Thanks for this post showing two reasonably faithful efforts at the correct black tie look. To me, however, the tie in the top pic looks too large; the one in the bottom pic, too small. Anyone have a picture of a "just right" bow tie from this event?
The bottom one is just about right - a bow tie should be the same width as that of your eyes to be correct!
I believe you are right in stating that "rule." Judging from the picture, however, the tie, in proportion to the spread of the shirt collar and distance from the edges of the jacket lapels, still seems somewhat small to me. At least Cooper gets points for wearing a self-tied tie (even if someone else tied it)--and not a (horrors!) long tie!