The bow tie is a stylish, eye-catching accessory that can elevate your entire outfit—if you know how to wear it. One of the key things to keep in mind while wearing bow ties (or any fashion accessory, for that matter) is to remain confident. If you feel uncertain or nervous about your outfit, you’re going to have a hard time standing out in a crowd. But if you go through the day feeling good about yourself and your appearance, others are sure to take notice.

Whether you’re getting ready for a date or just want to improve your style, perfecting your bow tie game can make a world of difference. Check out these tips for wearing a bow tie with confidence and head out into the world feeling like the best possible version of yourself.

black tie affairChoose a Self-Tie Bow Tie

It’s easy to grab a pre-tied, or clip-on and add it to your outfit with no effort. If that’s all you have on hand, no worries. But if you want to bring your look to a whole new level, a self-tie bow tie is the way to go. Learning how to tie your own bow tie gives you a sense of ownership over your look. You’ll also get a boost of confidence knowing that you have the skill and talent to add that charming finishing touch to your ensemble.

Not to mention, self-tie bow ties deliver more character than uniform, pre-tied options. Don’t worry about achieving the perfect bow every time. Imperfections and asymmetry make each one unique, giving you a stylish look that makes you stand out in the best way possible.

Match the Occasion

Bow ties are versatile accessories, but you have to know when they’re appropriate and how to make them look their best. Keep your different bow tie options in mind; in addition to different colors and patterns, you should also pay attention to the bow shape and the fabric of your tie. For example, a classic Butterfly bow in black silk is perfect for more formal affairs, while a Rounded Club bow in colorful cotton creates a friendly and lighthearted look that’s better for more casual occasions.

Find a Tie That Represents You

If you want to wear a bow tie with confidence, it helps to choose a tie that lets your personality shine through. After all, wearing one means making a statement, so why not make that statement personal to you? Don’t choose an option that you don’t even like just because it’s popular or safe. Instead, let yourself experiment with different colors, patterns, and designs. Remember—if you feel good, you’ll look good, too. Find a tie that you want to wear, and your confidence will follow naturally.