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How To Tie A Bow Tie In Seconds

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Tie A Bow Tie In Seconds

It’s time to close the yearbook and leave the pre-tied bow tie behind. Learn how to tie a bow tie in 10 easy steps.


You don’t need to know how to tie a bow tie until you do, and by then it’s too late. So take the five minutes it’ll take you to learn how to do it yourself and check “learn to tie a bow tie” off your to-do list.

Or don’t. The choice is yours. Are you going to be a man and learn to tie a self-tie bow tie, or be doomed to a life of pre-tied, clip-on, just-stepped-out-of-a-prom-limo nonsense? (Sorry to all our high school homies out there but learning to tie a bow tie separates the men from the boys.) So it’s your call. We’ll let you think it over…

…Alright so if you’re still with us, here’s the deal. Learning to tie a self-tie bow tie is not hard (actually, being the best dressed guy in the room is never hard if you subscribe to The Compass and read it regularly). It just takes a few tries to get the hang of it, like riding a bike. So slip on a dress shirt, get out your self-tie bow tie and give yourself a few practice runs following the instructions below. Then, when the time comes for you to look your best in black tie and put on a tuxedo/bow tie combo, you’ll be prepared.


how to tie a bow tie
  • Step 1: Start by aligning the bow tie around your neck so that one end is a couple of inches longer than the other.
  • Step 2: Cross the long end over the shorter end.
  • Step 3: Pull the longer end back up and under the shorter end and tighten to your neck.
  • *It’s important to note that you won’t be able to adjust the tightness of the knot of your bow tie like you do with a necktie after this knot is secured, so be sure this knot is properly adjusted.
  • Step 4: Leaving the long end out of the way, form the bow shape with the shorter end of the tie.
  • Step 5: Let the longer end fall over top of the center of the bow you just formed.
  • Step 6: Fold the remaining fabric from the long end of the tie into a bow shape that roughly matches the bow you’ve already formed.
  • Step 7: Slide the long end bow through the space between the short end bow and the knot against your neck.
  • Step 8: Tighten the bow by pulling both ends of the tie at the same time with equal force.
  • Step 9: Even out the tie and adjust the ends by carefully pulling the ends of the bow horizontally.
  • Step 10: Admire your work.

Take a Bow For Your Bow-Tying Skills

With a little practice you’ll be so good at tying your own bow tie, other people will be asking you to do theirs. So how do you avoid becoming the designated bow tie tie-er for the next wedding party you’re in? Pass along a link to this article.

For more practical advice like this be sure to subscribe to The Compass

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3 thoughts on “How To Tie A Bow Tie In Seconds”

  1. How to tie a knot, not bow tie.
    also how to preserve the suit at home? what spray do you use to keep it fresh

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We’ll assume you mean that you’re looking for instructions on how to tie a necktie and you’re wondering about proper suit care. In that case, our first suggestion is to subscribe to The Compass. Why? Because if you were a subscriber you’d have seen the articles we published that answer your very questions. Take a look:

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