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You've got style. You've got class. You've got... No reason to still be wearing a clip-on. Show off your suave side with a perfectly knotted tie.
Step 1: Getting to Know You
Acquaint yourself with the basic dynamics of a real bow tie. A standard bow tie consists of a single, long band with two ‘hourglass’ shapes at either end.
Step 2: Drape the tie
Drape the tie around your neck, with one 'hourglass' 1 and ½ inches lower than the other. Its narrow middle should be even with the bottom of the other hourglass.
For a thicker knot, use a tie made of thicker material. Also, a tie made of a textured material will hold a knot better than one made from a smooth material.
Step 3: Cross the ends
Cross the longer end of the tie over the shorter end to form an 'X.'
Step 4: Pass the long end through the loop
Pinching the X together, lift it away from you slightly, and pass the longer end of the bowtie up and over the top of the X.
Adjust the tightness of the knot now, as you won’t be able to readjust later.
Step 5: Double the short end on itself
Bring the shorter end up to the knot and form it into a bow-tie shape by folding the wide 'bulb' of the hourglass in half. Its narrow midpoint should sit right at the knot. Use one hand to keep this bow in place the rest of the way.
Step 6: Loop the long end over the bow
Bring the long end straight down over the middle of this bow and start to form it into a bow shape, too.
Step 7: Push the bulb through the knot
Now here’s the tricky part: As you form this bow, simultaneously bring it up behind the first bow and pull the folded edge through the knot.
Step 8: Tighten the knot
Pull on both bows at the same time to tighten the knot. Adjust the bow shapes to match and, if necessary, straighten the knot. Now quick--do something debonair!
Did You Know?
Dating to the 18th century, the bow tie is likely derived from the French jabot, a style of frilly cravat.