A Step-by-Step Guide: How to Tie a Bow Tie

A Step-by-Step Guide How to Tie a Bow Tie

Your comprehensive guide to tying a bow tie, from the menswear experts at Men’s Wearhouse.

Weddings are an obvious choice of events for donning a bow tie. From the groom to the groomsmen, this is a nice touch and shows up incredibly well in wedding album photos.
Learning how to tie a bow tie is an essential life skill, but if you’ve never done it before, it can be understandably intimidating. But don’t worry – the experts at Men’s Wearhouse are here to help you look and feel your best on your wedding day. Surprisingly, tying a bow tie is simpler than it seems. Compared to standard men’s ties, the bow tie requires a bit more finesse — you’ve got to get that bow perfectly fluffed and even, of course — but it’s no tougher to tie than a regular necktie. A bow tie brings a bit more personality than a regular tie in the right setting, especially if you’re wearing a tux or want to add a little something extra to your suits.

The Easiest Way to Tie a Bow Tie

Tying a bow tie is one of those things best learned with visuals. That’s why we created the handy video below to walk you through the process step by step. 

Before you begin, make sure you have your bow tie ready to go in the proper position, threaded through your popped collar with the untied ends resting on your chest.

    • Step 1: Start with One End Longer Than the Other — Position the bow tie so that one side is draped slightly lower than the other by about two to three inches. Be sure to keep the longer end on the same side as your dominant hand to make it easier to tie the knot. For example, if you’re right-handed, position the right end of the bow tie two to three inches lower on your chest before you start tying.
      bow tie step 1


    • Step 2: Cross Both Ends and Tuck the Longer End — Take the longer end of the tie and place it over the top of the shorter end. Loop it underneath the shorter end and pull it out at the top, creating a simple knot. Pull it so it’s snug but not tight around your neck — you don’t want to choke yourself! Flip the longer side over your shoulder to move it out of the way while you create your bow.
      bow tie step 2


    • Step 3: Fold the Shorter Side into the Shape of a Bow — Hold the shorter side perpendicular to your collar to mimic the finished look, centering it right at the perfect position on your collar. This will keep the bow tie portion in the right spot so you can create the loop and knot over the top of it, securing it in place.
      bow tie step 3


    • Step 4: Pull the Long Side Over the Bow and Pinch Both Sides Together — Pull down the longer side of the bow and pinch both sides together. This will help you create your loop and knot around the tie to secure it in the right place.
      bow tie step 4


    • Step 5: Fold the Middle of the Hanging End and Create a Loop — Next, fold the other side of the bow into the loop behind the bow and tighten it. Again, you want the bow to be tight so it stays all day but not so tight it’s uncomfortable.
      bow tie step 5


    • Step 6: Adjust and Fluff the Bow — Finally, it’s time to fluff! Tighten and adjust the bow to ensure that it looks even and is neatly tied.

Finding Your Perfect Bow Tie

As you can see, tying a bow tie is relatively straightforward and not a task that should hold you back from trying out this essential men’s accessory. Ready to tie up your outfit in a neat little bow? Shop tuxedos and suits at Men’s Wearhouse to find the perfect style to complete your look. From solid black and navy to classic prints and patterns, there’s a bow tie in our selection to help you tie it all together.

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