- Hang the bowtie around your neck. Extend the left side about an inch and a half below the right side. The shape of your bowtie doesn’t matter; this tying method will work for both shapes.
- Cross the long end over the short end.
- Pull the long end up through the neck loop so that it is in front of your face. You’ve just made a simple knot. Now is the time to tighten the bowtie so it is snug around your neck.
- Collapse the short end together, folding it up like an accordion. This should create the bow shape.
- Hold the folded bow to your throat with one finger as you continue.
- Point the long end down over the center of the folded bow. Pinch the bow shape in half to give it some body while you continue.
- Wrap the long end around to the back of the bow and slide it through the space behind the folds of the bow. Hide the tip of the long end behind the front folds.
- Adjust your bow tie by tugging a bit on the sides of the bow shapes.
Types of Bow Ties The bow tie (or bowtie) usually comes in two types; the ‘thistle’ and ‘batwing’ shapes. The thistle bow tie already bears a bow shape at each end, while a batwing bow tie has wide, straight ends. The thistle makes for a rounder, fuller bow tie than the batwing. Both are tied in the same manner.
Where it came from: The popularity of the bowtie rose in 17th century France. King Louis XIV admired the ties worn around the necks of the Croatian mercenaries that came to France to show him support during the 30 Years War. He liked them so much that he made the bow tie a mandatory accessory for all male members of the upper class at formal events. To honor the Croats, he called the fashion ‘La Cravat’, which is still said today in France.
From these royal origins, the bow tie has retained its royal status for hundreds of years. These days, the bowtie has fallen out of favor in business attire, having been all but replaced by the modern necktie. In the business world, you can still catch college professors and waiters sporting bow ties.
Celebrity Sightings: Famous figures who wear the bowtie include Indiana Jones and various incarnations of The Doctor on Dr. Who. Besides these fictional bow tie fans, it can be difficult to spot a real celebrity wearing a bowtie outside of a major event. Since the bow tie is regarded as a formal accessory, it’s rather quirky to see it worn as an element of casual clothing, unless you're Bill Nye.
Here are some notable fans of the bow tie, exhibiting their best knots. See if you can duplicate these noble looks.