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I've always preferred bow ties to traditional neckties. They're just quirky enough to stick out, while also being more comfortable and functional than a standard tie. After all, when's the last time you got a bow tie stuck in the car door? I mean, seriously, if bow ties had hands, they could write a how to survive in fashion retail guide. Bow ties fit in particularly well at a wedding, where everyone is encouraged to sport a bit of festive flair. If you're the one getting married, then it shouldn't even be a question: The bow tie's roots in formal wear make it an unconventional, yet perfect, choice for a groom's wedding day getup.
There are a couple pitfalls to avoid, of course. Rule number one is to never settle for a pre-tied bow tie. There's something uncanny about the appearance of a pre-tied bow, and everyone can tell you just used a clip-on with an adjustable strap. The only thing worse than a pre-tied bow tie is a wooden bow tie, or something else made out of a non-traditional material. A good rule of thumb is that if you need to use an adjustable strap to attach your bow tie instead of just tying it on, then it's not going to meet your sartorial standards. If you want a more specific idea, here are some of the most unique bow ties for men getting married or going to weddings this year, a wedding trend for 2018 that should definitely pick up more steam as we approach the roaring 20s. Pick out one for your big day, or pick out a few to reach that free shipping threshold.
Plaid Bliss Bow Tie
This cotton plaid bow tie represents the iconic preppy summer style of bow tie. The loud plaid of this bow tie can frighten off more conventional grooms, but if you try it out, you'll find it is really a go-with-anything option for any and all summer activities—especially weddings! After all, if you're the one getting married, shouldn't your wedding bow tie attract attention?
Grey Glen Haze Bow Tie
While summer is the most popular season for weddings, there has been a recent uptick in weddings during the colder months as well. While bright cotton and linen bow ties can work during these months, you'll find you have a much easier time looking classy in seasonally appropriate materials. For fall and winter, that means wool is king. If you're interested in unique bow ties for any occasion, wool is a great place to start as it is a relatively uncommon bow tie material anyway. A tonal plaid like this glen-check pattern is an excellent subtly classy style that will go with almost any wedding outfit.
Lavender Hodgkiss Flowers Bow Tie
This linen option is the perfect wedding bow tie for springtime nuptials. The flowers that adorn this unique novelty bow tie make it a fresh option for grooms looking to up their clothing game on their wedding day. From a distance, it appears to be a simple but attractive lavender-colored bow tie. Only upon closer inspection does the fascinating pattern reveal itself. If you have wedding colors to adhere to (I know I did), this floral bow tie is also available in red or green.
Navy District Dots Bow Tie
Sometimes, unique bow ties aren't interesting because of their patterns or materials, but because of their shape. The diamond tip was once a popular and traditional formal wear option (think Great Gatsby-era), but today it has become something of a secret handshake among bow tie enthusiasts. It's a great option if you have strict color or pattern requirements for your wedding attire, but you still want a bow tie that represents your out-of-the-box personality.
Mauve Stone Union Solid Bow Tie
For most weddings, especially during the summer, the lighthearted and semi-casual feel of a soft cotton bow tie is a perfect fit. For more formal occasions, however, nothing can match the elegance of a silk bow tie. If you're not confident with loud patterns or bright colors, something in a neutral color like this pale mauve will go with just about anything, without standing out in a bad way. The subtle texturing in the silk fabric helps keep this solid-colored bow tie from appearing bland.
Light Cobalt Blue Derby Lane Stripe Bow Tie
The linen/silk blend of this bow tie makes it a perfect middle ground between formal wear and casual summer weddings. The silk helps maintain the formality of this wedding bow tie, while the linen provides just enough textural interest to keep it from fading into the crowd. This somewhat traditional striped design channels the dandy south, making it a fun and classy bow tie for any occasion.
Green Freehand Solid Bow Tie
If you want a nice quality handmade bow tie, but you don't necessarily want to experiment with crazy color combinations or anything too adventurous, consider this printed linen bow tie for your wedding day. This wedding bow tie is offered in a wide variety of colors, so simply pick the shade that best suits you. The "freehand" pattern provides just a bit more interest than a completely solid bow tie, while its linen construction provides some natural textural interest.
Navy Dotted Report Bow Tie
This is another bow tie that leans on the more formal end of the spectrum. Often called the "Churchill dot," this is one of the most classic bow tie designs of all time. This is one bow tie design that will take you anywhere: It's a formal wear bow tie, a wedding bow tie, and an all-around bow tie for any other occasion you can think of. If you love the idea of wearing a bow tie, but you don't want to keep too many in your closet, a versatile option like this navy dotted bow tie is for you.
Burgundy Dog Days Bow Tie
A novelty bow tie can be a risky gamble, but something subtle like this "Dog Days" tie can keep things classy while still showing off your lighter side. The burgundy tie (also available in slate blue) is embroidered with dozens of dachshunds, forming a cute design that works surprisingly well in a number of sartorial situations. Fun, versatile patterns like this also make great bow tie gifts for your groomsmen if you want them to match your style on your big day. It may not be a part of a traditional marriage, but its so delightfully untraditional, your wedding guests will, assuredly, never stop talking about.
Mint Mesh Plaid Bow Tie
I can attest from personal experience that this cotton plaid bow tie is an excellent choice for your wedding day. This mesh plaid design is available in a variety of colors, including mint, baby pink, and royal blue, so you can choose the best color for you and your wedding. The plaid pattern is relatively simple, but the feature that makes these all unique bow ties is the lush cotton fabric. This fabric makes the bow tie soft and thick, providing much more visual interest than thinner, cheaper fabrics, which tend to appear limp and dull.