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Tie a Bow Tie and Necktie

The Martha Stewart Show

Tying a Bow Tie
There are two basic shapes to the bow tie: the narrow bat wing and the wider butterfly, also known as the thistle. Some bow ties are a single piece (these come in sizes that correspond to neck size); most are composed of two pieces that adjust to size.

1. Run the tie through your collar, pulling out more of the right side (B) than the left (A); pull B over A. Make sure that the narrow part of the tie (A) is halfway between the neck and the bottom of the tie. A perfectly tied tie should come right above the waist of the pants. The wider side of the tie is called the blade (B).

2. Pull B up and under the point at which A and B cross.

3. Holding the crossed point in place with your left hand, form A into an S shape, and turn it upward, so that it is parallel with the floor.

4. Bring B out and over the S-shaped A.

5. Bring B down until there is very little slack in the back, and center A at the point of the first cross, keeping it in the shape of a long U.

6. Fold B beginning just below the bottom edge of A, and bring the folded edge through the gap in the center of the knot.

7. Pull B outward, at the fold, in the direction of the arrow.

8. Adjust the length. The distance between the two ends of the tie should equal the distance between the outer corners of the eyes or the outside edges of the collar.

Tying a Necktie
The English named this knot the four-in-hand knot because it resembled the long reins of the four-horse carriage. It is a simple, elegant knot that fits the standard dress shirt well.

1. Fold the left side of the tie (A) over the right side (B); keep most of the wide part of the body exposed.

2. Fold A under B.

3. Wrap A around B.

4. Pull A up and behind the intersection of A and B, using your hand to keep the early-stage knot in place.

5. Bring A down through the gap in the early-stage knot. (A should be guided just behind the wrap made in step 3.) Hold B in place as you complete pulling A through the gap, making the knot somewhat tight and secure.

6. Adjust the position of the knot, center it in the collar, and adjust the appearance of the knot. Many tastemakers, but not all, counsel against letting the tie fall below the waistband.

Comments (3)

  • gladtidings4all 14 Dec, 2009

    Where is the template for the neck tie to sew? still waiting to be posted!

  • Suncere 14 Jun, 2008

    I always knew how to tie a neck tie from my brothers, but never how to tie a bow tie.. practice makes perfect.

  • PatchMom 14 Jun, 2008

    My Dad taught me how to make tie knots but never a bow tie. I guess he just did not know how. lol I could not believe how easy the bow tie is to make. I have tried to follow diagrams but never with any luck. Thank you for this visual lesson I can share it all of the Mommies in the family so they can pass the lesson onto their sons. Great teaching tool. Thank you.