The bow tie can be a perfect complement to a sharp suit. It can also be an extreme nightmare to tie. For anyone who has attempted to tie one, they know just how painful the process can be. Thinking back on the last few occasions I’ve thought to wear one; it usually involves a multi-hour process of researching steps on how to tie the bow tie, practicing endlessly in front of a mirror, panicking, and then desperately searching for someone who knows better. Being able to tie a regular tie knot practically asleep, I had always imagined a bow tie to just take a few simple adjustments. I was rudely awakened in my first attempt, second attempt, and even third attempt.
Being worn less, the bow tie is deceptively hard to tie. As that may be, this adds to some of the allure of wanting to wear one and mastering the knot. I like to wear these sparingly to keep some of the uniqueness. I also tend to stick with some subtler patterns. In black tie optional settings, the black bow tie is a nice way add a little style. You can try some of the alternative shapes like diamond point and club round. Also, avoid the generic clip on ties at all costs. Go for the real thing, you’ll be glad you did. There are some samples below of a few of our current favorite bow styles.
The key to rolling into whatever event you’re going to, without a disheveled and poorly tied tie, is to practice. I suggest 2+ hours if it’s your first time. If you’ve tied one before, I still recommend 1-2 hours for the subsequent times. It’s important you can work through the kinks and get a knot that looks great. It also helps if you know someone who’s an expert at tying these. Below is a favorite how-to video link. Watch the video through once without trying, and then start walking through the steps. After that, untie and repeat those steps a few times. The trickiest part seems to be the loop you create to ultimately form the knot. Pay careful attention around those steps.
Click here for favorite bow tie instructional video!
Here are a few favorite spots to find unique and affordable ties. Some places out there can be outrageously expensive, and not offer much in return. These are either really affordable, or a unique style we like.
The Tie Bar - really affordable ties ($19) with a ton of selection. Having so many ties, some of the styles are not the best, but you can sort through the masses to find some great deals and designs.
Repurpose Bow Ties - a little like a thrift store meets bow ties. They use recycled material to make bow ties. Prices are higher than The Tie Bar ($35), but the story with these is pretty neat. The recycled material gives a vintage look on some of the ties. They also originally started by taking fallen soldier's uniforms and making bow ties for loved ones.
Botany Bow Ties - the most expensive of our recommendations ($55-$95), but these ties are really unique. They are made from materials like maton grass and eucalyptus to give a look that is subtle but really interesting. These are guaranteed to stand out wherever you go.
Hope the video helps save you time and these styles catch your eye! Let us know if you have any good bow tie shops or tips!