Tuxedo Tidings




If you’re getting ready to attend a formal or semi-formal event (a prom, a wedding, an important conference, a business luncheon, etc.), then you may be wondering:

“What’s the difference between a bowtie and a necktie? And when is it appropriate to wear either of them?”

This can be a confusing question. 

Sometimes, you really need to wear a bow tie.

While at other times, it’s definitely more socially acceptable to wear a necktie.

And sometimes, you even have the option to choose one or the other!

So in this post, you’re going to learn the truth about which one to wear during which specific types of occasions. 

1. For Black-Tie Formal Events, Wear A Bow Tie

If the event is black tie or formal (i.e. if the men in attendance are going to be wearing tuxedos), then it’s definitely going to be a social and stylistic requirement for you to wear a bow tie.

Remember, black tie events are called black tie for a reason. 

They signify the highest level of formality and style.

And for an occasion like this, in our culture and society, a bow tie is a must.

2. If You’re Wearing A Suit, A Necktie Will Suffice

If the event is casual enough that either a tuxedo or a suit would be acceptable (such as prom), and/or if the event isn’t formal enough to specifically require a tuxedo, then odds are good that you would be safe wearing a nice suit and a necktie. 

In fact, if you’re going to be wearing a suit at all, a necktie is the default choice. 

It’s rare to wear a bow tie with a suit—unless you’re trying to achieve a particular type of alternative style. 

3. If The Event Is More Casual, A Necktie Is Appropriate

Sometimes, overdressing can be almost as awkward as underdressing.

For example, if you’re going to a business luncheon, odds are good that nobody else is going to be wearing a tuxedo. 

So if you showed up in a tuxedo with a bow tie, you would definitely look out of place.

And this is exactly what you don’t want.

4. If You’re Wearing A Pleated Shirt With Studs, Wear A Bowtie

You’ll probably notice that a lot of tuxedos come with a pleated shirt. 

And that shirt probably has little button studs that form a line running up the center of the shirt, all the way to the collar (these are traditionally black). 

If you wore a necktie, you would cover these studs—and that would defeat their purpose. 

This is a good indication of whether or not the shirt you’ve selected is supposed to be worn with a bow tie or a necktie.

5. You Can Wear Either A Bow Tie Or A Necktie For ‘Black Tie Optional’ Events

Some events are labeled as formal, but are technically classified as ‘black tie optional.’ 

For these types of events, it would be acceptable to wear either a tuxedo or a suit—and either a bow tie or a necktie would be acceptable, as long as it matched appropriately with the rest of your ensemble.

6. What About Wearing A Bow Tie With A Suit?

As a general rule, this isn’t a style option that be appropriate for a black-tie or formal event. 

However, sometimes, for less formal events, you can get away with wearing a bowtie with a suit as a unique or alternative expression of style.

But keep in mind that while this can be acceptable in certain situations, it’s also true that you’ll be less likely to wear a plain black bowtie. 

You’d be more likely to wear a bowtie that is either colorful, or that matches the rest of your ensemble in some other way. (Think of Bill Nye the Science Guy, for example.)

7. Should You Ever Go Without A Tie?

Sometimes, it’s a style in itself to go sans tie. 

Leaving the top button of your shirt and collar unbuttoned can produce a cool and rugged look. 

Sometimes, you can also opt for a turtleneck as opposed to a button-down shirt altogether. 

However, it’s important to understand that this look is really only acceptable on very limited occasions. 

If you show up at a formal black-tie event with no tie, you will look sloppy as opposed to rugged

With that being said, if you show up at a business lunch sans tie, but manage to pull it off well with the rest of your ensemble—it could make you look edgy, and perhaps even a bit more stylish.


Hopefully, this post has helped to clear up some of the confusion surrounding the question of when to wear a bow tie vs. a necktie for special events. 

And just remember—if you need some help getting a tux or suit for your next “tie event”, don’t hesitate to give us a call or come on by.

