How to Tie a Bow Tie [VIDEO]

by Brett on April 12, 2013 · 46 Comments

in Accessories, Dress & Grooming, Visual Guides

Nearly a year ago to the day, we published an illustrated guide on how to tie a bow tie. Since then, we’ve received requests for an instructional video on how to do it. Well, here you go. Demonstrated and filmed by yours truly and edited by Jordan Crowder. Enjoy.

{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jerrad Nelson April 12, 2013 at 8:17 pm

I am really liking the videos Mr. McKay; thanks for helping me look as sharp as you!

2 Brian D. April 12, 2013 at 8:46 pm

Since my brother wore a bow tie at Christmas this past year I have been wearing one to work once a week this whole year. My wife has found some interesting looking ones that pair well with several of my shirts. At first people were surprised/curious now I tend to get compliments on it.

3 Geoff April 12, 2013 at 9:30 pm

This makes me really want to go buy a Suit and Bow Tie, if anything, just for the dapper effect!

Video is great! Easy to see and understand what you are doing, Brett. I like how you didn’t choose to end it with the typical “…and that’s how you [tie a Bow Tie]…”

4 Victor P April 12, 2013 at 11:20 pm

Nice tutorial. However the black and white makes it really hard to see what you’re actually doing with the knot. I get the b&w is a style motif so I’ll just have to deal with it!

5 Dylan April 12, 2013 at 11:52 pm

Smooth Brett! I’m loving these videos — I feel like they add a great new dimension to the site.

I actually thought the black and white made it easier to see what was going on — something about relief and contrast. But different strokes for different folks I guess.

While we’re on the subject, I’d like to see more on wearing a tux. Haven’t had occasion to yet, but don’t want to look like a dweeb when I do.

6 Alexander Hiller April 13, 2013 at 3:19 am

Great video – in fact just in time for a formal Dinner I am having tonight for which I specifically bought a bowtie.

Also: Great tux! I hope you didn’t forget your pocket Square.

7 Bill April 13, 2013 at 6:17 am

I started wearing bow ties at work a few years ago. I’ve received many compliments. It also helps to identify Doctor Who fans; they always tell me “bow ties are cool”.

8 Cal April 13, 2013 at 7:35 am

Love the site, Love the videos, great job!!!!!

9 Devon April 13, 2013 at 7:51 am

Great video, Brett. I’ve found the best tip for bow ties is that the knot is the same knot that most people use for tying their shoes, so if you’re ever stuck just think back to the basic shoelace knot.

10 Remington April 13, 2013 at 8:04 am

I love that you are doing videos regularly now. This was very helpful! I’m a filmmaker as well if you ever need help, I’m good with motion graphics as well. I put a link to my work in the website link.

Stay Manly.

11 Richie April 13, 2013 at 8:11 am

Great video men.

Keep them simple, please. Especially for these instructionals. Its a shame to see how bonkers some website videos get.

12 B. Matthew Barber April 13, 2013 at 8:28 am

I own around two dozen bow ties, and wear one several times a week. I think I speak for many prospective dicky bow wearers here when I say that learning how to tie a bow tie from a diagram is nigh on impossible. Video instruction is an absolute must.

Saying that, I’ve found people love the bow tie. Women are curious, and guys think it’s ‘classy as all hell’.

For those who think the clip-on ties suffice, think again. Go hard, or go home.

13 Patrick April 13, 2013 at 9:44 am

Great video, Brett, but the black and white does make it a bit hard to see exactly what you’re doing at times. I started wearing bow ties a few years ago, as a sort of joke amongst friends; but I have to admit they are now my tie of choice. And you can increasingly find more companies who make them, so whether you want to go evening attire debonaire, southern gentry, or crazy physics professor, you’ll be able to find one that suits you.

14 Will April 13, 2013 at 10:19 am

Devon is absolutely correct: It’s exactly the same knot you use to tie your shoes. The only thing is, it’s a little trickier to do on your neck! But once you’ve mastered it, it’s as easy as pie.

And the best part? If you’re wearing a tux, and it’s in the wee hours of the morning, you can undo the tie and the top button, and look like freakin’ Sinatra doing his last set at the Sands.

15 Joe April 13, 2013 at 10:33 am

I have no idea why you feel uncomfortable in front of the camera Brett, this is great!

Also, what’s the name of the song you guys used? It’s awesome and perfect for this video.

16 Yates April 13, 2013 at 2:27 pm

thanks for the video! Where can I find the alternate method for tying a bow tie?

17 Garrett April 13, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Hahaha, a little corny at the end, but I love it. Great video, and a great skill to have.

18 Bryon April 13, 2013 at 4:06 pm

I started wearing a bow tie for about two months now. The first time was to a coffee shop in the Pacific NW; now I live in Europe and wear bow ties randomly about 3-4 times a week. Every single time, i get compliments! I think people are just surprise to see a man in bow ties. I enjoy wearing them because they give the impression of someone attentive to how he presents himself in public…but doesn’t take himself too seriously at the same time.

19 Mark April 13, 2013 at 5:30 pm

I would like to reiterate what some people have already have said. When I learned how to tie a bow tie, it helped me tremendously to think of it like tying my shoes. Cross over the two halves, pull tight, make your first loop, wrap the other side around it, make your second loop, and pull through. Adjust as necessary, and you’re all set!

20 John April 13, 2013 at 10:52 pm

Besides the good video on how to tie a bowtie, I would like to congratulate you Brett on your practice using a deep voice. I can definitely tell you’re speaking more from your chest and not your throat.

