How to Tie an Old-Fashioned Crossover Bow Tie

Written by lonnie mcgowan
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How to Tie an Old-Fashioned Crossover Bow Tie
Looking dapper (Jupiterimages/ Images)

The bow tie has been much maligned over the years. Viewed as a status symbol by some; an abomination by others. From formal black tie events to "Revenge of the Nerds," bow ties truly possess a Jekyll and Hyde personality. Whether dressing to the nines or simply adding a flamboyant touch to your favourite collared shirt, wearing a bow tie is sure to draw attention. There are numerous clip-on styles available, but tying your own adds extra flare and appeal.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Freestyle bow tie
  • Collared dress shirt
  • Mirror (optional)

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  1. 1

    Adjust the size of the bow tie by placing the hook into the slot that matches your neck size.

  2. 2

    Flip up your collar. Drape the bow tie around your neck with one side about 1 1/2 inches longer than the other. The bottom of the short side should line up with the narrow portion of the hourglass shape of the long side.

  3. 3

    Cross the long side over the short side, forming an "X." Bring the long end up through the X behind and then over the short end. Pull the ends gently to adjust the tightness of the bow tie. Pinch the X with one hand and hold it.

  4. 4

    Fold the short end into a half bow. The fold should be at the widest point. Hold the folded half-bow with the centre at the middle of the X. Pull the long end up behind and then over the centre of the half-bow. Pinch the half-bow in the centre to hold it in place. There should be a loop between the half-bow and the band around your neck.

  5. 5

    Fold the long end at its widest point and feed it through the loop behind the half-bow. Tighten the bow by pulling on the folded portions of the front and back half-bows. Flip your collar down and continue to align and adjust the bow tie until the desired look is achieved.

Tips and warnings

  • Tying a bow tie takes patience and practice. You will probably need several attempts to tie it properly.
  • Using a mirror to watch yourself can help in tying your bow tie.

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