How to tie a bow tie is a skill most parents do not teach their children. The reason for this is that bow ties are not worn as regularly as neckties, which most people know how to tie. To compromise this lack of knowledge it is possible to get clip on bow ties which are already tied. However, if you want to go the traditional way of tying the knot yourself there are certain steps which need to be followed.
Draping the bow tie
The first step is to turn up the collar of your dress shirt. This is a crucial step and cannot be missed as the bow tie needs to rest below the collar. Once this has been done you have to drape the bow tie around the neck with the ends hanging down the front of the shirt. One of the ends should be around an inch lower than the other, which end it is will be personal preference.
Cross the long side
Once you have a longer and shorter end you should pick up the longer end. Bring the long side over the shorter side. The intersection of the two ends should be near to the front of the neck.
Looping the long side
Take the long end of the bow tie and feed it through the loop which was created in the cross over. The end should move toward the chin to create a single knot. Once this knot has been created, you can place the long end on the shoulder to keep it out of the way as you work with the shorter end.
Make a bow with the shorter end
Take the shorter end and fold it in half to create the first loop of your bow. When holding this loop horizontally in front of the neck it should look like the completed bow tie without the centre knot. Hold the bow loosely keeping a finger in the middle behind the knot as a placeholder. This placeholder will be used during the last step of tying the bow tie.
Drape the long end
With one hand still holding the bow in place pick up the long end which was over the shoulder. Take this end and drape it over the front of the bow. This will become the middle of your bow tie.
Loop the long end
Once the long end has been draped you need to take hold of the end. Now start forming a loop as you swing the end behind the bow already in existence. You must work this loop through the area between the knot at the back and the bow which you have been holing with your finger. If this is done successfully you should have a finished bow tie. If the knot does not look that great try adjusting the ends of the bow until the correct shape is achieved. Once the bow tie is adjusted simply turn the collar down and you will be ready to go.