21 Robert Palmar April 14, 2013 at 12:17 am

The name’s McKay. Brett McKay.

Well done, Brett.

Lovin’ the “Stay manly!” tagline.
Get that trademarked, pronto.

22 Gus April 14, 2013 at 1:08 pm

What was that beautiful music in the title?

23 Scott April 14, 2013 at 6:36 pm

I have to say man, I love your moustache!

24 Galen April 14, 2013 at 7:35 pm

The video is well edited, your camera presence is excellent (15 to 30% due to your amazing ‘stache), the introductions are clear and concise with minimal rambling, and you did not ask us to subscribe to the channel. All in all, this was an beautifully put together video and I look forward seeing more.

25 Brandon April 14, 2013 at 8:10 pm

Great video and production! Great job, Brett!

26 Nick April 15, 2013 at 8:48 am

That stache is impressive, much respect. Love the tutorial and overall styling of the video — great job Brett.

27 Ben April 16, 2013 at 9:57 am

Where was this video on Friday when my first bow tie arrived and I spent an agonising hour watching you tube video’s trying to teach myself how to tie it? Your video is a lot clearer than they were, though I would agree that colour would have allowed a bit better definition, the tie looks like one black mass.

28 drew April 16, 2013 at 11:05 am

Really good video about the bow tie. i find it really easy and simple to tie the bow after having watched it. thanks a lot for the great video.

29 nightfly April 16, 2013 at 3:33 pm

Sweet. I first stumbled into bow ties almost 20 years ago. I was continually frustrated with ruining the regular neckties I had to wear while waiting tables. Finally I hit upon the solution – the bow tie. It looked dapper and original, and it stayed out of the way of anything I was trying to do. Their current renaissance is a welcome development, because now I don’t have to scrounge to find any and just settle! Thanks for the video.

30 Ara Bedrossian April 17, 2013 at 5:46 am

Bow ties are boss.

31 EP April 17, 2013 at 6:01 am

My college classmate runs an Etsy store for bowties: Time Lord’s Choice.
It’s no longer listed because I just bought it, but he made a pretty sweet Batman bowtie:

32 Alan April 18, 2013 at 2:26 pm

I wear a bowtie pretty much exclusively now at work. They don’t get in the way or flap around, they don’t attract spills, and they do elicit compliments. I work in a nerdy, academic environment, so I can pull off the look.

33 Darshan Donni April 18, 2013 at 2:38 pm

Gee Brett, another chapter in the life of AoM, eh ?

34 Smo April 20, 2013 at 10:42 pm

When I got married …. the monkey suit they sent in had this ‘tie’ …. I had no freck’n idea how to tie it. I didn’t even recognize it as a bow-tie. My ‘best man’ was rolling on the floor. Finally, I just tied something and got away with it. Hey, it could be a great trick:)

35 Steve May 3, 2013 at 5:27 am

I tried the bow tie for the first time last weekend, and I was so stoked with the results. So many random comments about how good it looked. Never had that with the plain ol’ tie.

36 Teyon May 21, 2013 at 3:58 pm

i see you Brett doing your thing. Keep it up man.

37 James May 30, 2013 at 7:52 pm

Great video but I prefer James May’s method.

38 michel June 2, 2013 at 7:40 am

i fold the long part all around the folded part and pass it true the front part and it makes a great bow ties and it doesn’t get lose at all during the day.

39 Steve June 2, 2013 at 6:40 pm

Well done, a mystery elucidated. Thanks.

40 Brennan June 4, 2013 at 2:55 pm

I rarely wear a bow tie with anything but a tux, and the best part of putting it on, is taking it off. There is that moment after a formal event when it is cigars and snifters on the back deck, the jackets are on chair backs and bowties are untied and left to dangle about the neck, shirtstuds and cufflinks are on display, and you can see the guys with the clipons just die a little on the inside because they have been exposed.

41 Chuck June 21, 2013 at 11:06 pm

Nice. One more helpful trick I discovered as I’ve used bow ties over a few years: Once you are at the point in the process where you are tucking the looped end through the back of the knot (behind the front loop), Stop Looking in the Mirror! Go back to the mirror when you are pulling and tightening and tidying up.

Also, a good bow tie has some imperfections in symmetry – that is what shows it’s not a clip on.

Finally: I was able to get a bow tie made for my wedding by sending off a straight tie to a seamstress in New England that I found online. Just an idea, and it wasn’t price at all.

42 Daniel June 26, 2013 at 10:32 am

because of this video I can wear bowties now, bowties are cool!

43 Randolph Anderson June 26, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Awesome video, most YouTube videos aren’t that good. But I knew that AOM would come to the rescue. Always does. Thanks again

44 Justin July 12, 2013 at 3:43 pm

You didn’t mention flipping the tie after your done, it’ll stay tight longer and look smaller (if that’s what you like). Just grab the stable ends on either side (those are the ones that don’t pull the knot undone) and rotate it 180 degrees away from you (towards the mirror we all know you’re using).

45 Tricia December 11, 2013 at 8:18 pm

Love the first song! Great choice. Mind sharing the name and artist?

46 Matthew April 3, 2014 at 10:19 am

If you like bowties AND really compelling stories, check out this video;

Young entrepreneur named Brent Kraus. Creates handmade bowties and accessories. But WHY he does it will hit you right in the heart.

AoM, love you guys. Keep up the great work.


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