There is no substitute for a self tied bow tie. Although quality pre-tied bow ties are acceptable for formal black tie dress code, the true bow tie aficionado will insist on a self tied bow. Learn how to tie a bow tie with these instructions:


How to Tie a Bow Tie
  1. Lay the bow tie around your collar with the stitching facing your neck. Make sure that one end of the bow tie hangs a few inches lower than the other end.
  2. Take the longer end of the bowtie and cross it over the narrow end and wrap it once around as indicated in picture #2.
  3. Fold over the narrow end of the bow tie.
  4. Take the longer end of the bow tie and pull it over, and around the narrow end of the bow tie.
  5. Just like you would when tying your shoes, take the longer end of the bow tie and wrap it all the way around the shorter end. Leave a little gap on the top of the wrapping and pull the longer end of the bow tie back through this gap before pulling the knot tight from both sides.
  6. Adjust the finished bow tie knot to your liking and you are done. It is just that simple to tie a bow tie.

What About Pre Tied Bow Ties?

Most men do not wear a bow tie on a regular basis. Therefore, most men do not want to bother trying to learn how to tie a sel- tied bow tie. Instead they choose to wear a so-called pre tied bow tie. Because most men opt for this type of bow tie it has unfortunately become acceptable for most formal dress codes.

Pre tied bow ties are noticeably perfect and the true bow tie aficionado will instantly spot out those wannabes. We at suggest you learn to tie a bow tie the traditional way. There is simply no substitute for the self tied bow tie.

When to Wear a Bow Tie?

For most men the bow tie is part of a formal dress code. Most common is the black tie dress code that consists of black tuxedo, white dress shirt, black bow tie, and either a cummerbund or a waistcoat. The even more formal white tie dress code also requires men to wear a bow tie. Just as the name of this dress code suggests, the bow tie is white in color and accessorizes the wing-tip collared dress shirt, the waistcoat, and the tailcoat jacket. Besides these formal functions bow ties are popular even in casual settings. Those who prefer to wear bow ties on a daily basis, regardless of a dress code restriction, often times choose more casual bow ties that display patterns, multiple colors, and are made from unique fabric textures.

Formal Dress Shirt Options for Bow Ties:

Although all formal dress shirts are white in color there are quite a few options available. The first option is the cuff style. Most men prefer the double French cuffed style that is secured with cufflinks instead of buttons. Next is the fabric weave. Most common is fine pattern-less cotton but pique as well as fine ribbed textured cotton fabric is a very elegant alternative. Then there is the front of the dress shirt. Pleated fronts should be paired with a cummerbund while non-pleated dress shirts are better complimented with a waistcoat. Finally there is the collar style. Most common are wing-tip collar dress shirt for formal dress codes. The wing-tip collar is a requirement for formal white tie affair but optional for black tie attire. For black tie events you can choose a classic turn down collar as well as a wing tip collar with a bow tie. Button down collars as well as oriental mandarin collars are not acceptable for bow ties.