The bow tie is a tour de force in its own right. More of a style icon than accent, it has graced the likes of everyone from Winston Churchill to James Bond. It is a statement that shows you’re debonair, self-aware and not too timid to shy away from the crowd of Four-in-Hands and Half-Windsor tie knots. (Not that there’s anything wrong with them.)

However, as they say with great sartorial power comes great responsibility, and correctly tying and wearing a bow tie is no exception. A pre-tied or clip-on option is out of the question, and a loosely tied, too large or haphazardly askew look will destroy the whole effect.

Which is why learning how to properly tie a bow tie is not only an important life skill, but a rite of passage.

HOW TO TIE A BOW TIE

STEP 1
Step 1

Hang the bow tie flat around your neck, pulling side A longer than side B by approximately 1.5 inches.


STEP 2
Step 2

Bring A across B close to your neck to prevent the tie from becoming too loose.


STEP 3

Step 3

Continue to bring A up behind B, forming a simple and loose knot.


STEP 4

Step 4

Fold B to make a bow tie shape by pulling it to the left and then folding it back over itself to the right. The fold should be directly between the collar points.


STEP 5

Step 5

Drape A over the front of B.


STEP 6
Step 6

Fold A and pass it through the loop behind B.


STEP 7
Step 7

Continue pulling A through the loop, without pulling it completely through. This will form the back half of the bow.


STEP 8
Step 8

Tighten the knot and adjust until even by pulling on opposite sides simultaneously. Pull the front left and back right section to tighten, and the front right and back left end apart to loosen.