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How to Tie a Bow Tie

Unless you’re English royalty or in a barbershop quartet, knotting a bow tie is probably not a skill you’re familiar with. But once you get over the intimidation factor—and learn the few easy steps in this video—you’ll master this old-school skill in a snap.

Unless you’re English royalty or in a barbershop quartet, knotting a bow tie is probably not a skill you’re familiar with. But once you get over the intimidation factor—and learn the few easy steps in this video—you’ll master this old-school skill in a snap.

What You Need:

  • bow tie
  • collared shirt
  1. 1Drape bow tie around your neck

    With your collar upturned, place the tie around your neck so the ends hang down, one end resting about an inch lower than the other.

  2. 2Cross the long side over

    Bring the long side over the short side and clasp it near the front of your neck, where the two pieces intersect.

  3. 3Loop long side underneath the crossover and up to chin

    Feed the long end up and under the loop created by the crossover, toward your chin, creating a single knot.

    Tip: Place the long end over your shoulder to keep it out of the way while you set to work on the shorter end.

  4. 4Use the shorter end and make a bow form

    Grasping the short end, create the first loop of your bow, holding it horizontal at the front of your neck so it looks like a bow tie missing the center knot. Clasp the bow form loosely where the knot will be, keeping a finger behind the knot as a placeholder for the final step.

  5. 5Drape the long end over the top

    Take the long end and drop it straight down over the front of your bow. This will become the middle of your bow tie.

  6. 6Loop the long end through the place held by your finger

    Grasping the long end by the bottom, start forming it into a loop as you swing it behind the existing bow form where you’re clasping the layers together. Work this loop through the slot in between the bow and the knot at the back (this slot is the placeholder you created in Step 4). You should now have a bow tie. Adjust the positioning of the ends until you’re satisfied with the look.