How To Tie A Bow Tie

Above: Learn how to tie a proper bow tie

So you know how to tie a necktie but you are still clueless when it comes to tying a bow tie. That’s okay, AmongMen is here to help.

You can probably avoid wearing a bow tie for the most part, but it never hurts to know how to class-up. Bow ties can be a lot of fun to wear, and are a great conversation starter. Also, who doesn’t love a man in a tux and bow tie at formal occasions?

It is true that there are plenty of pre-tied bow ties for sale, but they aren’t the same. Tying your own bow tie is an impressing skill. Don’t expect to be able to tie a bow tie perfectly on the first go, if you can then awesome but it can be a little confusing until you’ve done it a few times.

 How to tie a bow tie

1. You’re going to start off much like tying a necktie. Secure the top button of your dress shirt and pop that collar. You may have to adjust the length of your bow tie depending on the size of your neck, but you will figure that out quickly enough when you try to tie your bow. Adjust the length until you get it right. Drape the bow tie over your neck, keeping one side longer than the other.

2. Now cross the two sides with the longer end on top.

3. Bring the long side up and under the neck loop. Pull the knot tight because this is your only chance to get your bow tie as tight around your neck as you want it.

4. Here’s where things start to get more challenging. While holding the knot of the bow tie firmly in place against the collar (to keep your knot tight), you need to take the short end of the bow tie and fold it across the knot to create the shape of the bow tie. The narrow part of the bow should rest over the button of your dress shirt. This is the front of your bow tie, congratulations.

5. Now bring the long end down and over the centre of the bow.

6. Fold the long end of the bow tie to create another bow shaped end, similar to step 4.

7. This is by far the hardest step of tying a bow tie. You will notice there is a hole behind the front of your bow tie and the knot against your collar. Now take the fold of the long end and feed it through the hole (make sure you bring the fold through the same side that the fold of the front of your bow tie is on, so the folds will end up on opposite sides of the bow, and one in front and one in back) till the narrow part of the fold gets to the centre of the bow.

8 and 9. Pull the bow tie tight. To do this you will want to pull on opposite ends of the bow, i.e. pull the back left side the same time you are pulling the front right, and then vise versa. Continue doing this until you have your perfect bow tie. 

10. Congratulations you have a bow tie. Now retie it about 50 times or until you get the hang of it. As with anything, practice makes perfect.

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