How to tie a Bowtie

Tieing a bowtie seems impossible, but really it's not. Some people say its just like tying your shoes, however we have been tying our shoes since we were two years old. I took German when I was 5 and I learned more German in 4 months at that young age than I did spanish in a full year in high school. So yes, its like tying your shoelaces...but harder. 

See below, this is how you do it-

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Ok, I'm just kidding. I am confused as you are by those two images. If you learn from that, good for you you're better than 99% of the people out there (or just have more patience).

Let's examine how to actually tie a bowtie; I've collected several good images out there that should help us along. To start off, adjust the length of the bowtie accordingly to your neck size. Some bowties have actual neck sizes on them which is convenient, but the ones that don't just make a guess because you might have to do some trial and error.

Step 1:

Put it around your neck, and have one side about 2 inches shorter than the other side when hanging down (it doesn't mater which side you choose to be longer, I seem to like the shorter side on the right). 

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Step 2:

Cross the longer side over the shorter side. Ideally you would cross them over as the yellow and orange ones are, crossing them over on the narrow part of the tie just before it starts to get wide.

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Step 3:

Time for the up-and-under. That long end you just crossed over, go underneath the gap between your neck and the crossing point. Pull the ends to tighten it around your neck (and you can drop the long end for now). You will want to get it pretty snug because it loosens up as the steps continue. 

Step 4: This is one of two parts that people have problems on. So, step four you are essentially forming the front of the bowtie by folding the shorter side. However, imagine it this  way. If your short side started on your right side, grab the short end and sweep it up so it points towards your left shoulder. As it is parallel with your chest now, don't focusing on any folding but bring it under your neck staying parallel with your body (the fold will create itself). The indentation (skinnier part) of the tie should be centered with your neck.

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Step 5:

Back to an easy step. Grab the long end that you previously dropped and bring it out and over the top of the front you made, this is going to be the knot so make sure its centered and on the skinnier part of the front of the bowtie. Make sure that when you cross over that the narrow part of the tie nearly clears the whole front of the bowtie. If the narrower part isn't making it across, you may need to adjust your tie and make it larger or, in step 2, make sure the tie was on your neck snug enough.

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Step 6:

This is the hardest step, but I have no doubt you can do it! Take a look below at the bow tie anatomy.

You want opposite ends on a bowtie. So you will have one of the tips on one side,  and the other tip to be on the other side. But remember also, your finished product will have 1 of those tips in the front of the bowtie and 1 of those tips in the back.

Moving on. You want to take the "leaf" part of the bowtie and push it through the small opening behind the front of the bowtie. Sometimes you can easily see the hole, sometimes you can't. If you can't, just poke at it with your finger and you can create a larger one. Push the leaf through this hole being careful not to push the entire thing through. Push it through about half way so essentially the front spread is even with the back spread. tip- when feeding it through, make sure to clear the hole. A lot of time people don't get the whole leaf through, so make sure its squared off on that end. After you have done this it will look sloppy and terrible, but as long as you have everything symmetrical, you are fine.

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Step 7: The Last Step!

The "opposite end pull" you can call it. One way tightens the knot and pulling the other way loosens it. Grab the front of one side of the bowtie while grabbing the back side of the other end of the bowtie. Pull theses apart, depending which way you started the tying process this will tighten the knot or loosen it. Be careful not to pull the ends too far causing the tie to fall apart. Once you are done pulling, grab the other ends and pull those. You will notice that pulling these ends back and forth back and forth, that the knot will form and the become tighter. 


Step 8: Adjust as you see fit!

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