Knot Dossier

  • About This Knot

    Bow ties are a mystery to many people. When do you wear it? How do you tie it? Well I can at least help you learn how to tie it. No self-respecting gentlemen wears a clip-on bow tie. Those are for kids. You need to know how to tie one! If you don’t have a bow tie to tie, you can even make a bow tie with a regular necktie, even those that have been stained or damaged. See below for a bonus videos on how to tie a contrast or two-tone bow tie knot, as well as instructions on dealing with a bow tie that is too long.

  • Diagram

    How to tie a bow tie diagram

  • Difficulty: High

    Bow ties are hard and annoying to tie. People say it is like tying a shoelace, and it actually is, except it feels totally different because it’s around your neck and the laces are way fatter. Like many things, it is a practice-makes-perfect kind of skill. You just need to keep working at it until it feels natural. It might take about 100 tries.

  • Fabric Consumption: Low

    Most bow ties I have seen are adjustable and fabric consumption isn’t an issue.

  • Symmetry: Med

    Bow ties are supposed to be asymmetric. That is how people can tell that you tied it yourself. If you have a symmetrical bow tie, it is fake. Don’t worry about it, just make both sides the same length and you will do great.

  • Style: Any

    Bow ties come in all kinds of fabric, colors and patterns. The standard bow tie knot works on them all. Just make sure your outfit can handle it!

  • Venue: Any

    You can wear a bow tie at any event at which necktie is acceptable. However, you need to be confident that it will be a success. Think of a bow tie as avery advanced necktie knot. It will draw attention. Very few people other than you will probably be wearing it, so it is important your look is successful.

  • Tips

    • Wear a colorful bow tie with a muted outfit
    • Wear a single color bow tie with a complex outfit
    • Can be worn with jeans, khakis, or formal pants
    • Can be worn with a short or long sleeve button down shirt
    • Don’t try to make it perfect, looking just a little sloppy confirms that it’s not a clip on
    • Act like you know what you are doing and you can do anything with a bowtie
    • See videos below for dealing with long bow ties, and tying a contrast knot
  • Dealing with a Bow Tie That’s Too Long

  • How to Tie a Two-Tone Bow Tie Knot

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