The Budd Guide To Bow Ties

The Budd Guide To Bow Ties

Our evening bows come in classic black, white and ivory tones for traditional evening dress. In our mind, these are the most elegant of all colour choices, but for those who prefer to mix things up, there are plenty of rich shades to choose from too.

The Bows


Our Thistle bow ties are known in some quarters as Semi-Butterfly bows. The Thistle (its name echoes its shape) is the most versatile and traditional of the bow tie family and the safest choice. It ties a classic bow, that is neither too high or too skinny. A perennial favourite, that offers great proportion.


Batswing bows have straight ages and are smaller in. They provide a slimmer bow and are considered a little more modern in some quarters, although we rather like our white marcella version, selected for the most formal of occasions, White Tie.

Single End

Relatively rare and popular in the 1930s, as its name suggests, the single end only has a bow tie shape at one end. Once tied, it is not dissimilar to a regular bow tie, but has a little less bulk due to having just one layer. Provides a nuanced look.

Self-Tied or Pre-Tied?

Ideally self-tied. A self-tied bow speaks of effort and a certain dexterity and savoir faire in the menswear stakes. The bow also tends to have a naturalness to it, that appeals to the discerning eye. It is also tweakable, so as you can ensure it is just so, for perfect width and size. Practise makes perfect, although, many would argue that the beauty of a self-tied bow is its imperfection!

A pre-tied bow takes away a lot of faff and is great for those who have not yet mastered the self-tie art. Budd’s version of the bow is head and shoulders above the game-show host editions we see too often on screen. Whilst, strictly speaking we shouldn’t extol the virtues of the pre-tied bow too much, ours really are very good indeed.

Introducing the Charleston Bow - a brilliant way to cheat and brilliantly original

Writer Nick Foulkes put a smile on all of our faces a couple of years back when he came into the shop proffering a 1920s Budd Bow tie that he had found in a charity shop, and aptly named it The Charleston. Replete with its original packaging, the now represents a lost moment of innovation that we are pleased to revive - the fool proof bow!

The Charleston Bow ties with a simple knot. The careful art of looping and feeding through is no longer required.

Not just for night time

Of course, Budd’s collection of day bows, including that favoured by The Doctor (well up until this series) mean that you can wear a bow with aplomb during daylight hours too.

How to tie your bow

Are you all fingers and thumbs when it comes to the art of tying your bow yourself? Then why not pop into the store for a little one on one help from Andy and Christopher in the shop, or our resident bow wear, James Macauslan. These three fellows can tie their bows in their sleep! Alternatively, check out our handy step by step illustrated guide here.

View our range of bow ties here.

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