Wednesday, April 16, 2008

How to Tie a Bow Tie With Three-Piece Suits

Since my last posting was all about waistcoats and how best to wear them, I thought I'd run through a quick guide on how to tie a bow tie. For the more formal occasions and in league with a three-piece suit, the bow tie is one of the greatest accessories to offset a distinguished, or even colourfully eccentric, look.

Whether you're attending a black or white tie event, a bow tie will set you apart from the crowd as long as you wear it correctly. Firstly choose your fabric and colour with care - the flimsier the material, the easier it will be to tie. Colours are paradoxically acceptable at black tie events, though the use of one colour rather than a patterned effect is considered the more modern look.

Tying a bow tie is in fact recreating the knot that is most commonly used for your shoelaces, try to re imagine that your neck is in fact your foot and you may find this helps. Once you have your tie, let it hang around your neck with the end on your right lower by about one and a half inches lower than the end on your left.

Cross the longer end over the shorter end creating a loop, which is as tight as is comfortable. Any longer and your bow tie will be looking down at your shirtfront for the evening.

Pass the longer end up through the loop creating a very loose knot. Now take hold of the loose end forming a loop over itself pinched between your thumb and index finger. Now double the part of the tie that is lying on your right side over itself.

This forms a loop, which is the front of the finished tie. Now pass the left end of the tie up through the loop and over the front of the bow.

Repeat the bow forming process on your with the left end. While still holding down the loop you have just made double the end over itself.

Now adjust the new loop behind your front loop and facing in the opposite direction. Pinch these together and pass the second loop into the knot behind the front loop. Now you can adjust the knot by pulling both the loops together.

Finally straighten your bow tie.

Confused? Don't forget if you're struggling with this and don't have time to practise, you can buy a clip on tie which still has the effect of looking dapper as long as no one sees the fastener!