How Do I Tie This Damn Bow Tie?

tom-ford-bowtieHow are your really supposed to tie a bow tie? It might just be me, but it seems like the pictures and stuff online don’t help at all.

– PZ

Tying of a bow is one of the great lost arts of manhood. It’s sad, too – a couple of bow ties should be an indispensable part of any guy’s bag of stylin’ tricks, and just cant get the same look from one of those pre-tied abominations. But all is not lost. The diagrams and how-tos you see online are only useless if you try to do them with a tie around your actual neck. If you want to succeed get yourself a tie, find a set of the aforementioned instructions, and walk through them with by tying the bow around your thigh. Really. Your thigh is usually about the same size as your neck, and things will go a lot better the first few times if you can actually see what you are doing. With a standard tie you can look down and see what your hands are up to, but with a bow you work close enough to the neck that you are flying blind. And trust me – trying to learn the technique via the mirror is damn near impossible.

Once you get the basic moves down – and they aren’t hard, it really is just like tying a shoe – then you can move up to the neck and after a couple of tries you’ll have it. Remember that the mirror is both your friend and your enemy here. You can use your reflection to check where you are or to see how the balance is, but don’t try to watch in the mirror as you go – it is nothing but an exercise in spatial futility.

Trust me.

Two things to remember: One, keep your skills sharp. Even if you don’t plan on wearing it, pull out a bow and tie it a couple of times every other week or so … use it or lose it. And two, get a bow that fits. Unlike hanging ties, bows should be measured to the size of your neck. Buy your tie to the same size as your shirt. This is a definitely a case where one size never fits all.

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