How to make a bow tie

Just as the tie has become a complement of daily use and even routine for men, not all accompany it with a pair of cufflinks or a scarf on the front lapel, since it already seems to be too much. However, at the moment we still have a masculine accessory that is elegant at the same time that it is not out of place: the bow tie. So, if we really want to be distinguished while being somewhat different from the rest, we will choose a bow tie. And, in our times, we will do it, whether we are men or women.


The bow tie was invented in the 17th century in Croatia and its main function was to keep the collar of the shirt closed and keeping the neck upright and in the correct position. This invention was quickly adopted by the upper classes in France, then became the latest fashion and finally established during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

The bow tie was born in the XVII century in Croatia

During all this time, bow ties of different sizes (from 14 to 20 centimeters adapting to the size of each neck) and different materials such as cotton, silk, corduroy, and velvet were manufactured. Nowadays, bow ties are made of wood (as they are sold in the ‘Winter Wonderland’ market in London ) or waterproof as they are in the Topshop store, although all of these may only be for the most daring.

Many characters, throughout history, have been partakers of the fashion of the bow tie and they wore it almost daily. Of all the fields and professions we can highlight, for example, Friederich Nietzsche, who liked a great bow tie; Winston Churchill, who liked to wear it to moles or the designer Karl Lagerfeld, always with a discreet black bow tie holding the long neck of his white shirt. In our country, we can highlight, for example, Federico García Lorca, always represented in the movies with his iconic bow ties, a symbol of elegance and good looks.


Justin Timberlake with tuxedo

Nowadays, bow ties are fashionable among men and women and we can see them constantly on the red carpet. Every day there are more young men who join this trend, such as Mario Casas, Justin Timberlake, and Ryan Gosling. Also women like Alexa Chung, Kim Kardashian and, as she did in her day, the great model of the times of feminine fashion: Audrey Hepburn.

And it is that this fashion is not only on the streets and the catwalk. Also in the world of fiction many of the iconic characters wear this small, but elegant, garment. In the cartoons, we have Donald Duck with his red bow tie, the same color as Jerry the Tom and Jerry mouse and even Mickey Mouse himself, among many others.

Doctor Who, a man faithful to bow ties

As for television fiction, we have characters like the eleventh Doctor of the British series ‘Doctor Who’, who has boosted the bows by constantly saying on TV that bow ties are “cool”; also Blaine Anderson of the series ‘Glee’ usually wear this perfect complement and the stylish character Chuck Bass in the American series ‘Gossip Girl’ .

On the other hand, as for the big screen, great idols have worn a bow tie in their most important films. Notably Sean Connery with his black bow tie in ‘James Bond’, Al Pacino with a red bow tie in ‘Scarface’, Fred Astaire in almost all his films and even Marlon Brando in his best-known role, ‘The Godfather’, among others Many mythical characters.

Psy has made bow ties fashionable among young people

The fashion even reaches current and controversial singers like Psy, who dare with this beautiful masculine accessory putting it in fashion even among the youngest of the whole world. Also very controversial are the bow ties are worn by the girls of the Playboy men’s magazine and which have been the flagship of the brand along with the ears of the rabbit.

Although the bow tie seems a very simple compliment, it is surprisingly gratifying to see that we can wear it in our most elegant looks after creating a complex knot ourselves.


The most common is the short loop that is usually worn by the bride and groom, attendees at a wedding or on the red carpet. It is the simplest in appearance, although it is not so simple to make the loop. With our tricks you can easily do it in any situation:

You have to leave the two equal ties

– First, we must raise the neck of the shirt up. Next, we will put the bow tie unraveled around the neck leaving the discarded part forward adjusting it to leave the same distance between the two sides of it.

– Now we will cross the right side over the left and we will make a conventional knot as we would in a common loop. With the right side, we will create the first bow of the bow tie by folding it in half. By the natural form of it and we can begin to appreciate the final result since the ties are much wider than the part that surrounds our neck.

– Once the first loop is created, we must fix it by passing the left loop, still not done, ahead of the one that is already done. At this moment we are in the most critical part of the knot of the bow tie since we must bend the loop already made towards the opposite side. That is, we take the right loop already made and we fold it in half slightly to the left and we will pass the part not yet made by the part behind the loop made. We will pass it folded in half so that, once it has passed behind the right loop already made, another loop will come out on the other side.

– Finally, we will only have to adjust both loops to leave them with the same shape and size. We can go stretching from one side or the other to make sure they have the desired look, carefully so as not to undo the knot.

There are the clip or velcro bow ties

Once we have the bow tie as we like, we will have to lower the collar of the shirt and we will place the front peaks of it under our beautiful bow tie and we have it ready to wear it.

We also find the fine bow tie that used to be worn by the American cowboys, which is tied around the neck with a short bow, leaving the very long ends loose or even fitted with a gold or silver ring around the neck.

The big bow tie, more common in women above all in the sixties, was a silk tie commonly tied to the neck with the same lengths as the ends creating a very feminine gift effect at the same time very elegant.

Although making the bow tie look more complicated than it really is, we can always choose the easiest option such as a clip or velcro bows, but they may not look as elegant. Like everything, it’s a matter of patience and a little practice to get the perfect bow tie and best suited for any occasion.

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