This is assuming of course, that not only have you foregone the services of a butler, but also taken brave steps into wearing the non-already-tied-bowtie, for which you should be commended. After all, you wouldn’t wear trousers with flies that had been done up by someone else, would you?
Firstly, drape the tie around the neck with the left end about an inch and a half longer than the other (assuming you’re right handed, otherwise follow these instructions in reverse). Cross the longer end over the shorter end, and tie a simple knot in the middle.
Hold the longer end between your thumb and forefinger out of the way up by your face, pointing your middle finger down towards the bow (stick with us, the end is in sight). With your other hand, form the other end into half the bow and hook it over the middle finger of the other hand. (Ok, we lied so as not to scare you off, but it hasn’t been so tricky really, has it?).
Switch hands, so that your right hand is holding one end of the tie out the way. Let that end fall down over the front of the bow, to form the material between the two wings. Grab the hanging end with the thumb and middle finger of your left hand and make sure it is vertical where it crosses the bow.
Still with us? Use the middle finger of your left hand to force the middle of the hanging end through the gap which is behind the bow from your right hand side. Seriously, this does make sense if you’re actually trying to do this, rather than just read the instructions. Now pull from the left hand side to tighten. Take a look in the mirror. If you don’t look like James Bond, it may be time to go back to the ready-tied ties.