A semi-regular column answering
questions about clothing.
This week, we’re finishing up our answer to reader Freddie S. who asked, “How do you tie a bow tie?” Last week, we covered steps 1-3. Do not proceed until you have read steps 1-3. We’ll wait right here.
Did you know you move your lips when you read? And here we go…
Step 4: Face the bathroom mirror. Place the tie with the bow parts (called the “big funny-shaped ends”) hanging on your chest and the skinny part of the tie (“the skinny part”) around your neck under your shirt collar (“the shirt collar”). The right side (“stage left”) should hang a little lower than the left (“stage right”) by a few inches. With your right hand, cross the long end (formerly “right end”) from right to left over the short end (formerly “left end”) making an “X” on your chest. Then wrap the long end underneath and around the short end, bringing it straight up. Hold it with your teeth and use both hands to fold the short end horizontally into a “bow”. Release the long end so it falls down over the “bow.”
Step 5: Using your other two hands, fold the long end horizontally into a bow and hold it just left of the short end. A second person may be required for this step. A significant other will do, as long as they don’t start asking questions like, “Why are you putting on a bow tie?” “Where are you going?” and “Why don’t we go dancing like we used to?”
Step 6: Slide the long bow end through the loop behind the short bow end. Chances are great that there will not be a loop for you to tuck through and even if there is, it won’t be big enough, so if you still have the painter’s tape from Step 3 (see last week’s post), tear off a tiny piece and tape the longer end in place. If your tie is blue, so much the better; if not, color the tape with a marker to match your tie.
Shape the bow by pulling both ends. And voila! The knot will gracefully fall apart, leaving you to repeat steps 4-6 again (“forever”).
When you exit the bathroom, please remember to put the seat down and turn the lights off, in that order.
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