How To Tie a Bow Tie

Close up of tuxedo and bow tieBow ties are considered standard neckwear for a traditional tuxedo and many contemporary formalwear styles as well. It is a good idea to learn how to tie a bow tie before the day of your special event. For example, if you are a groomsman in a wedding, you will want to avoid fumbling in the dressing room before the ceremony begins. Learning to tie a proper bow tie can be tricky and will almost always take a little practice before you’ve mastered it. Below, the formalwear experts at A Better Deal Tuxedo provide step-by-step instructions. If you need help, feel free to contact us for in-person assistance learning how to tie a bow tie at our La Jolla formalwear showroom. We offer tuxedos, designer suits, and accessories for rental or purchase.

How To Tie a Bow Tie

Step 1: Drape the bow tie around your neck, under your collar, so the ends dangle. The end on your right (A) should extend one to two inches lower than the end on your left side (B). Cross A over B and form a simple, loose knot. The loop around your neck should be just large enough to work with but not loose, since you will want your bow tie to rest at your neck and not dangle.

Step 2: Lift side A out of the way, letting it drop over your back. You will use side B to form the horizontal shape of the bow by pulling the center up and to your left and then folding the end over the center (the bottom end will point right). Hold this fold, which will create the front of the completed tie, at your neck on top of the knot.

Step 3: Bring side A back to the front and drop it over the center of horizontally-folded side B.

Step 4: Grab the left and right sides of the horizontal fold (B) and pinch them together with the upper section of side A caught in the center. In front of your mirror, turn to one side and pull the pinched section forward, away from your neck, so you can see the exposed loop behind the section.

Step 5: This is the tricky part. Pull the pinched section to your left and feed the middle of the dangling end (A) back through the loop (left to right) behind the pinched section. As it goes through the loop, it will form a fold.

Step 6: You should now have the approximate shape of a bow at your neck. Perfect the shape of the bow by pulling on opposite sides and halves simultaneously. To loosen, pull the front right and back left ends apart; to tighten, pull the front left and back right apart. Repeat until the bow is the desired shape and tightness. Straighten any crumples or creases in the narrow midsection of the bow tie.

Need Help?

If you need help learning to tie your bow tie, feel free to contact the formalwear experts at A Better Deal Tuxedo. We offer a complete collection of tuxedos and men’s designer suits, with all the accessories you need to look sophisticated and put together for every event and occasion.