You can also view some of our available tie styles and colors online for inspiration (and we have many more in stock in our store).

We’d love to help make your next formal occasion a massive success!


Prom is an important formal event for young men in our culture.

Not only is it important because it’s a night spent with friends and fellow students — but also because it serves as an important formal training event for things like date etiquette, formal special occasion protocol, and the process of dressing for success and to impress.

But it’s also a deeply meaningful and symbolic rite of passage. 

For the most part, most young people can plan on attending one formal prom each high school year. 

This makes it an event that most students will only attend a very few times. 

There are going to be other formal events in the future, of course.

But here’s why prom is so important. 

Prom Holds an Important Place in Our Social Culture for Men

Prom serves as a fantastic opportunity for young men to get used to dressing well for formal occasions. 

We live in a day and age where more and more of everything happens online.

And while there are some upsides to this… we also have to remember not to downplay the benefits of learning real-life skills that we’ll take with us as we transition into becoming successful individuals in the real world. 

Attending formal events is something that happens in real life, despite the fact that the Internet plays an evolving crucial role in event planning in so many other contexts.

The Tuxedo, as a Fashion Choice and as an Iconic Symbol of Class, Is Still Important and Relevant

Now, granted, styles do change over time. 

Nowadays, you may see more people making use of suits. You may even see some different, more ‘unconventional’ types of formal wear in use at some proms. 

But here’s the thing that’s crucial for up-and-coming successful men in our world and society to understand:

It’s still in your best interest to learn how to not only order a proper tux and get it fitted, but also how to wear it; and how to present yourself in it. 

And this leads us to the point of this article.

There are simply still a lot of reasons for every young man to consider wearing a tuxedo to prom, even over alternative style choices like a suit and tie. 

Here are a few of the most important ones. 

1. Men Look Amazing in a Tux

Nowadays, in some circles, a tux might seem a little bit old-fashioned. 

But don’t get it twisted. 

The truth of the matter is that even in our society today, the tuxedo is a common staple among prominent and successful leadership-minded men in our communities — and learning how to wear one with grace and dignity is incredibly important. 

2. Prom Is a Memorable Occasion 

You’re going to look back on your prom days with either fondness or regret, depending on how they’ll play out in your memory.

But never forget that the cornerstones of a successful prom evening have remained virtually unchanged, and include: 

  • Looking and feeling great in what you’re wearing 
  • Having fun with the people you care about
  • And partaking of positive memorable experiences while also growing and exploring at the same time 

When you combine these three things together, you’re setting the stage for a truly memorable prom experience that you’ll likely look back on with fondness for the rest of your life. 

And looking great in a classy tuxedo is no small part of that equation. 

3. Wearing a Tuxedo Is an Important Rite of Passage

This really can’t be overstated. 

As a young man in our society, it’s more important than ever to find your way to success and respectability in this world. 

And the tuxedo plays into this on many levels that go deeper than just fashion. 

The process of getting fitted for a tuxedo, making the choices about the colors and the styles, showing up to get it fitted, trying it on, understanding how a proper tux is supposed to fit, and caring for it until the starting time of the event are all extremely important skills that every respectable man in the modern world should master in order to give himself his best chances for success in many different venues in life

And prom is the perfect time to practice these skills in a real-world setting. 

Plus, you’ll look absolutely fantastic while you’re doing it!

So it’s truly a win-win scenario on all fronts. 


Hopefully, this post has helped to nail down some of the most important reasons to consider wearing a tuxedo to your upcoming prom. 

Of course, here at Karl’s Tuxedos, we carry many different classic and traditional tuxedo styles

We even carry some fancy stuff that you may not see every day. 

Please stop by or call us, and let us show you what we have to offer. 

Not sure what you’re looking for? We can also help you with that!

It’s time to make your prom the most memorable event of your high school experience. 

Let us help you make it a blast!


