How to Tie a Bow Tie

It's tricky, but not impossible. Follow these steps and you'll be knotting up in no time.

We're not gonna lie to you. Tying a bow tie for the first time is tough.

The trick is to go slowly, use a mirror, and have enough patience to re-tie over and over until you get it right (it's gonna take a few tries. Once the instructions click for you, perfecting your technique is easy.


Step One

Drape the bow tie around your neck, with the right side longer than the left.

Step Two

Pull tightly into a simple overhand knot, like you were beginning to tie your shoes.

Step Three

With your right hand, pinch the shorter right side in half. Point it horizontally and hold it up against the center of your neck so that the general outline looks like a finished bow tie. Then drape the longer side over the center of the folded section.

Step Four

Wiggle your left thumb underneath and up through the folded-over side, so that your left thumb sticks out of the top right corner of the folded section.

Step Five

With your right hand, take the right half of the already folded-over section and fold it over once more, going over your thumb. Then pinch with your left thumb and your left pointer finger.

Step Six

With your right hand, pinch the middle of the dangling end.

Step Seven

Bring that dangling end up to your neck where the action is happening.

Push the pinched section of the dangling end through the hold that your left thumb is keeping open. You want to push just half of this dangling end though.

The pushed-through half becomes the left side of the tie, and the sticking-out portion becomes the right.

Step Eight

Adjust by straightening out the layers and pulling both sides taught. And that's all there is to it.

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