Introduction: A Couples Guide to a Black Tie Evening: How to Tie a Bowtie

We get it. You were invited to attend an event either by a co-worker, an employer, or a loved one. You read the invitation with some level of enthusiasm, but your heart sank a bit as you read the fine print. It’s a black tie event. Whether you are trying to make sense of that fish-shaped piece of fabric in a mirror or you are hoping to clean up a ragged looking loved one, there are only a few steps standing between what you look like now and looking a bit more like this.

Step 1: Materials

  • Bowtie
  • Two hands
  • A mirror

Step 2:

Adjust neck size, if necessary. Place the T-shaped hook through the hole corresponding to your neck size.

Step 3:

Drape the bowtie around your neck, under your collar, and grab the ends so the right side is 3-4 inches longer.

Step 4:

Cross the right side over the left side and pull the long end behind and up through the loop. Tighten the tie against your neck (Note: if this is your first time it might be easier to practice with your bowtie loose, otherwise now is the time you must tighten your bowtie)

Step 5:

Fold the short end towards you and then flip it over so the basic bowtie shape is in position on your neck. The folded side should be on the left and the unfolded single end should be on the right. Doing this will create a loop behind the bow. Keep your right finger in this loop.

Step 6:

Bring the remaining tail in front of the bow and fold it away from you.

Step 7:

Pull the folded end to the back of the bowtie from below and push it through the loop (where your finger is) from the left. You should now have an awkward looking knot on your neck.

Step 8:

Adjust the bowtie. Pull the two folded loops to tighten (but don’t pull too tight that you lose the tails). Then, holding the knot, pull the unfolded sides to adjust. Alternate pulling the folded and unfolded sides until your bowtie looks presentable.

Step 9:

To take the tie off pull the two unfolded ends.

Step 10: Safety

Take care while tying and wearing your bowtie not to tighten it too much. Failure to heed this advice could result in serious injury or death.

Step 11: Conclusion

Whether you’re going to the opera or you just want to rock the vest and bowtie combo, your bowtying is sure to impress. It might take a few practice attempts, but with these instructions, you’ll quickly be producing results on par with George Clooney, Bill Nye, and Winston Churchill. To end, we’ll just add one word of caution: wearing a bowtie makes people expect great things from you-now get out there and make it happen!