Ever since they were first introduced, ties have always been a symbol of nobility, honor, status and style.

Any man who wants to command respect, exude confidence and communicate their sense of style cannot afford to ignore the tie, especially in formal situations.

While many men actually do own ties, the problem is that some of them do not know how to tie the tie. And even for those who do, many of them are only conversant with one necktie knot.

However, there are several ways to tie a tie, and if you only know one of them, you are not getting the most out of this fashion accessory.

You might be wondering what the fuss is over different necktie knots.

After all, so long as you have a tie on your neck, that’s all that counts, right?

Wrong!

Different necktie knots represent different things and are best for certain occasions or dressing styles.

There are some knots that go best with certain types of shirt collars, some depend on the shape of a person’s face, some go better with certain fabric materials, some are better for certain occasions, some signal power, and so on.

Don’t believe me? Observe presidential speeches from different presidents and you will notice that most of them use the full Windsor knot.

Observe most CEOs in less formal situations and you will notice that most of them use the half Windsor knot or the four in hand.

Each necktie knot sends a different message, and the more conversant you are with the different styles, the more apt you will be at enhancing your appearance with the right style for the occasion.

Below, we look at 7 ways of tying a necktie.

THE FULL WINDSOR KNOT

Also known as the Double Windsor, this necktie knot was named after the Duke of Windsor.

This knot is characterized by a large, symmetric triangular shape, and is best worn with shirts with a wide spread collar.

It also looks great on men with a large neck. The full Windsor knot is a great choice for job interviews and formal occasions.

Owing to its large knot and the fact that it has to be symmetrical, the full Windsor knot can be a bit difficult to achieve for someone who does not wear ties regularly.

Below are the steps to follow to achieve the full Windsor knot.

  1. Start by placing the necktie around your neck with the wide end of the tie hanging about five inches below your waistline.
  2. Pick the wide end of the necktie and cross it horizontally above the slim end of the tie, such that the two form an X just below your chin.
  3. While using two fingers (the thumb and forefinger) to hold the X in place, tuck in the wide end of the necktie below and behind the X, so that it emerges from behind the X pointing upwards.
  4. Pull the wide end all the way through and let it fall downwards over the front of the X shape.
  5. Once again, pick the wider end of the tie and cross it horizontally behind the knot.
  6. Pass the wider tip upwards and loop it diagonally over the loop around your neck, such that the wider end emerges behind this loop facing downwards.
  7. Placing a finger in front of the knot, cross the wide end horizontally in front of the knot and above your finger. The finger ensures that a space is left between the band formed by the necktie and the knot.
  8. Tuck the wide end of the necktie below and behind the knot so that the tip emerges pointing upwards behind the knot.
  9. Turn the wide end so that it faces downwards and slip it through the horizontal loop you created with your finger in step 7.
  10. Pull the wide tip all the way down till the knot becomes tight. If there are any creases in the knot, smooth them out. There, your full Windsor knot will be ready.

THE HALF WINDSOR KNOT

The half Windsor knot is a more modest and less showy version of the full Windsor knot.

Just like the full Windsor, the half Windsor is symmetrical, but the knot is a bit smaller.

The half Windsor is a great choice for thick and medium width neckties.

Since it uses less length compared to the full Windsor, the half Windsor is also a great option for tall and big men who want to wear a regular length tie.

The half Windsor knot is quite easy to achieve, even for beginners.

Below are the steps on how to achieve a half Windsor knot.

