The Ultimate Groom’s Guide: How to Tie a Bow Tie

how to tie a bow tie
Photo by Olli Studio

There’s something about a great bow tie that just exudes confidence. And what groom doesn’t want to look dashing on their wedding day? Sure, there are pre-tied bow ties that you COULD wear, but we think special occasions call for tying your own. With that said, figuring out how to tie a bow tie can feel like a daunting task, especially if you’ve never worn OR tied one before. Well, you know the saying “Practice makes perfect”? In this case, it’s definitely true. If you’re planning on wearing a dapper bow tie to your wedding, there’s no time like the present to figure out how to tie the sucker! Chances are it will take you at least a handful of times to get comfortable with it so you’re not stressing out on your wedding day. This guide will help you figure out which style you want to wear (because there are several) and then finally, how to tie a bow tie like you’ve been doing it for years.

1. Choosing Your Bow Tie

If you’re having a black-tie wedding, your options are well, a black bow tie, traditionally in satin, silk or grosgrain. This isn’t to say you can’t choose silver or white to stand out more, but it’s traditional to wear a black bow tie here. If you’re opting for a more casual affair, don’t be afraid to choose patterns like plaid or striped and less-formal materials such as wool, flannel or linen. While stores such as J. Crew, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Brooks Brothers all have great bow ties to choose from, we’re also a fan of Etsy for something a little unique.

how to tie a bow tie
By Etsy seller popARTicles, $38

2. Sizing Your Bow Tie

Now that you’ve chosen your bow tie, you can start by sizing it to your neck measurements. On each bow tie the neck strap will have an adjustable slider or a hook and holes with measurements so that you can set your bow tie for your own fit. If you don’t know your neck size, you can have a salesperson measure it for you, or you can take a look at your favorite shirt and use a tape measure to measure the length of that collar.

3. How to Tie Your Bow Tie

Though there are many different kinds of bow tie styles, the most standard by far is the butterfly (thistle). Other popular styles include the big butterfly (jumbo butterfly), batwing (straight or slim), the diamond point, and the club round. Here’s a bit more about them:

The Butterfly:

The traditional bow tie style is the butterfly (this is the bow tie you see most often). For a classic look, you’ll likely wear this style as a groom.

Check out this helpful tutorial, below:

The Big Butterfly:

A bit cheekier than its standard counterpart, the Big Butterfly bow tie is for the man looking to make a little more of a statement, without straying too far from traditional.

The Batwing:

The Batwing style is a more modern bow tie, and is slightly less formal than the butterfly. Perfect for the groom with a unique style who’s looking to really make a wedding-day statement.

The Diamond Point:

Stylish, and less often-us, this bow tie varies from the butterfly in that the ends are diamond shaped. If you’re looking for a little more personality, this is a great option.

The Club Round:

The most unique of the bow ties on this list is the Club Round style. This is for the bold groom looking to stand out in a crowd of bow ties.

Here’s a helpful infographic from Menguin of the most popular styles, below.

Talk to us grooms! Are you going to wear a bow tie to your wedding?


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  1. says: Ryan

    Awesome post! I just recently got into wearing bow ties, and this is very helpful! Thanks for sharing!