New Year’s Eve Fashion Part Two: Maybe You Should Rock a Bow Tie

Welcome to my multi-part what-to-wear series on New Year’s Eve! Previously: What to Wear That’s Not a Suit or Tie.

If you’re like me and you own infinity number of little black dresses and high heels, New Year’s Eve is awesome and really straight forward. On the other hand, if the idea of wearing a dress makes you feel a little queasy and/or oppressed, New Year’s can be sort of terrifying and stressful and maybe make you want to stay in all night and watch the ball drop with your roommate and seventeen cats. But never fear! I’ll be rolling out some sweet styles for the femmebutch, the not-butch not-femme, the androgynous, the totally butch and the scared shitless of looking fancy. Well, okay, let’s be real — I’ll do my best.


Bow Ties Are For Winners


The key to a perfect bow tie look is getting that old school dapper appeal without looking like a waiter. When you’re picking a bow tie for New Year’s Eve, I strongly recommend getting a black satin or black velvet one that you have to tie yourself. Although pre-tied bow ties are easier, they can sometimes have a slight ‘high school band’ look to them. Similarly, though there are plenty of opportunities where a funky bow tie might shine, New Year’s Eve is not one of them. New Year’s Eve is about looking chic, slick and put together.

Once you have your bow tie it’s time to start pulling the rest of your look together. First off you’re going to need a button front shirt in white or black. I have the same feelings about the ‘Blaine from Glee Polo And Bow Tie’ look that I do about colorful bow ties: cute, but not for New Year’s. Like I said, a nice button front in black or white.

On bottom you can really wear whatever you want. If the event you’re attending is dressier, go for a nice pair of straight leg black slacks. If you’re going to a club or a house party, skinny, straight leg or bootcut dark wash or black jeans are a good option. I don’t suggest wearing a skirt because the combination of a skirt with a bow tie can make you look a bit like a flight attendant/waiter/playboy bunny. If, on the other hand, you want to femme up this look then you can tuck your shirt in to a pair of black shorts with tights with heels.


Now, did you buy that blazer I told you to get? If not, this is a great time to get something swanky. I like the idea of a white blazer with silk lapels, but a crisp black or charcoal blazer would look nice too. If you don’t have a blazer or feel like buying one, you could also go for a V-neck cardigan buttoned up. If you have a dark shirt wear a light sweater and if you wear a light shirt choose a black, navy or charcoal cardigan.

Unless you opted for dress pants, I vote for high top sneakers. Why? Because high top sneakers are awesome. Oh yeah and because when the girl you’ve been eyeing pops the cork on a freshly shaken bottle of Cristal (and/or Andre) you’ll want to get close and act like it ain’t no thang that your kicks are wet. That’s not exactly going to fly if you’re planning on wearing you’re Sunday best. Plus, if you decide to go to club, there is a 100% chance someone will trample/skuff/vomit on your shoes. Lame.

Regardless of how you decide to style your bow tie, as long as you keep your clothe’s lines crisp and your colors bold. Really though, consider a real, live, tie-it-yourself bow tie.

How To Tie a Bowtie from dapperQ on Vimeo.


Feel free to ask me specific New Year’s Eve fashion questions on Formspring or through ASS messaging and watch closely for more stuff about stuff to stuff your stuff into for New Year’s Eve in the days/hours/moments to come!

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Lizz is a consumer, lover and writer of all things pop culture and the Fashion/Style Editor at She is also full time medical student at Brown University in Providence, RI. You can find her on the twitter, the tumblr or even on the instagram.

Lizz has written 261 articles for us.


  1. Highly agree with tie-your-own bow ties. So much more authentic, and I know it adds some extra swagger/strut to my step knowing I tied my own like real dappers do :{

    And for a sleeker look, I recommend finding a narrow bow tie so that one doesn’t look too clown-ish or costume-y.

    Diamond tip bowties… feeling rather partial to them recently. Anyone else seen them around? Recommendations on where to get some?

  2. I was just asked to go to a Casino Royale themed party and I was all ‘WTF am I going to wear?’

    A bow tie, that’s what.

  3. Love this post…. and the first picture in it :D
    any suggestions for someone who wears bowties, shirt, braces jeans and boots on a daily baisis? :D

    • Basically, NYE is a chance to do you but more glam. So if that’s what you do – go fancy! Maybe swap out dress pants for jeans, shine your boots, and call it good. Or go for a bowtie/braces in a more posh fabric. A jacket can really add a certain je ne sais quoi to the whole thing, as can dress shoes vs. boots, but also,
      I believe that you can make ANYTHING work if you wear it well. Black and white is totally classic color-wise and I think even if you do it in your same jeans/braces/bow tie/collar shirt, that’ll add a little panache.

      One thing I would say to think about is the formality of the fabric. Shinier ties or more delicate/non-elastic braces will look a little awkward with less formal pants (even dress jeans will help.)

      I wouldn’t recommend going out and blowing a ton of $; I would get one thing you love and would wear a lot anyways. As a kid who has a ton of trouble finding clothes (hips + portly man fashion = oh dear), I know it can be stressful, and sometimes this means you should just do you and make it work regardless.

      I could go on about this stuff forever! I’m so glad you linked to our bowtie video. Holy fashion, batman.

      • Thankies :D
        I think Im just going to go with grey dress pants (their ausome drop crotch pants – basicaly male equivelant of harem pants from topman. I swear most of their trowsers are made for lesbians rather than guys). A white dress shirt (duno which yet as I have a few collected)and a black silk bowtie. Duno what I will do for shoes yet as I left mine and uni :(

        AS regards to finding clothes to wear, I may be able to be of a little help. I dont know how well you manage to find correctly sized guys pants, but I know I struggle due to a tiny waist and big hips. But I have found that if I go for guys pants/ trowsers in a waist size that matches the measurment for the TOP of my hips they normally fit very well.

  4. Well, it’s now my New Year’s Eve wish to meet a cute girl wearing a bowtie a la photo #1. I’m crossing my fingers…

  5. Wore a bowtie and suspenders last night.

    a 40 year old roller derby girl made out with me.


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