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Bow ties

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Stu, Jul 30, 2004.

  1. Stu

    Stu Senior member

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    Guys I need some help:

    I have some weddings coming up and don't have it in my budget to buy a tuxedo now, so will be renting. However, I am sick of the cheesy pre-tied black bow ties you get at the rental place, so I went to Nordstrom's today and bought my own self tie by Robert Talbot.

    I can't tie the freaking thing to save my life. I've been to a ton of Web sites and always get about 3 steps into it when the thing turns into a big knot. I'm about ready to go back to the store and stand there like a moron with the salesman in front of the mirror and have him tutor me.

    Any other ideas? I've heard it's like tying shoes and all, but that hasn't really helped me figure things out. Any Web sitres written in plain English?
     


  2. Phil

    Phil Senior member

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    tie it around your thigh for a few times, just like a shoe lace, and then once you practice that, around your neck is a snap.
     


  3. AlanC

    AlanC Minister of Trad

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    I know the step that's throwing you because it's the same one that stopped me back when I was learning. If possible, it is a good idea to have someone show you. Don't assume anyone at the store can, however. A friend went to Brooks Brothers recently and no one there knew how to tie one and simply gave him a sheet showing how.

    Try doing it on your thigh as suggested. That might work. It is the same knot as you use on your shoes.

    If you can't figure it out, drop me a PM and I can talk you through it over the phone if necessary.
     


  4. Stu

    Stu Senior member

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    Thanks guys. I have been trying it on my thigh and it still won't work. I went back to Nordstroms and they have a young guy there who is a whiz. He helped me quite a bit, but I still haven't been able to do it right consistently. I'm going to sit home all weekend and learn to do this thing right, that, plus a few more trips to Nordstroms . [​IMG] and I should have it down. Although the Nordstroms trips are going to get embarrasing after a while, because they'll probably think I am a morom. If I still can't get it by Monday or so, I'll have to take you up on your offer Alan. Thanks.
     


  5. shoreman1782

    shoreman1782 Senior member

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    Stu,

    Good call getting someone to show it to you. Now the only way to get it right is to practice (preferably with a cheap or durable tie). If you're used to tying a normal tie, bowties are NOT intuitive. And it's agreed, every diagram claiming to show you how is basically unhelpful. If there was a paying market I'd try and design one.

    I have a wool bow tie that always gives me so much trouble, it's really barely worth it.

    Good luck, I'm sure you'll get it down. And check out Nordstrom's sale, there's a few deals to be had.
     


  6. kabert

    kabert Senior member

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    It can take forever. Honestly, for the first 35 or so years of my life I tied it myself. I go to black tie affairs btw 2-4 times a year, and I would always just make sure to give myself at least 30 minutes extra time to tie the bow tie. It would always come out looking a bit sloppy, but definitely hand tied. A couple years ago, I was at Neiman Marcus and they had Brioni and Charvet pre-tied ties. I bit -- bought one of each. I doubt I'll ever go back. Actually, you might try asking a female friend to tie it for you. For several years, I had a girlfriend who would tie it in a snap -- literally, she could tie it in about 10 seconds. Twas great -- nearly married her.
     


  7. AlanC

    AlanC Minister of Trad

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    Well, I think after you 'get it' that bow ties tie more consistently right than four-in-hands. I'm all the time adjusting my long ties for length and dimple. I almost never retie a bowtie. Remember, it's not supposed to look perfect, just good.
     


  8. Stu

    Stu Senior member

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    I think the fact that it doesn't look perfect is what gives it more appeal.
     


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