Whether you’re dressing for work, a semi-formal occasion, or preparing for your wedding, every man needs to know how to tie a tie. Simply put, ties aren't going away anytime soon, and they can tie (pun intended) an outfit together. Read on to learn what you need to know to stay looking your best.
Types of Tie Knots
There’s no “one” right way to tie a tie. Instead, there are three common tie knots you can practice and master--each of which looks slightly different and might be best for different situations.
Four-in-Hand Knot Tutorial
Arguably, the four-in-hand knot is the most common and everyday tie knot you can make, and it’s a lot simpler than it sounds. Here’s the step-by-step breakdown:
- First, drape your tie around your neck. Make sure that the wider end stops 12 inches lower than the narrow end.
- Next, cross the wider end over the narrow end and wrap it around the narrow end.
- Pass the wider end over the front of the narrow end one more time.
- Pass the wider end through the tie loop around your neck – that’s right, move the tie up and out toward the front of your chest.
- Hold the front of the knot at the front of your neck loose with your index finger. Push the wider end of the tie down and through the loop in the front.
- Remove your finger carefully, then tighten the knot equally gently. Draw the knot tightly to your collar by holding the narrow end and sliding the knot upward.
This technique takes a few practice rounds to perfect. But once you master it, you can tie it in a matter of seconds.
The Half Windsor Knot
You might alternatively want to tackle another classic tie technique. A half Windsor knot fits well with work suits and seersucker pants, especially in hot environments when you don’t want your collar to feel too tight. Here’s how to do it:
- Start with the same initial position: drape the tie around your neck and have the wider end rest 12 inches below the narrow end.
- Cross the wider end over the narrow end and continue it by wrapping it around the back. Bring the tie’s wider end up and turn it down through the tie loop.
- Next, pass the wider end around the front of the tie in the opposite direction from the first two passes. This is where the Windsor knot separates from the four-in-hand knot.
- Hold the front of the tie knot loose with your index finger and pass the wider end of the tie up through the neck loop behind the knot.
- Then, while holding the loop, pass the wide end down through that loop and tighten the knot carefully while drawing it up toward your collar.
Full Windsor Knot
Last but not least is a variation of the above half Windsor knot. This tie looks impeccably professional and will serve you well in any workplace environment or formal event.
- Begin by placing the wider end of the tie on the right side and the smaller end on the left side.
- Cross the wider end over the narrow end toward the left and bring the wider end up and into your neck loop from beneath.
- Pull the wider end down and around to the left, then go behind the narrow end and pull it up to the right.
- Point the wider tie end up toward the face, then pull it through the neck loop once more.
- Wrap the wider end around the front of the knot triangle in front of your collar. Remember to keep your left index finger and your thumb placed loosely on it.
- Take the wider tie end up and through the loop behind the knot triangle. Then pull it down through the loop you just created
- Finish the tie knot by pulling it down, then tightening and drawing up the knot, so it fits snugly against your collar
As you can see, there are many ways to tie a tie quickly and effectively. We recommend starting with the four-in-hand knot, then working up to the full Windsor knot as you become more confident. Don’t forget to pair your ties with the right dress pants and tailored trousers, like Berle’s Poplin Pants!
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