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How to Tie a Bow Tie

Whether you're a distinguished professor, a fledgling politician, or a James Bond wanna-be, knowing how to tie a bow tie comes with the territory.


  • Step 1: Drape tie around neck Lift up the collar of your shirt and drape the tie around your neck with one end hanging 1 and a half inches below the other end.
  • Step 2: Button top button Button the top button of your shirt.
  • TIP: If you want a nice thick knot, use a tie made of a thick material.
  • Step 3: Cross ends Cross the long end in front of the short end.
  • Step 4: Pass long end through loop With your thumb, bring the long end behind the short end and pass it up through the loop so it hangs down on top of the shorter end.
  • TIP: Adjust the tightness of the tie now, as you won't be able to readjust later.
  • Step 5: Double short end on itself Push the long end aside, and double the short end on itself so the narrow portion of the end is brought up to the knot and the loop lays sideways, from one collar point to the other.
  • Step 6: Hold bow in place Hold this bow with one hand and don't let go. This will stay in place for the rest of the steps.
  • Step 7: Loop other end around bow Pull the other end straight up behind the bow, then loop it around the middle of the bow.
  • Step 8: Push end through knot With the end behind the bow again, push the wide center of the end through the knot, creating a new bow facing in the opposite direction as the first one.
  • Step 9: Tighten knot Pull on both bows at the same time to tighten the knot.
  • Step 10: Straighten knot Gently pull on the ends to return them to the same length as the bows if necessary, straighten the knot. Quick—do something debonair!
  • FACT: Dating to the 18th century, the bow tie is likely derived from the French jabot, a style of frilly cravat.

You Will Need

  • A bow tie
  • A dress shirt or tuxedo shirt
  • A mirror

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