As a man who’s getting ready for his big day, there’s doubtlessly going to be some ‘pressure’ for you to bring some inspiration for the wedding to the table. 

Gentlemen, it’s a tale as old as time. 

You meet a woman. You fall for her. You ask her out. One thing leads to another—and before you know it, you’re down on your knee asking for her hand. 

She says yes. 

You set a date. 

Then, not two months later, she’s asking you all kinds of very pointed questions

She’s asking you things like…

  • What do you think of these flowers?
  • What do you think the theme of the wedding should be?
  • Do you think the bridesmaids should have matching dresses?

And guess what? 

If you’re like most men, you may tend to go blank on some of these questions. 

Hey—guys are simple. 

You love this woman, and you want to marry her! And if you’re being honest, you probably don’t feel like all of the details need to be perfect in order to make your ‘special day’ a dream come true. 

But we’re going to let you in on a little secret. 

She wants you to be excited about planning the wedding too!

Therefore, it’s always in your best interest to jump into the process with some vitality, energy, and gusto. 

This is, after all, the big day the two of you have been looking forward to. 

This is the time to show her that you’re in love with being in love with her

And part of that process means that she’s going to want you to have some awesome, exciting spring wedding ideas of your own to bring to the planning table (even if those ideas eventually get vetoed by the all-powerful bride banhammer). 

So in this post, you’re going to learn 6 original and unique tips of your own, to give you something inspiring to bring to the table when the time comes to show her that you’re in it to win it with the wedding-planning process

Let’s dive in. 

Tip #1: Find A Spring Wedding Theme

Proposing a theme for the wedding is a great way to get involved. 

Need some help choosing a spring theme? Check out this list of modern spring themes

Tip #2: Find Some Design Ideas That You Like

From flowers, to decor, to outfits—coming up with spring wedding design ideas is a great way to not only partake of the wedding-planning festivities, but to also inject a bit of your own personality into the process as well. 

Need some ideas to help get you started? Check out this post by Brides.com. It contains an entire list of sweet spring wedding ideas. 

Tip #3: Find The Perfect Tux

This might be the most important part of the process for you!

Finding the perfect tuxedo is a huge part of the larger wedding ensemble. 

It matters!

Browse some of our best designs right here on our Karl’s Tuxedos website. You can also stop in, shop around, and talk to us about your ideas. We’ll help you to sort it all out so that you can bring a fresh batch of tuxedo ideas back to your next wedding-planning session. 

Tip #4: Assemble A List Of Venues

Assembling a list of venues will actually be really important. And guess what? If you take the initiative on this, odds are good that she’ll breathe a sigh of relief at knowing that it’s been taken care of. 

If you’re not sure how to start, do an internet search for ‘wedding venues near me.’ But you can also stop by and let us help you with this. We’ve built up our own list of local venues over the years! 

Tip #5: Appreciate Her Ideas

Here’s the thing. 

As a man, you’re probably really excited about this wedding. 

But never forget—your soon-to-be other half has been planning for this day since she was a little girl!

So when she comes up with a great idea, make sure to let her know that you appreciate her enthusiasm and that her attention to detail never goes unnoticed. 

Then, take her out to dinner. 

She deserves it for all of this hard wedding-planning work! 

Tip #6: Take The Lead On The Vows

This is another crucial part of the process that’ll depend heavily upon your contribution. 

Will you use traditional vows, or will you be writing your own?

This is a great question to ask—so be ready to discuss it (and to weigh in with your honest opinion) when it comes up during the planning process. 

Need some help writing the perfect vows? Check out this post by TheSpruce.com for some inspiration. 

In Conclusion

These tips should get you started on the path to helping your bride-to-be with all of the exhaustive, important details of spring wedding planning. 

Of course, every wedding is different—so don’t be afraid to break away from tradition to make it truly your own. 

And don’t forget—if you need some assistance or inspiration, we are here to help. 

Let’s make this festive event a day to remember forever!