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How to tie a bow tie: The ultimate guide to bow ties

There are two types of traditional neckties, that is, straight ties and bow ties. Over time, the long tie has become the go-to option. At times, the bow ties fight the battle of the conservancy. However, the bow ties do indeed have a rich history behind it. If well understood, a bow tie can be a gamechanger. Also, let’s be honest, there also isn’t much more badass than learning how to tie a bow tie.


How the bow tie fits into men’s fashion over time


As the fashion for clothing and design unfolds, so does the bow ties. The rules of dressing today are not against the bow tie. The various stereotypes associated with the bow tie have been dissolved by the fact that most powerful men have embraced the dress code. To better understand the evolution of the bow tie, it is imperative to have a look at the history.


A brief history of the bow tie


The history of bow ties dates back from the 17th century. During the Prussian war, the mercenary from what is now Croatia used scarfs to cover their necks by holding their shirts together. The style attracted the French who adopted it sometimes later. The French called it “Cravats” a term that was derived from its origin, the Croatians. The fashion was embraced by the French chosen-few, who called themselves the ‘upper class’. This fashioned deepened its roots in the 18th and 19th centuries.


Although the history is not consistent concerning the transformation of cravats to bow ties, the bulk of the historical information relates the bow tie to their predecessor, cravats. Today, if you wear a bow tie, you are part of the rich history concerning bow ties that stretches back some centuries ago.



Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

When it became fashionable

There has been a mass acceptance of the bow tie into men’s fashion code, and, over time, into women’s’ fashion too. Today, there is a sensation that bow tie wearers are intellectual. The evolution of a bow tie is remarkable along the lines of cloth design along with traditional lines. It became most famous when it was used as a militaristic attire in the 17th century.


Famous bow tie wearers

The various transformations that the bow tie has undergone reached the climax when famous people started using the design around their neck. The bow tie as a symbol of an influential intellectual person got more in-depth when used by those talented individuals in art, science, political field. The following are some of the topmost individuals who used the bow tie around their necks.


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Winston Churchill

He is known to be one of the most charismatic leaders in the entire British land. History depicts him as a lion who roared in the event when the British Empire was in dire need of him. This general was sartorially renowned for white polka dotted bow tie made of silk. The bow tie was branded “Blenheim,” the term that stemmed from his birthplace. The famous minister wore his bow ties in honour of late father who was also a passionate bow tie wearer.

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James Bond

Okay, so he may not be a living example, buy about as close as you can get. James Bond star is not ashamed of suits. Neither is he ashamed of the bow ties on his neck, Bond is definitely a man who knows how to tie a bow tie. James Bond will eternally put on a bow, a style that will brandish his evening looks. He loves the signature black bow tie that sharply matches up to his suits. He seems to have a way of executing his mission in different shapes and designs for various bow tie styles.


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Janelle Monae

The American singer, rapper, producer and model is a bow tie advocate and is often seen nailing the bow tie look on red carpets all around the world. Monae absolutely dominates the woman bow tie look and it has become a part of her ‘look’ over time.


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Frank Sinatra

Frank is a musical legend and also one of the coolest people to ever live. He is said to have dazzled the music industry across the world. His impeccable wear spoke volume concerning his wardrobe. He was a staunch sartorial believer. His classic black bow ties made him always amazingly shaped his suit. To him, it was almost compulsory to have the bow tie around his neck.


Pulling off a bow tie and why it is important to learn how to tie a bow tie

Anybody can pull off a bow tie in quite a straightforward manner, that is why Why Knot specialises in pre-tied ties. If you how to tie a bow tie, you stand in a better position to pull off the traditional bow tie.


It is an accessory that everyone can access. Bow ties will suit blazers well. Black bow ties can match up with a white shirt and a dark suit. A striped bow tie will do well with a plain shirt with matching the outfit. The solid bright background is a perfect stage for wearing a black or grey suit or a leather jacket. If the bow tie matches the colour of the suit, the person in the outfit looks that little more handsome.


Wearing a bow tie that is solid with a solid shirt will look dull. An additional tip to wear a bow tie is, whenever you have one around your neck, its ends should always remain on the outer side of the collar of your shirt. It looks nicer if the edges of the bow tie do not extend past the exterior boundaries of the shirt’s collar.



How to tie a bow tie


It is imperative that your bow tie is self-tie. Everyone can tell that you did it yourself and you don’t want to look like you never knew how to do it. When you purchase a bow tie as a starter, try buying an adjustable one. This will do justice to your neck; you will manage to adjust the size. Therefore, follow the given steps while tying the bow tie:

  1. Allow the bow tie to lie facing up.
  2. Make sure the right side is shorter than the left side.
  3. Suppose we call the end on the right as X and the one on the left as W, move W to the X side. Bring W under X through the loop of the neck.
  4. Fold W towards the right side and then to the left, at the joint. This fold will create a bow shape.
  5. Bring X straight down at the middle of the bow shape, made with W.
  6. Fold W towards the chest. Make a pinch using the fold and push the W pinch through the one of X.
  7. Pull on the ends of the fold to attain a tight bow.
  8. Finally, make some adjustments for both sides to be balanced.

The takeaway

Today, a lot of people have embraced the bow tie design. The bow tie has experienced a couple of changes, both in form and in function. The bow tie has transcended from street style to the celebrity fashion. Furthermore, today, if you know how to tie a bow tie, you will enjoy the plight of a few people with the knowledge on how to do it.