Skip to content Skip to navigation Skip to search
 
How to Tie a Tie Knot

How to Tie a Tie Knot

Tying a tie is a kind of unwritten rite of passage for young men around the world. Like most things menswear, tie culture is subtle and nuanced but says a lot to those who know how to read them. Ties may all look the same to the uninitiated, but for the gentlemen out there, they can define an entire outfit. Ties are defined not only by their shape, size, fabric, color, and design but also by how they are tied.

Different Ways to Tie a Tie Knot

The kind of knot you choose to tie sends a subliminal message that catches our attention to detail. These subconscious signals can define an entire outfit, and each style sends a different message. There are also knots that match different men's button-down shirts, collars, necks, and even body shapes. While scientifically speaking there are technically thousands of ways to tie a men’s tie, there are around 85 different knots that are generally used to tie ties. While we won’t cover the whole scope of ties in this article, we will cover some of the most common ones. This being said, most men stick to one kind of tie their whole lives, so find the knot that works best for your needs and style.

Windsor Knot

This classic, symmetrical, and triangular knot has noble associations that will leave you feeling like royalty. This grand and regal tie knot is a perfect choice for wearing with a men’s suit for a variety of occasions. Despite being named for the Duke of Windsor, apparently he never even wore this tie knot. The Windsor Knot was instead invented by the English who wanted to have a more robust and wider-looking knot without needing a thicker tie. The Windsor Knot forms a regal triangle at the base of your neck.

How to tie:

1. Begin with the wide end of the tie on your right and the small end on your left. Let the tip of the small end reach down toward the belly button, and work only moving the wider side.

2. Wide end over the small end to the left.

3. Up into the neck loop from below.

4. Down toward the left.

5. Behind the small end to the right.

6. Up toward the middle and the neck loop.

7. Through the neck loop and down to the right.

8. Across the front to the left.

9. Up into the neck loop from below.

10. Down through the loop you’ve just made.

11. Tighten the knot by pulling down on the wide end. Slide the knot up and adjust accordingly.

Half Windsor Knot

This versatile knot is casual yet elegant and adaptable to many different scenarios. Wear with a suit or with a men’s dress shirt for a more business casual look. While this knot isn’t exactly half the size of the classic Windsor Knot, it is a bit smaller and not as profound. The Half Windsor Knot is medium-sized, almost symmetrical, and produces a dimple when tied. Use a tie of medium to light thickness for the best end result.

1. Begin with the wide end of the tie on your right and the small end on your left. Let the tip of the small end reach down toward the belly button, and work only moving the wider side.

2. Wide end over the small end to the left, then under the small end and to the right.

3. Up toward the middle and the neck loop.

4. Through the neck loop and toward the left.

5. Across the front toward the right.

6. Up into the neck loop from below.

7. Down through the loop you’ve just made in the front.

8. Tighten the knot by pulling down on the wide end.

9. Slide the knot up and adjust accordingly.

Double Windsor Knot

Another variation on the Windsor Knot, the Double Windsor Knot is a classy, balanced, and even larger and thicker knot than the original Windsor. This type of knot works best with dress shirts that have wider collars to accommodate the wide knot. You will want to use a long tie to achieve the full effect of this knot, as this style of knot is wider and thicker and will require more length.

1. Begin with the wide end of the tie on your right and the small end on your left. Let the tip of the small end reach down toward the belly button, and work only moving the wider side.

2. Pull the tie through the gap between the neck and the tie knot. Pull the tie all the way around until it is back behind the smaller end of the tie. Repeat with the other side.

3. Wrap the wider end of the tie and bring it back over toward the front.

4. Pull the wider end through the gap between your neck and the knot loosely, so that a loop is made.

5. Slip the wide end of the knot through the loop.

6. Tighten the knot by pulling down on the wide end. Slide the knot to adjust accordingly.

Four-in-Hand Knot

This simple and stylish knot is casual and appropriate for most, but not all, occasions. Traditionally worn by boys with their school uniforms and the required tie knot for Army and Navy uniforms, this style of knot is more practical and less formal. This knot is asymmetrical and narrower, but nonetheless charming.

1. Begin with the wide end of the tie on your right and the small end on your left. Let the tip of the small end reach down toward the belly button, and work only moving the wider side.

2. Fold the wide end behind the smaller end and bring it to the front on the opposite side.

3. Move across the front horizontally.

4. Fold behind the smaller end again.

5. Bring over the top of the knot from behind.

6. Tuck behind the loop.

7. Pull the knot and adjust accordingly.

Prince Albert Knot

Another royal tie knot, the Prince Albert Knot is regal and charismatic. This slightly bulkier knot can be pulled tight to give it a more polished and slender look.

