Chances are at some stage in your life you will have to wear a tie, you may well wear one everyday to work or only on special occasions. It’s all about the little details, having a tie tied correctly can add that little bit of sophistication, make you stand out from the crowd and avoid you looking like a 14 year old.
You may well know how to tie a tie already or you may have never learned. Hopefully you’ll be able to take something from this article regardless of your experience.
I tend to see a lot of guys in my city walking to or from work with ties that have unkept knots, weird lengths or just tied incorrectly, if you’re one of those guys, then this article is definitely for you.
There are wonderful variety of different knots you can use, each with their own benefit. The easiest way to accessorise is with a tie, knowing a few different knots and when to use them can help tailor the knot you use to the occasion. Different knots look better on different body frames and some are more suited to casual looks while others are more formal. Make sure you learn and master at least one of the knots we’ll cover in this article.
The beauty of the internet means that there is are hundreds of instructional videos out there. I’ve chosen a few of the most common knots you can use when tying your tie.
The correct term for this knot is The Windsor or the Full Windsor.
It is a thick, wide and triangular knot and is most suited for job interviews, courtroom appearances and any other occasion that is formal or where you need to look respectable. Size wise it is quite big so make sure you have wide spread collar shirts. It does have a habit of becoming a bit unkept, so you may have to keep an eye on it. I would avoid this knot if you’re going for a casual look.
The Half Windsor
The half windsor is a less complex version of the windsor, it may well be a knot that you tend rely on. It is not as wide as the windsor but make sure it is not making your collar sit awkwardly.
The Pratt or “Shelby”
This knot is symmetrical like the windsor but does not take as long to tie. It is a good size , it’s not as wide as the windsor but also not as narrow as the four in hand. It is quite a versatile knot and will look good with most shirts and is suitable for pretty much any occasion.
The Four in Hand
This is the smallest, cleanest and simplest knot. Again it is a very versatile knot and was the first knot I actually learnt. It is suitable for almost all occasions, although I would avoid it for formal events.
If you’re feeling more adventurous then here are a few more knots that you could try:
The Nicky – Simple small knot
St Andrew – Fuller knot like the half windsor
Hanover – Really big triangle knot
Victoria – A small tube knot, great for skinny ties.
Cavendish – An asymmetrical knot
Here are a few more tips
- Keep tabs on the knot, don’t let the knot grow wild and come loose, also make sure your top button is not revealed the knot should be covering it.
- Choose a good quality fabric when selecting a tie, 100% silk tends to be the best and it will make forming the knot that little bit easier.
- Take your time when forming the knot, spend a few minutes on it rather than rushing. It will definitely be noticed.
- The length of the tie is important, the triangular point should be sitting just above the belt buckle. Make sure you don’t have it longer than this or you’ll end up looking like this guy.
- Consider the thickness of the material and the tie before choosing the knot, different knots will look better with different ties.
- Stick to solid colours rather than patterns if you’re uncertain what would look best on you.
- Add a dimple to the knot for that extra bit of sophistication.