How to Make a Victorian Bow Tie

by Robin Pratt ; Updated September 28, 2017

Victorian bow ties add style to a man's outfit.

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The bow tie was an essential element of a well-dressed man's ensemble during the Victorian era. Although it has largely been replaced in modern times by the Windsor knot, the Steampunk and Goth movements have renewed interest in Victorian bow ties. Weddings and costume parties are ideal places to sport this style; however, the bow tie can add flair and elegance to any outfit.

Put the scarf or ribbon behind your head so that an end drapes over each shoulder. Rest the middle of the fabric on the back of your neck, at about collar level. If you are wearing a collared shirt, tuck the fabric under the collar.

Hold an end of the fabric in each hand, and wrap the fabric once around your neck. Bring the two ends of the fabric back to the front and hold one end in each hand.

Tie a bow with the two ends of the fabric. To do this, bring the right end over the left end, tuck it under the left end and pull the right end up through the center. Pull the two ends until the fabric is tight around the neck but not uncomfortable. Place the thumb of your left hand in the center of the knot and loop the right tail of the fabric around your index finger. Pinch the loop you made between the thumb and index finger of your right hand. Take the left tail of the fabric in your left hand, bring the fabric behind the loop in your right hand and push enough fabric through the hole where your thumb is to make another loop. Grasp the new loop in your right hand, the old loop in your left hand, and pull on both until you have two evenly sized loops of fabric.

Adjust the tie until the bow is in the center of the neck and the loops of the bow are straight.

Smooth out the fabric that forms the loops of the bow to widen the bow and expose more of the fabric. A distinctive feature of Victorian bows is that they are larger and more voluminous than other styles of neckwear. The flowery, opulent style of the bow will look elegant emerging from the collar of a modern dress shirt. It can also be worn with a more traditional Victorian wing collar. When wearing this type of collar, simply wrap the ribbon around the neck and tie a bow as described in Steps 1-4, but do not tuck the shirt collar over the sides of the tie.

Tuck the ends of the scarf into your shirt.

Tips

  • Visit websites to look at the types of fabric patterns favored by Victorian men. Paisleys, dots and stripes were popular, as were red and black satins.

Photo Credits

  • NA/Photos.com/Getty Images

About the Author

Robin Pratt began writing professionally in 1993, when she moved to Russia to write for the "Moscow Guardian." Her work has appeared in the "Palm Beach Post," "Miami Magazine" and "Moscow in Miami." Pratt holds a Bachelor of Arts in Russian and religion from the University of Florida and a Master of Public Health from the University of Georgia..