Necktie Knots – How to Tie Your Tie

by Admin · 3 comments

how to tie your tie

At some point in their life, every man has to tie a tie. For most men, this happens more frequently than just weddings and funerals. It is basically a rite of passage for every father to pass down the knowledge of how to master all the looping, swooping, and pulling. For those of you who weren’t lucky enough to learn from your father or may have forgotten his advice, we have a little guide for you. You might not realize that there are a few different types of knots you can tie, and there are some other guidelines based on the event and the type of shirt you are wearing.

Versatile Knots

There are a few knots that you can wear pretty much anytime, regardless of shirt type or event. The most common are the “Four-in-Hand Knot” and the “Half-Windsor”. The four-in-hand is probably the easiest way to tie your tie, and is probably the way your dad taught you when you were a kid. It is an asymmetrical knot that can be worn for most occasions and with most shirts. The half-Windsor is slightly more formal than the four-in-hand, but is also very versatile. It is a triangular knot that can be worn for most occasions and with most standard shirts. The only time I would warn against wearing a half-Windsor is if you have a tie made of very thick material.

Four in Hand

4inhandDrape the tie around your collar and start with the wide end approximately a foot lower than the narrow end; cross it over.
Wrap the wide end underneath the narrow end.
Bring the wide end back over in front of narrow end again.
Pull the wide end up and through the back of the loop.
Hold the front of the knot loosely with your index finger; pass the wider end down through the loop.
If the tie isn’t the correct length, simply start over and adjust the length of your tie accordingly. Make sure your collar covers the tie nicely on the sides and back, and try to make sure knot is as centered as you can make it.

Half Windsor

halfwindsorDrape the tie around your collar and start with the wide end approximately a foot lower than the narrow end; cross the wide end over the narrow end.
Wrap the wide end around back of narrow end.
Bring the wide end up through the loop, and then back down.
Wrap the wide end back around to the front.
Swing it back up through the loop again.
Carefully pull the wide end all the way through (keeping it facing the right way) and tighten the knot.
Hold the narrow end, push up the knot, and tighten it snugly around your collar.
If the tie isn’t the correct length, simply start over and adjust the length of your tie accordingly. Make sure your collar covers the tie nicely on the sides and back, and try to make sure knot is as centered as you can make it.

Formal Knot

The Windsor knot (or double Windsor) is a more formal than the others we have discussed. It was named for the Duke of Windsor, but in reality, he didn’t actually invent the knot. It is a triangular knot for formal occasions. It is a bigger knot than the others, so should be worn with a cut-away or spread shirt collar.

Windsor

fullwindsorDrape the tie around your collar and start with the wide end approximately a foot lower than the narrow end; cross it over.
Wrap the wider end around, and bring it up over and through the loop between the collar and the tie. Then pull it down toward the front.
Curl the wide end that is remaining behind the narrow end.
Bring the wide end back up again through the loop.
Put down through loop and pull around across narrow end as shown.
Bring the wide end up and tuck it through the loop a third time, and bring it down to the front.
Finally, pull down on the wide end carefully to tighten and draw up the knot snugly to your collar.
If the tie isn’t the correct length, simply start over and adjust the length of your tie accordingly. Make sure your collar covers the tie nicely on the sides and back, and try to make sure knot is as centered as you can make it.

Other knots

There are a few other knots out there even some that are relatively well known, like the Prince Albert. However, the only other one most men might need to use is the “Small Knot”. The small knot is just like its name implies, small. This is a good knot for a tie that is made of a thick fabric, for when you have a shirt with a narrow or close-fitting collar, or if you prefer the trendy look of a skinny tie with a skinny knot.

Small Knot

Twist the wide end so that the seam shows. Then cross the narrow end over the wide end
Pass the wider end over the narrow end.
Pass the wider end under the small knot that is formed.
Pull the rest of the wide end through to the front.
Pass the wide end of the necktie under the top layer of the knot, and pull the wide end all the way through.
If the tie isn’t the correct length, simply start over and adjust the length of your tie accordingly. Make sure your collar covers the tie nicely on the sides and back, and try to make sure knot is as centered as you can make it.

*As a general rule, the tie should come down to the top of your belt. This varies with age

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Bill @ carpet cleaning orange county January 22, 2012 at 12:33 am

Your gonna laugh at me but I have never had to tie a tie. Not even for our wedding. I am a simple jeans and t shirt kinfpd of guy and just have not had to wear one. Casual suits, sport coats yes, but tie, never. Just a blue collar kind of guy.
Great site btw. I stumbled upon it looking for blogs for men and it’s pretty cool. Thanks for teaching me how to tie a knot if I ever have to. hahahaha

Joe January 22, 2012 at 11:32 am

Bill – It’s funny, ties aren’t nearly as common as they used to be. Even at a lot of weddings dress code is a little more relaxed these days. If you do need to tie one at some point, at least you know where to find the info! Thanks for reading, be sure to stop back!

Leticia Bartlett January 21, 2013 at 5:44 am

Too often, a really cool, nice guy wears a tie that makes him look like a total douche.

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