How To: Tie a Bow Tie

how to tie a bow tie

Well, ten years ago we never thought we would be writing this piece.  Alas, the bow tie is now a staple in many man’s wardrobe – from black tie events to nights out with friends. In order to make sure your bow tie is spot on, we spoke to Alex Wilcox, founder of Lord Willy’s, a men’s haberdashery in New York City to give us the basic ‘How To’ on tying a proper bow tie.

A Bit of History:

While the bow tie has a long history (beginning with the Croatians in the 17th century to close their shirts to the French aristocrats who gave the name cravats to the very poufy bows around their necks) its’ current look gained popularity in the 19th century. It was for practical purposes that it became popular with dentists and doctors – such a short tie would never interfere with reaching over a patient or possibly fall in their way during operations.

Why a bow tie?

Funny enough, the tie that has a history of being conservative is actually rather radical in today’s fashion. Bow ties are worn by everyone from Southern gents on their bicycles to NFL celebrities. It’s a great alternative to a four-in-hand for many reasons. One, it sets you apart and its’ ‘Pee Wee Herman’ symbolism is long gone. Two, they don’t swing all over the place, fall into food and you don’t need a tie bar.

Here are the steps to achieving the perfect bow tie:

Note: When placing the bow tie around your neck, keep both ends at equal length (Not like a four-in-hand where one side is shorter than the other).

Step One:

Take the first piece and fold through and pull it to the side.

This allows you to make the shape of the bow tie.

Step Two:

Pull the bottom piece over itself to make the base of the tie.

Step Three:

Your index finger is the secret! It is placed in the back of the tie to form the hole.

Step Four:

Pull the top piece over and find the hole you have created with your finger and pull it through.

Step Five:

Once you have pulled it through you gently correct the fabric and you will have your bow tie.