How to Tie a Bow Tie

Amechi Ugwu of The Armoury shows us how.

Henry Phillips

A hand-tied bow tie is not just a versatile accessory; it also speaks to values of the wearer. They are a person who takes the time to learn a harder knot; they care about the details.

Though there’s a steep learning curve with the bow tie, the sartorial payoff is immediately noticeable — see award shows, like the Oscars. A hand-tied bow tie can add a suave finish to a black tie ensemble, or an elegance to a casual outfit. The human quality, the slight imperfections, are what make a hand-tied bow tie beautiful.

“I always try to make it a little messy at the end just to give it that charm that makes it look like you tied it and didn’t clip it on in the back,” says Amechi Ugwu, then a sales associate at New York City’s The Armoury and now a sales specialist at Todd Snyder. So take a cue from Ugwu, embrace your humanity, and get bow tied up.

How to Tie a Bowtie, According to Amechi Ugwu

“You have to practice it a lot. After a while, I don’t even really think about how it looks. It’s just a muscle memory that leads me where I get to every day.”


Step 1

Start with one side of the tie longer than the other.

Step 2

Cross the longer side over the shorter side and tuck the longer end up and over.

Step 3

Fold the shorter end in half (so it looks like a bow) and hold it against your neck.

Step 4

Pull the longer side over the half-folded side.

Step 5

Take the top of the longer-hanging end and push it through the loop formed behind the bow.

Step 6

Push until the the parts of the bow are aligned.

Step 7

Pull on both sides of the bow to tighten, and adjust until the shape is just right.

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