I'm not convinced you can learn to tie a bow tie from a diagram--it didn't work for me.(I succeeded the same way one gets to the Sydney Opera House: practise, practise, practise.) But here goes:

The formal bow tie - either hand-tied or with a band - should be a medium width and height, fitting neatly over the tips of the wing collar shirt. Ends may be pointed or square. Traditional elegance requires a bow tie in black grosgrain - a closely woven corded fabric or rayon and cotton - or slightly textured black silk. Today, for formal occasions, many men express their individuality by matching the colour or pattern of their bow tie and cummerbund.

Remember: A cummerbund should always be worn with the pleats facing upward.

Bow Tying Instructions from The Bow Tie Club

"It's Just Like Tying Your Shoes"

  1. Wrap yellow neckband around start of neckband on navy end.Bowtie image
  2. Form a bow with the navy end as shown.
  3. Bring yellow end over navy bow.
  4. Form a bow with the yellow end as shown.
  5. Bring double sided yellow end under and through opening behind navy bow.
  6. Adjust doubled and single ends to desired shape. Remember, a proper bow tie never looks too neat, so make sure yours show individuality.
  • Adjust the tie so that one end is slightly longer than the other, crossing the long end over the short.
  • Bring the long end through the centre at the neck
  • Form an angle loop with the short end of the tie crossing left. Drop the long end at the neck over this horizontal loop.
  • Form a similar angle loop with the loose long end of the tie and push this loop through the short loop.
  • Tighten knot by adjusting the ends of both loops.

    Illustrations and graphics taken from THE BOW TIE CLUB catalogue. Visit their website for ordering information.