Mens Fashion Tutorial: How to Tie a Bow-tie and Tie

tie by: Paul Hudson (flickr)

Do you like bowties? I do. Bowties are cool. Prior to last week, however, I had never had to tie one before. Last week the fiancée and I attended a pre-Christmas gala for people who made donations to the local women's shelter. His company made a donation earlier in the year and in return they were given two tickets to the gala. They gave the tickets to him and asked him to go to represent the company. It was a lovely night and the food was wonderful, but getting ready was interesting. Neither myself nor my fiancée knew how to tie his bowtie so I had to do a little research and see if I could figure it out. Men's tuxedos don't look as dapper without a bowtie so we weren't willing to sacrifice the accessory in favor of a more manageable regular tie. Honestly though… once I had found a video on YouTube with the steps, it wasn't that tough. I'm going to break it down for you here.

Step One:

Drape the bowtie around your neck, or the neck of the person for which you are bowtieing (I just made that word up but I'm using it to mean "the act of tying a bowtie"). Make sure your shirt collar is up and the bowtie is beneath it. Grasp the ends of the bowtie and make sure that the end on the right side ends about an inch and a half lower than the end on the left side.

Step Two:

Take the longer end and cross it over the shorter end. Cross it close to your neck but not so close that you won't be able to work with it. You don't want to choke yourself, but you also don't want it to dangle in front of your chest.

Step Three:

Take the longer end and pass it up through the loop. You're just making a simple overhand knot in this step.

Step Four:

Flip one end over your shoulder and take the dangling end and pull it to the left and fold it back over itself. You're essentially making half of the bow here. Hold the fold. This is going to be the front loop of the tied bowtie.

Step Five:

Take the end that was over your shoulder and drop it over the front of your half bow.

Step Six:

Hold onto both sides of the folded end of the bow and pinch them together in front of the end you just dropped from over your shoulder. The folded bow from step four should now be sandwiching the dangling end.

Step Seven:

Take the sandwiched end and feed it back through the knot you made in the third step to form the back of the bow.

Step Eight:

Pull the opposite sides and halves at the same time to tighten the bow. If it is too tight, loosen it by pulling the front right and back left apart. The back right and front left will tighten it. Do this until the bow is shaped and fitting correctly.

And that's it! Easy as tying your shoes. If you have any other tips for bowtieing, let me know. It took a couple tries but once I got it, I got it! Men's tuxedos never have to be worn without a bowtie again! At least not any worn by my fiancée.