- Issue Time
- Aug 30,2019
How To Tie A Bow Tie
Want to know how to tie a bow tie?
A black bow-tie is a symbol of formality.
And it's the most elegant knot suited for a black-tie event.
Bowties are simple, functional – and when used properly – can draw positive attention to the wearer.
A lot of you guys already wear them. How do I know? Dozens of men just like you have emailed me their stories of how bow ties get patients to open up to doctors, women smile and talk about how their fathers wore them, and in general they create a signature look that ensures you’re remembered.
But despite all the positives traits of bowties – many men still have questions.
How big should they be? How wide? What style? The best way to tie one? Well we're here to help.
#1. Bow Tie – When & How To Wear It
When paired with a custom tailored dress shirt, the bow tie draws attention and conveys a sense of individuality. Just look at some of history’s greatest figures – Winston Churchill, Fred Astaire and Charlie Chaplin. Each of these men cut a dashing figure when wearing their bow-ties proudly.
Sadly, even on television, the only place we seem to see a bow-tie is on Mad Men’s Harry Crane.
By and large the bow tie has been regulated to formal events where it is often a pre-tied clip on. This preformed tie is quite convenient, however it lacks the personal style and touch that can be added when tying your own bow tie.
A bow tie is part of the required dress code for formal white-tie and black-tie events and it is also the accessory of choice for men in business casual who are looking to spice up their outfit. Your bow tie should be sized to match your collar measurement.
Formal events call for a dress shirt with wing collars while spread collars are suitable for semi-formal and business casual dress code. The length of the bow tie matters.
For adjustable bow ties, insert the hook into the slot that corresponds with your neck size.
#2. How To Tie A Bow Tie – Step By Step
Follow the infographic and instructions below and improve your sartorial elegance by learning how to tie a bow tie.
Drape the bowtie around your neck, seams facing down, with the right end longer than the left.
Place the longer right end of the bowtie over the shorter left end, making an X.
Loop the longer end behind the ‘X’ and pull tight – a bowtie knot can’t be tightened around your neck after you tie it. Leave the longer end on your shoulder.
Fold the shorter end right and left to create a bow shape.
Holding the bow, bring the longer end down across the middle of the bow.
Fold the longer end back towards the chest and pinch the fold.
Push it through the loop behind the shorter end to create two wings.
Tug the bow loops behind the wings to tighten.
Adjust the bowtie until the bow is symmetrical.
Make final adjustments. Ensure your bowtie lies flat and horizontal.
To undo, simply pull the loose ends on either side and unravel the knot.
The shape of your finished knot will vary depending on the style of tie. Make this slight variation at Step 4 for these styles of bow ties:
Butterfly Shape: The classic style of the butterfly shape should have wide ends and a small knot in the center. Fold a butterfly bow tie at the widest part of the curve.
Batwing or Straight End: A batwing or straight end will be only slightly wider at the tips than at the center. Fold over at the point just before the shape begins to taper.
Pointed: The two ends are bound to stick out beyond the straight edges of the loop. Fold a pointed-end bow tie at the widest part of the curve as well and pay attention to the two sets of wings which need to align fairly precisely to create the proper effect.
Congratulations! You've now mastered the art of how to tie a bow tie. But don't stop there! It's time to broaden your skills. Learn how to tie a tie 18 different ways for beginners. It's easy and we have all the visual and video step by step instructions to guide you along the way!