How to Tie a Bow Tie: 8 Simple Steps to a Perfect Bow Tie

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Bow ties are all the rage! If you’re looking to learn how to tie a bow tie then read our guide to get a perfect bow tie every time.

Are you ready for National Bow Tie Day?

Since 2007, people across the nation have been celebrating National Bow Tie Day on August 28th. To join in on the festivities, all you need to do is wear your favorite type of bow tie. There’s the professional-looking black bow tie, humorous patterned bow ties, and of course chic colorful bow ties. Of course, the best looking bow ties are the ones you tie yourself. If you’re not sure how to tie a bow tie, we can help! Read on to learn 8 simple steps to a perfect bow tie.

Step 1: Place the Bow Tie

As the bow tie hangs flatly around your neck, look at yourself in the mirror. The left end is side A and the right end is side B. Take side A (the left end) and pull it. Keep slowly pulling side A until it’s about 2 inches longer than side B (the right end). Take your hands off the bow tie, and check to see that side A is slightly longer than side B.

Step 2: Create a Longer Side

For the second step, you’ll need to grab a hold of side A. Move side A so that it drapes across the front of your neck. Now, you should have side A, the longer side, crossing over side B, the shorter end of the bow tie.

Step 3: Make a Loose Knot

Take side A and tuck it underside B to create a simple loose knot. To do this you’ll simply continue bringing the longer end underneath the shorter end, and out through the center. You can let go now, and if you made the simple knot correctly, everything will stay in place.

Step 4: Make the Bow Tie Shape

You’re already halfway done learning how to tie a bow! Step 4 is the part where you’ll be making the bow tie shape. Take side B and pull it slightly to the left. Next, with side B still in your hand, fold it back over itself towards the right. Now, side B should resemble the shape of a bow tie.

Be patient with yourself, since step 4 is usually where people have the most difficulty. When you think you’re done with step 4, double-check that the fold lines up correctly. If you did everything right, the fold will sit directly between both of the collar points. Take your time as you perfect step 4. If your folds don’t line up correctly now, the results won’t be what you were hoping for.

Step 5: Position the Ends

Right now, you should be holding the bow tie shape (side B) in place. The bow tie shape should be perfectly centered. Continue holding side B with 1 hand, and with the other hand prepare to move side A. Next, take side A and drape it over the front of side B. Go slowly so that you don’t lose the bow tie shape you made. As side A hangs over side B, take a moment to fold side A so that it’s also in the bow tie shape position. At this moment, you should have 1 end in each hand. Each of the ends should be in the shape of a bow tie. Now, you’re ready for the most important part, step 6.

Step 6: Travel Through the Loop

Similar to tying your shoes, you’re going to pass side A through the loop you’ve made. Side A will be passing behind side B. Gently pull on side A until it’s in the loop, however, stop before you pull it all the way through. Take your time as you slowly push and pull side A into the loop. Since side A is going to create the bow tie’s backside, you’ll want to line it up in the middle of the loop.

Step 7: How to Tie a Bow Tie

Once side A is forming the bow tie’s backside, you can pull both sides of the bow nice and tight. We find that if you put your index finger through each of the loops, pulling the bow tightly is much easier. After threading each finger through opposite loops, gently pull outwards until the bow tie knot is complete. It’s okay if your bow tie knot isn’t 100% precise. One of the best parts about the bow tie style is that it allows for a little wiggle room, unlike a traditional tie.

A bow tie knot that’s slightly off-balanced can have a certain casual charm to it. However, while a small imperfection can be stylish, you’ll want to avoid any major flaws. That’s why in step 8 we’ll show you how to make tiny adjustments.

Step 8: Perfect Your Look

Looking at yourself in the mirror, check to see if the knot is as tight as it needs to be. If it needs to be tighter, pull on the back right and front left section to tighten it. Does the bow tie need to be looser? 


To loosen the tie, pull on the back left and front right sections. Next, check to see if the bow tie looks even on both sides. Finally, center the bow tie so that it rests between your collar.

How to Wear a Bow Tie Like a Pro

Now that you know how to tie a bow tie, we want to share a few tips for wearing your bow tie! If you plan on wearing a bold, attention-grabbing bow tie, make sure your shirt is a solid color. By choosing a non-patterned shirt, it’ll be easier for your bow tie to get the attention it deserves.

Next, don’t fall into the trap of only using 1 bow tie fabric. Instead, branch out and try fabrics you normally wouldn’t consider like silk, velvet, or wool bow ties. Finally, always arrive to your event with the bow tie already tied. 

Love Your Look

Congratulations! Now you know how to tie a bow tie, and you can wear one whenever you want. The more you practice, the easier tying your bow tie will be. For more ways to make life easier, check out the rest of our site!

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