Beloved by Sir Winston Churchill, the bow tie has had something of a renaissance in recent years, with an increasing number of gents adopting it as their neckwear of choice. Traditionally, a black bow tie would be worn with a tuxedo, while a white bow tie would be worn tails, but today the bow tie is frequently seen in various colours at weddings, formal dinners, and any occasion where a man wants to stand out.
One of the most difficult knots to master, learning to tie a bow tie is something of a rite of passage. Follow our guide on how to tie a bow tie and you will soon be negotiating this complex knot.
Before you start, make sure you are standing in front of a mirror. Place the bow tie around your neck with one side hanging at least two inches longer than the other.
Take the long end and cross it over the short end, then pull it up through the gap between the tie and the neck. Once done, pull both ends tight, and place the long end over your shoulder.
Lift the hanging end and fold it in half over your finger, at the widest part of the bowed shape. Then place on top of the knot created at the neck, and hold in place.
Next, take the end that is over your shoulder, and drape it over the skinny centre of the first bow.
Now comes the tricky part. Holding the draped end in place, take both sides of the first bow with your free hand, and pull gently forward. From the side, you will be able to see a small loop between the first bow and the collar.
Next, take the draped end of the bow tie and fold along the widest part. Once folded, tuck the fold through the small loop behind the first bow. Pull this halfway through to form the second bow.
At this point, you should see your bow tie coming together. To complete, simply tighten using the opposing front and back sides of each bow, and adjust as you tighten.
If you haven’t quite conquered this complicated knot, or you simply need a bow tie in a hurry, we offer ready-tied options that have no need for nimble fingers.