How to Self Tie a Bow Tie

Tying a bow tie is a key part of men’s formalwear, as a bow tie is required for most black tie formal dress codes. However, tying a bow tie is difficult, and plenty of men don’t know how. If you’re learning how to tie your own bow tie, here’s our step by step guide. 


  1. First, you’ll want to have one end of the bow tie about an inch longer than the other. This is your lead piece. 
  2. Cross the longer, leading piece over the shorter piece. 
  3. Tie the two ends together, with the long end wrapping under the shorter, so that the long end is on top. 
  4. While holding the longer end on top, fold the lower into a bow shape—a helpful guide is to fold the bump near the end of the bow tie in half, creating the shape that you’ll recognize as the classic bow shape. 
  5. Pull the long end down over the bow you’ve just created. This will later become the center of the bow tie!
  6. Fold the longer piece into the same bow shape, then insert it behind the shorter, under the loop you’ve just created. 
  7. Pull the two pieces to tighten and adjust as needed!