How do I tie a decent bow on a dress or coat?
June 17, 2006 3:35 PM   Subscribe

I have a trenchcoat that ties in the front, but I can't for the life of me figure out how to make a bow that doesn't look lopsided. Is there an illustrated guide to this somewhere? I've checked Google, but all I can find are guides to making floral bows or tying neckties.
posted by zembla3 to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (14 answers total)
I've never had this problem, as mine has a leather "buckle." Maybe you can get one that matches your coat and use that instead?
posted by ®@ at 3:58 PM on June 17, 2006

How about tying a square knot instead of a bow?
posted by ArsncHeart at 4:08 PM on June 17, 2006

None of my trenchcoat belts are long enough to tie a bow, so I use a square knot as ArsncHeart suggests. However, if you have a long enough belt, you could try this knot. It's actually a square knot too, just with the bights (loops) left in place instead of pulled through. Good for shoelaces, as well.
posted by oneirodynia at 4:28 PM on June 17, 2006

...although I should point out, if you already tie a standard shoelace knot, the above knot ends up being the same thing- it just may be easier to make it look even.
posted by oneirodynia at 4:36 PM on June 17, 2006

I don't think I've ever seen one tied as a bow. They generally just tie as a knot and the long ends hang down.
posted by tomble at 4:40 PM on June 17, 2006

Oh, and you could also use my partner's technique. She gets me to do it. Tying an even bow behind the back can be awkward.
posted by tomble at 4:46 PM on June 17, 2006

Yeah, I don't think I've ever seen a trenchcoat belt tied in a bow either. Always a square knot, whether it's tied in front or in back. BTW, an easy way to remember the sequence of a square knot is "right over left, left over right."
posted by amro at 4:57 PM on June 17, 2006

I think a bow on a trench coat would look silly. Square knot's the way to go. Don't even have to worry about it being lopsided.
posted by CrayDrygu at 4:59 PM on June 17, 2006

If you're tying a shoelace knot, it's possible to tie it "backwards" in the same way that a granny knot is backwards relative to a square knot. Try tying the first half-knot backwards from what you normally do. I discovered recently that I'd been doing this backwards all my life -- it also helps keep shoes from coming untied to do it correctly. Though, not having a trench coat, I have no idea what the right knot is in the first place.
posted by advil at 5:09 PM on June 17, 2006

A knot? Just twist them together, you know like the first part of the knot when tying your shoes, or the first half of a square knot. Most belts hold reasonably well with a single twist, some need two. Do not tie a bow - you will look like a dork. A square knot is not much better, but if the belt is really slippery then fine, but what a pain to untie.
posted by caddis at 8:05 PM on June 17, 2006

Agree with caddis. Just tie with a single overhand knot, like a bathrobe.
posted by Rash at 8:29 PM on June 17, 2006

But don't tie 'em up in the back, that also looks dorkish. If you don't have a need for the belt, or find it uncomfortable, just remove it and turn your trench coat into The Executive.
posted by Rash at 8:37 PM on June 17, 2006

Knot in back = calculator on belt (of course styles can change and calculators on the belt can be the new black).
posted by caddis at 9:18 PM on June 17, 2006

You can get a perfect bow every time if you just resort to the child's bow (the one you probably learned first when you learned to tie your shoes)-- that's the one made from knotting 2 loops, one loop held in each hand. You'll have better control over the size of each loop that way.
posted by yellowcandy at 10:07 PM on June 17, 2006

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