Where do the wings go with a bowtie?
November 8, 2010 11:47 AM   Subscribe

When wearing a bowtie with a wing collar shirt, do the wings go over the bowtie or under?

I see people wearing it both ways and I don't know if one is correct and one is wrong. I'm usually wearing mine with a kilt and a Prince Charlie jacket and waistcoat, if that makes any difference.

Bonus question: Is a button down collar acceptable with a bowtie?
posted by IanMorr to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: On your bonus button-down question: Wikipedia backs up my memory that:
Button-down collars ... were patterned after the shirts of polo players and were used exclusively on sports shirts until the 1950s in America. It is still considered a more sporting style, and, particularly outside America, traditionally dressed men still do not wear suits with this style of collar.
I would do collar-points behind the tie, but I'm not sure what is signified by one or the other. As long as you tie the tie yourself, you should be avoiding the biggest bowtie faux pas.
posted by xueexueg at 11:57 AM on November 8, 2010

I've only seen wings over the band, under the loops.

Buttondown collar is fine with a bowtie in a slightly more casual setting, like the most recent Doctor. Some tuxedo shirts now have point collars (not really buttondown), which is fine in a black tie setting, in my opinion-- a little more modern.
posted by supercres at 12:01 PM on November 8, 2010

I've actually never seen the one you describe as over, so I would say that under is the correct way to do it. But I really don't know, it never occurred to me to do it the other way.
posted by Carillon at 12:07 PM on November 8, 2010

I'm glad I'm not the only person who thought to use The Doctor as a point of reference.
posted by fight or flight at 12:10 PM on November 8, 2010

If people regularly wear them both ways and see them being worn both ways, then is the distinction of "correctness" really meaningful? By dressing the "wrong" way you might be contradicting the author of some style guide that you've never read but the people you actually spend time with will think that it's normal, and therefore correct.

Having said that, I (living in Wales and England) can only remember seeing them worn with the tips under the loops of the bowtie. So proper or not, that seems to be the norm among the people I see in posh suits.
posted by metaBugs at 12:32 PM on November 8, 2010

I'm assuming since you're asking about wing-tip, this is for evening wear. The wing tips go behind the bow tie. If by button down you mean this kind of collar, then yes - but should be a dress shirt (pleated or marcella) rather than simply a normal shirt. If anything, the normal collar is preferable to wing-tip.
posted by djgh at 12:32 PM on November 8, 2010

Best answer: Generally, I'd make sure the wing-tips were behind the bow tie as I was heading out, with the knowledge that they'd doubtless be springing up on occasion through the night, and eventually I'd probably have forgotten to push them back behind. Don't sweat it too much.
posted by hydatius at 1:14 PM on November 8, 2010

posted by rhizome at 2:37 PM on November 8, 2010

Under. I've never seen anyone wear a bow tie with parts of the tie hidden under the collar tips.
posted by oneirodynia at 3:34 PM on November 8, 2010

To me that under link looks right and that over one looks ... somewhere between insouciant and wrong.
posted by aubilenon at 8:57 PM on November 9, 2010

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