THE TUXEDO BOW TIEThe bow's color and texture are governed strictly by the jacket's lapel facing - satin for satin trimmings and a ribbed or pebble weaves variation for grosgrain facings. Its thistle or bat's-wing shape is a matter of personal preference. The bow's width should not extend beyond the outside edges of the collar's wings or spread collar's perimeter. Bow ties are always worn in front of the wing collar. The original collars were bone hard, and therefore it was impossible to place their parts over the bow.
Although the black-tie ensemble is a rather strict form dress, its bow tie and pocket-handkerchief offer some latitude for personal expression. They both look best done by hand, and a lack of perfection is desired. Humanizing the ensemble and making it appear more individual. Most men cringe at the very thought of having to knot their own bow, but it is rare to find a stylish man who has not overcome that fear. It is one element of formal wear that continues to separate the skilled dresser from those who are content to let the form wear them.