The ascot or bow tie: What to wear when

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When it comes to men’s fashion, deciding between an ascot and a bow tie can be a nuanced decision – and one that extends beyond mere aesthetic preferences. While both can elevate an otherwise commonplace outfit to the realm of sophistication, each one brings with it a distinct style, drawing on a particular sense of tradition. Untangling the intricacies of when to wear each can be a delicate matter, so read on to help you decide what to wear when!

The ascot

Let’s begin by looking at the ascot and its origins. Dating back to the 19th century, the ascot is named after the Royal Ascot Racecourse, in England. The tie’s popularity as a fashionable alternative to the traditional cravat is attributed to this horseracing event, famous for drawing in a crowd of stylish and sophisticated individuals showcasing their finest apparel. 

In the 1800s, the ascot tie quickly became a wardrobe staple among Europe’s most fashionable elite, where it was viewed as a symbol of refinement and elegance. Nowadays, this ascot tie has made a comeback, enjoying particular popularity at formal events such as weddings or horse races, but also among those who want to stand out at casual events. It’s also the perfect way to add a subtle vintage or retro look to an otherwise conventional outfit.

How to wear it

This distinctive accessory, usually made from silk, is characterized by its wide shape and pointed tips. It sits beneath the shirt collar and is kept in place thanks to a knot. The standout feature of the ascot is its ability to blend seamlessly into any event. It suits formal events, of course, but also doesn’t look out of place at a casual affair. Paired with a well-fitted blazer, or crisp shirt and tailored trousers, it adds a note of sophistication without the classic formality of a traditional necktie. 

The ascot tie is also a versatile way to imbue your outfit with a personal touch, with a variety of high-quality choices in vibrant colors, solid hues, and stylish patterns, like those found at Elizabetta. Blend in or stand out, with the ascot tie, the choice is yours!

The bow tie 

The origins of the bow tie date back to the 17th century, and a different part of Europe altogether: Croatia. Or rather, Croatian mercenaries who were serving in France during the Thirty Years’ War. They were known for their distinctive item of neckwear, which drew attention among the French natives, thereby coining the term “cravat”. The cravat later evolved into the modern-day bow tie. Popular throughout the subsequent two centuries, it always embodied sophistication and became a staple at high-society gatherings. 

How to wear it

What about today? Thanks in part to its long history, the bow tie has acquired something of an iconic status, embodying the charm of its previous wearers, such as Winston Churchill and James Bond. It’s also an easy addition to an outfit thanks to various pre-tied options.  The bow tie is a classic complement to a tuxedo or formal suit, exuding class with a nod to tradition. 

Whether you opt for an ascot or a bow tie, the key is to wear them with confidence. Stand tall and feel proud of your neckwear choice, and you’ll leave a lasting impression!

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