The tie is a classic symbol of a gentleman’s attire, it can be suave, classy, professional or fun depending on how you choose to wear it. But if there is one thing the tie is not, that is a passing trend. In fact, it’s often seen as a step on the path to manhood, learning how to tie your tie correctly.
But did you know there are actually a number of different ways you can wear a tie depending on the occasion? That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you choose the perfect knot to add extra class to any outfit, no matter what the occasion. But as there are so many to choose from, we’ve hand-picked the most popular to get you started
Four popular knots for you to choose from
Let’s knot beat around the bush any longer, it’s time to get into the more technical stuff! Different tie knots can represent different things and therefore some are better suited to specific occasions. We’ll start you off in this guide by looking at the more common and recognisable knots. It’s also important to note that while there are a large number of variations for tying a tie, some of the differences in each can be very slight.
The Full Windsor knot
The Full Windsor is named so to distinguish itself from the similarly named Half Windsor knot which we will discuss in a moment. A favourite of the Duke of Windsor, this knot found its name and is agreed to be the most formal type of tie knot there is. As such, this is best chosen for formal occasions such as weddings, galas or business meetings.
To create the knot, hang the tie around your collar with the wide end hanging roughly 5 inches lower than your waistband. Cross the wide end in front of the slim end to create an X, then proceed by tucking the wide end up beneath the loop that you’ve formed around your neck. Pull the wide end down and then pass it over the smaller end horizontally from right to left. Flipping the wide end up, tuck it across the front of the knot and then pass this over the top of the loop around your collar.
You should be left with the thin end on the left so you can bring the wide end horizontally across the front of the knot, this time from left to right to create a horizontal band. To complete the knot, pass the thick end once more around the loop of your collar and then slide it through the horizontal loop you’ve created. Pull down to fasten.
The Half Windsor knot
This knot is smaller than its counterpart (the Full Windsor) and therefore needs less tie length. It is the smart/casual in terms of formality, as it finds itself in between a Full Windsor and a Four-in-Hand knot, this makes it great for social outings and parties, or perhaps for presentations at work.
Begin the knot with your tie around your collar with the wide end hanging down to your thigh. Cross the wide end over the thin end to form an X-shape as with the Full Windsor. Loop the wide end horizontally behind the thin and put the wide end through the opening of the X shape you’ve formed. Pull tight and then wrap this in front of the thin end from right to left.
Finally, bring the wide end from behind the loop, pass it over the X. A triangle shape should have formed over the X – pull the wide end through the triangle to complete the knot.
The Four-in-Hand knot
Also known as the schoolboy knot, this is one of the more simpler options making it perfect for beginners. What’s more, it’s less formal and is therefore best worn at more casual events or perhaps at work if your dress code is less strict. This is most commonly worn alongside a standard button down shirt and gives the best results when the tie is made from heavier fabrics.
To tie this knot you need to loop the tie around your collar, with the thick end a few inches lower than the thin (about three to four), cross the thick end over and loop it round to create a thick horizontal band. Put your finger beneath the horizontal band and feed the feed the thick end down through the loop. Pull this down until the knot becomes snug.
The Pratt knot
This knot is very similar to that of the four-in-hand knot and is basically created in the same way. However, the knot is slightly bigger and lengthens the tie, making this perfect for taller men or for those wishing to don a skinny tie to any occasion.
The main difference when tying the Pratt knot is that once the tie is around your neck, the thick end needs to be one or two inches lower than its desired finishing spot. You can then go about creating the knot in the same way as outlined above.
Written by Stuart Cooke, Blog Editor at Inscripture.com specialists in personalised men’s jewellery.
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