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How to Tie a Bow Tie the Right Way: A Helpful Guide

July 16, 2020 4 min read

How to Tie a Bow Tie the Right Way: A Helpful Guide

Nothing says sophisticated gentleman-hood like the ability to pull off a bow tie.

The bow tie first came about in 17th Century Croatia and it has been a staple ever since. There's even a National Bow Tie Day that men celebrate each year.

The importance of the bow tie often gets downgraded because the traditional necktie is more common and people pin clip-on bow ties on young boys.

However, these bow ties are the epitome of distinguished manhood, so you owe it to yourself to add a few to your repertoire.

Read on so that you can understand more about how to tie a bow tie correctly.

How to Tie a Bow Tie

You'll have no shortage of options once you learn how to tie a bow tie.

Here are the steps that you should keep in mind:

1. Choose a Bow Tie That Fits and is the Perfect Size

Your very first step for tying a bow tie is to buy the right type and size.

The bow tie should be a size that is proportional to your body type, neck size, and the style of dress clothing that you wear. Either way, start by considering the size of the bow tie as much as you consider the style.

There are countless style options that you can look into and plenty of reasons to do so.

For instance, you might want to tie a fraternity bow tie for a gathering, or maybe you're invited to a wedding and want to impress. Some styles you can try out include the hourglass, pointed, and batwing.

Dip your toe into the water by wearing solids as opposed to stripes and patterns so that you can get both your experience and confidence up.

2. Drape the Bow Tie Over Your Neck and Make an Accurate Measurement

Drape the tie across your neck so that you can get an idea of how it will look on you once it is fully tied.

Take it apart and then press it flatly against your neck and over your shirt collar. One side should be pulled about an inch-and-a-half longer than the other.

3. Create a Criss-Cross and a Loop

Hold the tie snugly so that there is no slack. From there, pull the shorter end underneath the long end and over it so that you can create a loop.

Keep the criss-cross tight enough to have tension, but no so much that you can't breathe or have trouble maneuvering the other ends.

Center the bow tie and create a vertical loop so that your bow tie is kept evenly.

4. Fold One Portion and Cross it Through

Take the longer end of the bow tie and fold it in like how the finished result will look. From there, complete the loop by folding the shorter end over the bow that you just created.

Be sure to do this in a way that keeps the tie as centered as possible, and pinch the bow with your fingers.

5. Create the Other Part of the Bow and then Tighten It

Take the other end that isn't bowed, and fold it back in so that your tie looks almost complete. Hold both parts together and push the shorter end through the loop that you created.

From there, you should pull both parts of the bow tie so that the tie is complete.

6. Make Sure That the Tie is Evenly Distributed With the Right Amount of Pressure

OK, you've tied your first bow tie. So your work is done, right? Not hardly.

Tying the bow tie is the easy part, relatively speaking. But it's rare that you'll get it exactly right and perfectly aligned the first time around. Chances are great that you'll have some ends that are too loose, or your bow parts might be lopsided or uneven.

Aside from the eye test, you should also feel that the pressure and tension of your bow tie are evenly distributed. Since both sides work hand in hand with each other, you might be able to adjust it with the whole thing already tied.

Otherwise, you will have to untie it and either go back a few steps are restart completely from scratch.

7. Give it One Last Mirror Check

Look at how the tie sits with the rest of your outfit. When something looks bulky or ruffled, it's likely that you cut corners with some of the steps.

Rather than just rushing through them, make sure that you're paying careful attention and maintaining pressure every time you hold a part or loop an end.

A steady hand goes a long way, so get as much practice as you can whenever there is no pressure on the line. Watch a few videos and put some practice in before you even have an event to attend.

This way, you'll always be ready once it's time to tie your bow tie.

Shop For and Tie the Perfect Bow Tie With Ease

These tips clearly explain how to tie a bow tie for any occasion you are dressing up for.

A bow tie is an essential foundation piece for any consummate gentleman. Here at the Art of the Gentleman, we've got you covered whenever you want to shop for a new bow tie or best-selling socks, handkerchiefs, and wedding attire.

Stop by and join the Dapper Circle so that you're able to experience discounts and exclusive offers on everything we specialize in.

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