How to Tie a Bow Tie

by Lindsey Robinson Sanchez ; Updated September 28, 2017

Whether you wear it with a casual button-up or the fanciest of tuxedos, the bow tie has a certain charm that a standard necktie just can't replicate. When loosened, a bow tie is a strip of fabric with a wide, round portion at each end that helps create a full bow shape. Tying a bow tie is similar to tying your shoelaces, but it takes a little practice. So park yourself in front of a mirror until you get your knot square and your bows even. It might just be that special touch your wardrobe is missing.

Turn up the collar of your shirt. Place the bow tie around your neck, letting the ends hang down your shirt front. One end should be about an inch higher than the other.

Cross the long side over the short side, and then bring the long end underneath and over the short side to create a simple tie at your throat. The tie should be snug but not tight.

Make a bow shape with the shorter side by folding it and holding it horizontally to your neck. The center of your bow should be at the narrow portion of your tie.

Lay the long side over the center of the folded portion of your bow. Hold the folded portion firmly.

Grasp the longer side at its widest part. Fold at this point and push the longer side behind the bow, then up into the space behind your bow and in front of the simple tie you made at your throat.

Pull gently on the ends of the bow tie to adjust and tighten it at your throat. Fold your collar down, and tuck the ends of the collar behind your bow tie.


  • Try placing the longer side of your bow tie on the side of your dominant hand. Since that hand is more dexterous, it may make the wraps and tucks of bow-tying easier.

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About the Author

Lindsey Robinson Sanchez, from Bessemer, Ala., has written for the "Troy Messenger," "The Alabama Baptist" and "The Gainesville Times," where her work was featured on the AP wire. She has a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Florida. She writes style, beauty, fitness, travel and culture.