as with fabric thickness, length also influences how much of a bow shape one can achieve.  Decreasing the length will allow each blade to flair out more while the knot is smaller.

Regardless of how hard it is to tame a certain beast, keep these two factors in mind when striving for your ideal.