Seams Plausible: Tie One On



A semi-regular column answering
questions about clothing.

Reader Freddie S. writes in to ask, “How do you tie a bow tie?”

The bow tie is more popular today than ever.  Previously worn only by the host at Shakey’s Pizza, Charles Osgood, and me in my engagement picture from 1973, it’s the choice of young men who have never worn ties to work routinely, and now want to “dress up” a bit – but not like Dad did.

There are plenty of easy-to-follow videos and online illustrated steps that explain how to tie a bow tie. This is because our society has become so obsessed with graphics that anything longer than a “tweet” is considered “boring,” “too long,” or “not a picture.”

But it seems to me pictures are the easy way out. So here’s a set of step-by-step instructions you can read. Follow them and you’ll be tying a bow like a Princeton professor in no time.

I am assuming that you are “right-handed.” Left-handed folk can reverse the instructions and they’ll work just fine. (I have no way of knowing if this is true.)

Step 1: Acquire a bow tie. This is the easiest step. If you’re having second thoughts, put the tie in your top drawer next to the Dungeons and Dragons card you thought would be worth something someday; go outside, get some fresh air and forget the whole thing.

Step 2: Stand in front of the bathroom mirror. I find the bathroom mirror is better than a full-length mirror because in the bathroom my singing sounds better. If it’s dark, turn on the bathroom lights.

Step 3: Print out the following instructions and tape them at eye-level to the right of the mirror if you’re right-handed. Blue painter’s tape is best for this step and is readily available at fine hardware stores everywhere.

Ready? Sorry, but we’re out of time. Come back next week, when we’ll have the actual step-by-step directions. Meanwhile, feel free to move about the cabin.

You’re welcome.


Craving more of Bob’s advice and style tips but hate reading?
Come watch his Please Read The Copy videos.


Have a story or photos you’d like to share?
Email it to us at
(Please keep any images under 12 Mb.)


Facebook Twitter Sywr Pinterest Instagram Youtube