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Formal Wear

How to Tie a Bow Tie

Kirby Allison, the founder of The Hanger Project, goes over the steps on how to tie a bow tie. A bow tie is a classic accessory that can immediately elevate any man’s style. A self-tie bow tie looks much better than a pre-tied bow tie because it shows that extra hint of effort. If you can tie your shoes, you can tie a bow tie; it’s that simple.

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Hi, I'm Kirby Allison, founder of the Hanger Project and we love helping the well-dressed take care of their wardrobes. The purpose of this video is to show you how incredibly easy it is to tie a bow tie yourself. If you do not own a proper bow tie that you can tie yourself, visit and view our complete collection of Sovereign Grade bow ties which we have made exclusively for us in Paris. If you have any questions during this video, please ask them in the comments section below. I get back to all those questions personally. Tying a bow tie is easier than tying a necktie – if you can tie your shoes you can tie a bow tie. It is that easy the other thing that I love about a bow tie you tie yourself is that it is one of the simplest most accessible ways to really elevate the elegance of black-tie now remember black tie is all about the details. It's a self-tie bow tie of satin peak lapels, it's nice studs, a cleanly pressed white shirt. All of these small details combined to create elegance at its best, even if you're wearing a rented tuxedo you can afford to buy a bow tie that you can tie yourself which will only further set you apart from everyone else that's wearing pre-tied bow tie.

There are several benefits to a self-tie bow tie – first, they look better unlike pre-tied bow ties, they are not perfectly symmetrical and tightly tied. I remember as a freshman in college being invited to my first black-tie event, I borrowed my grandfather's tuxedo but didn't want to wear his pre-tied bow tie. I couldn't afford my own expensive tuxedo in college, but I could on my college allowance afford to go buy my own bow tie surprisingly the hardest thing was finding someone to teach me how to tie a bow tie. Now, I remember going and asking my college professors and none of them knew how to tie it themselves then I went to my local haberdasher where the salesperson proceeded to try to teach me how to tie the bow tie around his thigh I just couldn't get it. Finally, I was able to search the internet and find a video posted by the president of a small liberal arts college in the Northeast and just after a few minutes of his instruction I was off and running. So, in this video I'm going to show you how to quickly and easily tie a proper bow tie.

Okay, so the first step is putting the bow tie around the collar band, so I like to flip my collar up and then one of the things that's important is that you get the bow tie placed as close to the top of the collar band as possible. So, one of the ways I do that is I kind of shimmy it up and then I like to lean over just a little bit so that it stays at the top of the collar band while I'm flipping my collar over. Once you do that again you can shimmy the bowtie back and forth a little bit kind of pulling it towards the top of the collar and that's just going to ensure that whenever you button this the bowties close to the top as possible. Now that's important because whenever you tie your bowtie you want it sitting up towards the top and not down towards the bottom where it exposes the top of the collar. So, after you button your collar then you want to adjust your bowtie so that the left side is about an inch and a half or two inches longer than the right side right. Then what you do is you're just going to take the long side and just loop it back around and pull it tight, so this is the short end. I'm just going to fold that in half forming the first half of the bowtie now this will actually be the front of the bowtie I'm pinching it together and then on the long end pull that back over and then this is the most tricky part right is you want to fold this in half in order to open up kind of this area of the bowtie that you're going to take the back blade through so I like to stick my finger through there and then I just hold it all together right so with my left hand I'm pinching these two blades forward and I've got my finger through this hole and then I still have this long blade kind of draping over it then what you do is you're going to fold that in half and you don't have to do any of this perfectly don't focus too much on how it's done and then you just want to get that through the back of the bowtie right now as long as it's through don't focus on what it looks like you just want to be able to pull it through and then by tugging and kind of pulling at the bowtie you can play with it to get it to look exactly how you want now again don't focus too much on how the bowtie looks as you're tying it because you can always adjust it to look like a perfect knot after it's tied just by pulling on the ends and kind of playing with it you don't have to worry about pulling too hard there's nothing that you can do to break a bowtie and if you're unhappy with how it looks you can just simply undo it and retie it, but it couldn't be any simpler.

So, there you are my bowtie it's beautiful it's not symmetric it's not perfectly symmetric at least a little bit messy and so that's how you know it's not a pre-tied bow tie it's a proper bow tie that you were able to tie yourself let's do that one more time and I'm going to show you just how quickly a bow tie can be tied right so I've got my long blade in my short blade just take that up and through pull it tight I'm forming that front or that first half of the bow I'm taking that long blade through I'm folding this getting my finger through here so that I can lead that back fold through the bowtie again it looks terrible but don't get discouraged and then I'm just going to straighten it up by tugging and pulling there we go bow tie perfect bow tie ready for a fun evening out.

So there we are there's a few key takeaways I want to leave you with about how to tie your own bow tie. First, if you can tie your own shoelaces you can tie your own bow tie it is that easy. The basis of tying shoelaces is really the same as tying your own bow tie and so if you keep that in the back of your mind it'll just make learning that much easier. Second even if you do not own your own tuxedo you can own your own bow tie third bow ties aren't meant to look perfect one of the hallmarks of an elegant bow tie you tied yourself is in fact that it's not perfectly symmetric and it's a little bit messy. So, don't stress out too much about getting your bowtie perfect because it's not meant to be. Fourth, don't be afraid that whenever you first pull your bowtie through that it looks terrible a bow tie in really all ties are something that you need to play with and tug at after you first tie them, and this is the process of getting a perfect knot. Lastly and arguably most importantly for someone that's learning how to tie their bow tie for the first time is to not wait until the night of the evening to practice. Inevitably you're always going to be a little bit nervous maybe you're even rushing a little bit to get out of the door and so you want to take a little bit of time either the night before or that hit afternoon to practice with a little bit of practice you can experience the satisfaction and pleasure a properly tying your own bow tie. After a long and enjoyable evening of fun and dancing I like to retire back to the hotel bar, my club or even my living room for a nightcap and so therein lies one of the other great characteristics of a nice bowtie that you're able to tie yourself and that's that you're able to look as good when relaxing at the end of an evening as you do during the evening and so as the evening continues on to a more casual environment it's a great opportunity to untie your bowtie and enjoy the casual elegance of black-tie and the company of good friends, a nice drink or even better a cigar.

I'm Kirby Allison founder in the Hanger Project. Thanks for joining us if you have any questions about anything we talked please ask them in the comment section below I get back to all those questions personally if you like this video give us the thumbs up or better yet subscribe to our Channel and turn on notifications so that you can learn whenever we post new videos and of course please take a moment to visit where we have the largest assortment of luxury garment care and shoe care accessories in the world plus a full collection of sovereign grade bowties and cummerbund that we have made exclusively for us in Paris. I'm Kirby Allison, founder of the Hanger Project and thanks for joining us.