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How to Tie a Bow Tie

The bow tie is the most formal piece of neckwear and is usually the choice of tie for any black tie event or a most formal white tie function. Although there are a variety of different pre-tied bow ties available, the classiest way is still the old fashion way: The self-tie bow tie. Below are easy to follow instructions on how to tie a bow tie.

Instructions for Tying a Bow Tie

how to bow a bowtie

  1. Place the bow tie around your neck leaving the left side slightly longer then the right. Cross the left side of the bow tie over the left.
  2. Wrap the longer side of the bow tie around the right side near your collar.
  3. Fold the end of the other side of the bow so that it looks like a half bow.
  4. Just like when tying your shoelaces, wrap the other side of the bow tie around the folded piece of the bow tie.
  5. Wrap this side back around, and behind the bow.
  6. Pull the end through the loop and tighten the bow by slightly pulling on each side. You are done!

Tying a bow tie takes a little bit of practice. The bow tie is not a tie that is usually worn on a regular occasion, but nevertheless, it is advisable to practice how to tie a bow tie. It is also recommended to wear a pocket square when wearing a bow tie – especially when wearing a tux or tailcoat jacket. For more information you may also want to visit our guide on How to Fold a Pocket Square. Classic black tie attire for example calls for a black tuxedo, white tuxedo dress shirt, black bow tie, and white pocket square. White tie dress code, as the name suggests, requires a white bow tie that is worn with tailcoat jacket, vest, and occasionally even with top hat.

A Note on Different Bow Tie Styles.

Not every bow tie is created equal. The biggest difference in self tied bow ties lies in the spread or width of the bow. The classic bow tie has a spread of 2.25 – 2.75 inches at the wides part. Larger bow ties that have a width of 3.00 – 3.5 inches are known as Butterfly bow ties. Bows that have an even wider spread are less common for formal functions and better suited for costume events.

Just as some bows are wider, there are also narrow spread bows know as Batwing bow ties. Batwing bow ties usually have a spread around 2 inches. Finally there are bow ties with pointed ends which are perfect for those that want something unique, but at the same time want to adhere to the called for dress code.

Tie site gives simple instructions on how to tie a bow tie. Learn how to tie your own bow tie for your next black tie event. Self-tied bow ties are the most elegant and classic piece of neckwear. We also suggest that you read our guide on Dress Codes for more information on black tie attire and white tie affairs.