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How to Tie a Bow Tie

An easy, step-by-step tutorial

No need for a clip-on: Let Brooks Brothers show you how to tie the perfect bow tie. This video
with step-by-step instructions will help demystify the process so you can master the look.

The Bow Tie

The bow tie is a tour de force in its own right. It is a statement that shows you’re debonair, self-aware and not too timid to shy away from the crowd of Four-in-Hands and Half-Windsor tie knots. (Not that there’s anything wrong with them.) Learning how to properly tie a bow tie is not only an important life skill, but a rite of passage. This eye-catching alternative to the standard necktie is a style icon and preppy staple—and easier to execute than you might imagine.

The Bow Tie The Bow Tie

Before we get started:
Adjust your bow tie to be ¼" to ½" larger than neck size.

1. Hang bow tie flat around neck, with one side longer by approximately 1½".

2. Cross the long side over the shorter side.

3. Bring long end underneath and up through neck. (Pull tightly and drape over shoulder.)

4. Pull from middle of hanging side toward draped side to create a bow.

5. Bring top over the middle of the bow.

6. Now for the tricky part. Pinch both ends in front to reveal a loop.

7. Fold and pass it through the loop. You’re almost done.

8. Tug on both folded ends simultaneously to tighten.

9. Alternate between folded and unfolded sides to adjust until bows are even.

Need a new tie for your perfect knot?

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Take a Bow

As they say with great sartorial power comes great responsibility, and correctly tying and wearing a bow tie is no exception. A pre-tied or clip-on option is out of the question, and a loosely tied, excessively large or haphazardly askew bow will destroy the whole effect. Be mindful of harmony as well—if your bow tie is busy, your shirt should be subtle and muted. Bow ties are not for wallflowers so overcomplicating them with exaggerated colors and patterns will attract the wrong kind of attention. In terms of fabric, cotton is best for spring and summer months (and casual occasions) whereas silk is best for dressing up.

Need a refresher on tying a tie?
Check out these additional tutorials.

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