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Video:How to Tie a Bow Tie

with Jonathon E. Stewart

Intimidating at first, tying a real bow tie isn't as tough as it looks. Follow this step-by-step guide to tying a bow tie and you'll be looking old school spiffy in a jiffy.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Tie a Bow Tie

Hey guys - Jonathon Stewart for About.com with today's 90 second quick tip. So you're known the world over for your dazzling long tie-tying abilities. You've tied Windsors for kings and nobles and people have come from far and wide to marvel at your Four-in-Hand prowess. Then one day you're asked to be the best man at your friend's wedding, and people are expecting amazing things from your bow tie.

Well don't panic, follow these tips and you'll be the best looking best man in town. Check it out.

Bow Tie Basics

The bow tie is used in the fanciest of fancy occasions, like weddings and high society fundraisers, and, unless you're a circus clown, is almost always worn with a tuxedo. The proper size should never be broader than the widest part of your neck and should never extend past the tips of your shirt collar. That's not to say it's illegal or anything. It's not like there are any bow tie police... are there?

How to Tie a Bow Tie

Remember, when you're looking in the mirror, your right and left will be reversed. I've put an "R" and an "L" on my respective hands to help you keep track. First, drape the bow tie around your neck and situate it so that one end hangs about two inches lower than the other. Then, take the lower end and cross it over the other one.

Bring the lower end up under the loop that has been created between your collar and the bow tie. Keep this end up, if you want, you can hold it gently in your teeth. Now, take the other end and double it over itself. This creates a front loop. Hold this in place with your thumb and forefinger.

Now, drop the other end down, then pull it up under the first loop. Here's the tricky part: while still holding the first loop firmly, push the middle of the second end through the back of the bow and through the knot. To tighten, just pull on the loops.

Adjust and Untie the Bow Tie

You might need to futz with this a bit until your bow tie is just right, and remember: if it's not perfectly neat, that's okay - a proper bow tie has character, just like you. To untie it, pull on the tails.

Which is the real draw of wearing a real bow tie. If you can't look like Dean Martin every once in awhile, what's the point of getting dressed?

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