Most people have a set idea of what a bow tie should look like once it has been knotted. They will imagine a single piece of cloth shaped as a bow with wide edges and a thinner middle. The truth is that there are actually two of these shapes which make up the bow tie knot. When tied correctly a bow tie should have two bows back to back which form the shape.
The cross over
The first step in tying a bow tie is the cross over. To begin you need to lay the bow tie around the neck with one end of the tie hanging lower than the other. Most people will have the left hand piece hang lower than the right. Once this has been done take the right hand piece and pull it over the left hand piece. To complete the cross over you need to tuck the right hand piece behind the left to create a simple knot. This knot will be the same as the one you use to begin tying your shoes.
Form the first bow
The right hand pieces should now be next to your face and you should simply rest this on the shoulder. Once it is resting pick up the bow tie end which is hanging on your front. Fold this end in half to form a bow. Place this against the neck and tweak the size until it is the bow shape that you want.
The wrap around
With one hand hold the bow shape in place and with the other hand pick up the bow tie end which was resting on the shoulder. Bring this piece over the middle of the bow shape. As this is done a hole will begin to form between the two pieces of material. It is important that you place your finger in this hole to keep it open. The hole will be located at the rear of the tie next to the neck.
Pulling through the hole
Take the piece of the bow tie which is hanging down and bring it up around the bottom of the bow tie. This will need to be pushed through the hole you have held open with your finger. It is important that the fabric you push through this hole is doubled up. Once it has been pushed through the hole it will form a loop.
Finish the second bow
The loop you created with the piece of bow tie through the hole should now be enlarged. You need to be careful when doing this as if you pull too far you will not only create a messy knot but also unravel the entire knot.
Adjusting the bow tie
The knot is now complete and simply needs to be adjusted. To do this you will have to grip the ends of both bow shapes and straighten them. You may need to tighten the knot by pulling on the front bow of one side and the back bow of the other side.