1. Begin with the wide end of the tie on your right and the small end on your left. Let the tip of the small end reach down toward the belly button, and work only moving the wider side.

2. Wide end over the small end to the left, then under the small end, and to the right.

3. Across the front and to the left, then under the smaller end and toward the right.

4. Pull across the front and to the left.

5. Pull up into the neck loop from below.

6. Bring down through both loops in the front.

7. Tighten and adjust the knot accordingly. The first loop should slightly peek out from below the second loop.

Trinity Knot

The Trinity knot is difficult to tie and quite over the top, albeit exciting. If eccentricity is your thing, wearing this tie knot with a men’s corduroy blazer is a fashion statement no one is going to forget. Round, unique, and memorable, this fancy and challenging knot is a fun one to try. Wear with a solid tie color rather than bold prints to avoid an over-the-top look.

1. Begin with the wide end of the tie on your right and the small end on your left. Let the tip of the small end reach down toward the belly button, and work only moving the wider side. Position the wide end at the length you’d like it to finish.

2. Cross the small end over the wide end to the left.

3. Fold it up through the neck loop from below and then pass it down to the left side.

4. Cross it underneath the wide end toward the right.

5. Fold it up through the neck loop and then pass it down to the left side.

6. Cross it over the wide end toward the right.

7. Fold it up through the neck loop from underneath.

8. Pass it down through the loop you created in the previous step. Keep it loose.

9. Cross it underneath the wide end toward the right.

10. Cross the skinny end to the center and pass it through the loop you just created in the previous step.

11. Pull the skinny end to tighten the knot and tuck it behind the neck loop on the left side.

Kelvin Knot

This neat, slim, and tidy knot is versatile and symmetrical. Named after the 19th-century physicist, Lord Kelvin, this knot is great for work and formal occasions. Use a thicker fabric tie to create a more robust look. This is the perfect knot to show off your boldest ties with.

1. Place the tie around your neck with the wide end on the right and the smaller end on the left.

2. Bring the wide end below the small end toward the left.

3. Bring it over the small end toward the right.

4. Bring it below the small end toward the left.

5. Cross it over the small end toward the right.

6. Fold it up through the neck loop from below.

7. Pass it down through the loop you’ve made in the knot.

8. Pull down on the wide end to tighten and pull the knot up to adjust accordingly.

Eldredge Knot

This tie knot offers a tapered fishtail effect that requires a creative touch. Quite literally invented by and named for a man who got tired of the same tie knots every day, this excessive tie knot exudes luxury, opulence, and elegance with each detail. One of the most challenging knots, wear to dressier events like weddings with dress shirts, men’s dress pants, men's dress shoes, and a men's blazer. Best for a wedding and a little over the top for the office, wear with a simple tie rather than with bold patterns.

1. Put the tie around your neck with the wide end on the right and the small end on the left. Position the wide end to the length you’d like it to finish at.

2. Cross the small end over the wide end toward the left.

3. Wrap it beneath the knot toward the right.

4. Pull it up through the neck loop from underneath and then pass it down to the left side.

5. Cross it over the knot toward the right.

6. Pull it up through the neck loop from below and then pass it down to the left side.

7. Wrap it underneath the knot toward the right. Keep this part loose.

8. Cross it over to the left and through the loop that you created in the previous step.

9. Pull the skinny end toward the left to tighten it.

10. Pull it up through the neck loop from underneath and then pass it down to the right side. Keep this part loose.

11. Cross it over to the left and through the loop that you created in the previous step.

12. Pull the skinny end toward the left to tighten it.

13. Tuck the rest of the skinny end behind the neck loop on the left side.

Choosing the Right Knot for the Job

Not all knots are created equal, and some are better for certain occasions than others. Size, symmetry, and shape can all vary greatly from knot to knot, and all these elements should be taken into account when choosing what knots to wear for any particular occasion. Some knots are also better for certain kinds of ties; for example, thin ties generally benefit from larger knots, and wider ties look better tied with smaller knots. Some knots, such as the Windsor Knot, are more formal and opulent and are known as the go-to knot worn by many presidents. Other knots, like the Four-in-Hand knot, are simpler and better for more casual or day-to-day occasions. Knots like the Trinity are meticulous, intricate, and artistic, making them less appropriate for the office and better for an occasion like a wedding. When wearing ties and choosing knots, be sure to pair plainer ties with complex knots and bolder ties with simpler knots. This will create the perfect balance of tie to knot.

Every knot serves a different purpose and offers a different aesthetic effect. Most men wear one knot they love for their whole lives, so explore tying your tie in different ways to find the knot that is best for you.

 
 

Articles

 

Articles