How to Tie a Bow Tie

Bow ties are cool. That’s what Alton Brown says, and I agree.

There’s been a bit of a resurgence in bow-tie-wearing  over the past few years, and I’ve tried to get in on it. I’ve got a small collection of bow ties, but don’t wear them nearly as often as I’d like because I’ve never quite mastered the knot.

As Alton Brown says in the video, tying a bow tie is difficult because it’s a bit like tying a shoe from the perspective of someone inside the shoe.

For the longest time, I thought there was only one way to tie a bow tie. As it turns out, there are at least two, one of which—the version that Alton demostrates—is slightly easier than the other.

With the version I’d previously learned, I’d struggle for 20 minutes before giving up. Once a rare while, I’d get it right and rejoice.

The new version, which I’m going to call the Alton Brown Method, is much easier. I got it right on the first try and didn’t even have to follow along with the video while doing it! I just stood in front of the mirror and tied that tie!

A man with glasses and a beard wearing a bow tie.
Bow tie success!

Having finally learned an easier way to tie a bow tie, my collection can come out of the closet more often. I may even add a few new bow ties to my repertoire.