How To Tie A Bow Tie (According To Three Menswear Experts)
Image credit: The Hanger Project
— 12 March 2024

How To Tie A Bow Tie (According To Three Menswear Experts)

— 12 March 2024
Randy Lai
Randy Lai

If you’re anything like the team here at Boss Hunting HQ, you’ve probably found yourself attempting – with varying degrees of success – to tie your own bow tie. More often than not, we leave the task of tying to the last moment, mere minutes before heading out the door to your gala event of choice; and this exercise (some would say in futility) is quickly abandoned in favour of the dreaded clip-on.

Frankly, a big part of the problem has to do with the lacklustre quality of instructions out there. Googling for a solution throws up dozens of confusing diagrams; or worse still, a 30-second TikTok too choppily edited for you to make heads or tails of where to begin.

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Fortunately, after countless hours spent scouring the web we’ve compiled the ultimate guide to tying a bow tie – a proclamation we stand behind with the aid of not one, but three excellent instructional videos.

In stark contrast to the traditional necktie, there aren’t a wealth of various methods you can use to tie a bow. Luckily, you still have ample room to inject your own personality: with fabric texture and how tightly you opt to secure your bow both playing into the final look.

Check out these three videos below to see what we’re talking about in action.

How To Tie A Bow Tie (feat. Le Noeud Papillon)

Put together by local Sydney outfit Le Noeud Papillon – widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost makers of handmade bowties – this ‘How To’ subscribes to the adage of being both short and sweet. Filmed for less than a minute in a static position, the key takeaway here is the technique used to secure the bow tie’s final loop. Be sure to use a pinching motion (with your thumb and index finger) in order to widen the loop enough for the bow’s rear blade!

How To Tie A Bow Tie (feat. The Tie Bar)

Marginally longer than the previous video (at just over one minute) this ‘How To’ demo from U.S. men’s outfitter The Tie Bar comes with a number of helpful written captions – in case visual learning isn’t your strongest suit.

An interesting point to observe is the way the model finishes tying his bow. Unlike regular neckties, in which the front and keeper blades usually lie straight over one another, there’s a school of thought in bow tie tying that favours having each of the four ‘wings’ fastened slightly askew. This intentionally off-kilter look marries well with more casual fabrics (e.g. velvet or linen); and worn in tandem with a smoking jacket, can be really effective at adding a more louche dimension to formal dressing.

How To Tie A Bow Tie (feat. The Hanger Project)

Offering what must surely be the Once Upon A Time in America of bow tie-tying videos, The Hanger Project’s 10-minute instructional goes beyond the mere act of tying the eponymous accessory, by providing contextual background and a number of answers to those FAQs arising out of how best to wear the style in a black tie setting.

Brand founder Kirby Allison does a commendable job explaining the various nuances that go into tying a very secure and characterful bow; and he even explains, in minute detail, the tricky final step of how any bow tie comes together.

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Randy Lai
Following 6 years in the trenches covering consumer luxury across East Asia, Randy joins Boss Hunting as the team's Commercial Editor. His work has been featured in A Collected Man, M.J. Bale, Soho Home, and the BurdaLuxury portfolio of lifestyle media titles. An ardent watch enthusiast, boozehound and sometimes-menswear dork, drop Randy a line at [email protected].


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