How To Tie A Vintage Bow Tie

Dressing in a vintage suit requires knowing how to tie a vintage bow tie. Each vintage bow tie is a bit different in design and styling but the method of tying the fabric is the same. Some guys want to take the easy route in dressing and simply clip on a vintage bow tie, but the difference is apparent even to the untrained eye. Vintage hand-tied ties are classy. Clip-on bow ties are for the lightweight dresser.

You'll need a few items to complete the dressing process, including:

  • Vintage bow tie
  • Mirror
  • Clean and well-pressed shirt
  1. Put on the shirt and align the buttons and collar. Be sure to hook the top front button. It will be impossible to do this after the vintage bow tie is in place.
  2. Take a look at the design of the vintage bow tie. Part of how to tie a vintage bow tie involves making sure the tie is turned to the right side and you have the correct side facing the top of the collar. If you're unsure, take a look at the label. If the label is missing, face the finished seams inside the tie facing down. 
  3. Turn up the shirt collar. This allows the tie to fit under any collar or shirt tabs. 
  4. Put the tie around the neck. Make sure the vintage bow tie is facing the correct way. 
  5. Prepare to tie. Pull one side of the tie down an inch or two longer than the other side.
  6. Wrap the longer side over the short side. Wrap over the top of the other side.
  7. Start the wrap. Take the longer side (that's the one an inch or two longer than the other) and get ready to slide this into the other side of the tie. Make a simple fold of the long side so that it looks like an "L." It should look like half a knot at this point.
  8. Tricky part. Make another sort of half loop with the short end. This will be used later as one side of the bow.
  9. Put the long "L" side over the top of the loop you just made. It seems weird to make a half loop and not use it right away, but work with the design. The long side needs to go over the loop.
  10. Hold it. Hold everything in place. This is the hardest part of the operation. 
  11. Stuff it. Make another half loop with the long side of the tie and put the entire new loop through that last loop (the one that was left alone back in step eight).
  12. Make it look wonderful. You've done the basic knot, you need to straighten it and make the tie look even. Go ahead and twist and turn the thing. With the two loop system, you can tug on the ends and the bows and everything will remain in place. 
  13. Pull down the shirt collar. Adjust your shirt collar over the vintage bow tie. The tie may need tweaking again to fill the collar space evenly. Make sure you take a close look in the mirror to align the front and back of the collar. 


  • Don't get discouraged. Step eight and eleven take practice. If you're working with a straight piece of cloth, it may require more work. Try using a vintage tie with the shape clearly cut out with large, oversized bows. This type of vintage tie is much easier to manipulate until you get the hang of the basic procedure.
  • Lefties will work the opposite direction.



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