Casey Wagar
A favourite bow tie – a custom patent leather creation handmade by designer Kat Marks.

Bow ties for men are a wardrobe essential. Like plaid shirts. And bracelets. No longer meant for only formal wear, bow ties suit many different looks – from super casual to dapper. Big events, work, dinners out or brunch with friends – there are bow ties for every occasion. These days, a stylish guy can even wear one with a cool shirt and shorts. And they look great with a plaid shirt and jeans. Because, why not? 

Casey Wagar bow tie
Brackish bow ties, made of feathers and handcrafted in South Carolina, are available at Rubaiyat.

Whether is self-tied (the classic), pre-tied or a clip-on, cool bow ties today are made of tons of interesting materials, like leather, wood, ceramic and even feathers (pictured above). When choosing the right bow tie, don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and try experimenting with different patterns and textures. It’s nice to see more men expressing themselves and showing their personality through fashion. And accessories like bow ties are a perfect way to do it. But however you decide to wear a bow tie, do it with confidence – that’s always the key.

For more details on different bow tie shapes, how to tie them properly and a brief but interesting history lesson on where they come from (bow ties have Croatian roots), check out this handy guide on

Below are some of my favourite bow ties – including thoughts on how to wear them – from stores like Holt Renfrew, Barneys, Rubaiyat in Calgary and talented friends like leather designer Kat Marks.

Casey Wagar fashion blog
Mixing patterns and textures with a heart pattern bow tie by Barneys New York.
Casey Wagar fashion blog
Dressing up a blue Paul Smith suit with a colourful floral bow tie from Holt Renfrew’s signature brand.
Casey Wagar Brackish bow tie
My one-of-a-kind peacock feather Brackish bow tie, courtesy of my friends at the Rubaiyat, paired with a suit by The Kooples.
Casey Wagar 2015
A gingham bow tie (this one from Purr) goes with pretty much everything. Here it’s worn with denim shirt, tweed and my favourite jeans.
Kat Marks
This custom acrylic bow tie by Kat Marks is like a piece of jewellery. Why not mix it with different plaids?
My first self-tied bow tie (from Holt Renfrew’s signature brand). They can be tough to tie. It just takes a little patience – and practice.

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