  1. Start by placing the necktie around your neck such that the wide tip of the necktie is on your right side and hanging down to your right thigh, while the thin tip should be somewhere around your rib cage.
  2. Grab the wide end and cross it above the thinner end of the tie, such that the two form an X just below your chin.
  3. Holding the center of the X in place with your finger, once again grab the wider end of the tie and loop it horizontally behind the thinner end.
  4. Wrap the wider end of the necktie diagonally around the loop around your neck, then push it downwards such that it emerges on your right side behind the knot. Pull until the knot feels tight.
  5. Placing a finger in front of the knot, cross the wide end horizontally from right to left in front of the knot and above your finger. The finger ensures that a space is left between the band formed by the necktie and the knot.
  6. Tuck the wide end of the necktie below and behind the knot so that the tip emerges pointing upwards behind the knot.
  7. Turn the wide end so that it faces downwards and slip it through the horizontal loop you created with your finger in step 5.
  8. Pull the wide tip all the way down till the knot becomes tight. If there are any creases in the knot, smooth them out. There, your half Windsor knot will be ready.
  9. If you want to adjust the length of the necktie, just hold the knot and pull it towards your neck while pulling the thin end of the necktie downwards.

THE FOUR IN HAND KNOT

This is one of the simplest and most common necktie knots for beginners.

If you learned how to tie a tie in school, you probably learned the four in hand knot.

The four in hand is easy to learn and less tricky to achieve because it is slightly asymmetrical.

According to fashion folklore, this is an old method that British horsemen used to tie their scarves with one hand, while the other hand held the reins of four horses – hence the name four in hand.

The four in hand knot is best suited for relaxed occasions.

Since it has a narrower shape, it is a great choice for button-down collar dress shirts and narrow spread collars.

It also doesn’t use up a lot of the tie’s length, which makes it a great choice for tall and big men who want to wear a regular length tie.

Below are the steps on how to achieve the four in hand knot.

  1. Drape the necktie around your neck, with the wider end a couple of inches lower than the thinner end.
  2. Grab the wide end and cross it above the thinner end of the tie, such that the two form an X just below your chin.
  3. Holding the center of the X in place with your finger, grab the wider end of the tie and loop it horizontally behind the thinner end.
  4. Place a finger in front of the knot and cross the wider end of the necktie horizontally in front of the knot and above your finger. The finger ensures that a space is left between the band formed by the necktie and the knot.
  5. Tuck the wide end of the necktie below and behind the knot so that the tip emerges pointing upwards behind the knot.
  6. Turn the wide end so that it faces downwards and slip it through the horizontal loop you created with your finger in step 4.
  7. Pull the wide tip all the way down till the knot becomes tight. To make the knot tighter, hold the knot and gently tug on the thin end of the necktie. If there are any creases in the knot, smooth them out. There, your four in hand knot will be ready.

THE ORIENTAL KNOT

Also known as the simple knot, the Petit Noeud, or the Kent knot, this is one of the simplest necktie knots you will ever encounter.

It takes very few steps to achieve the oriental knot, and it doesn’t need a lot of necktie length.

While it is a simple knot to achieve, it is not common in the west. It is a lot more popular in Asia (and especially China), which is why it is known as the oriental knot.

The oriental knot is characterized by an asymmetry that causes it to lean towards the active end.

The oriental knot appears a bit small when well tightened, which makes it a great choice for small collar spreads and men with narrow faces.

It is also a great choice for tall people, since it does not use up a lot of necktie length. The oriental knot is best suited for business casual, social events, and other types of laid back occasions.

Perhaps the reason why the oriental knot is not common in the west is due to the fact that it is not self-releasing.

This means that you have to untie the whole knot, unlike other popular knots like the Windsor and the four in hand, which can be untangled by simply pulling the knot downwards.

Despite this, it is still a great knot to show your laid back style.

Below are the steps to follow to achieve the oriental knot.

  1. Place the necktie around your neck, with the seam facing outwards and the wider end of the tie a couple inches below your desired finishing position.
  2. Cross the wider end of the necktie below the narrow end to form an X just below your neck.
  3. Keeping a finger above the X, cross the wider end horizontally in front of the X and above your finger. The finger ensures that a space is left between the band formed by the necktie and the knot.
  4. Tuck the wide end of the necktie below and behind the knot so that the tip emerges pointing upwards behind the knot.
  5. Turn the wide end so that it faces downwards and slip it through the horizontal loop you created with your finger in step 3.
  6. Pull the wide tip all the way down till the knot becomes tight. To adjust the tie, hold the knot in one hand and gently pull on the thinner end. With these 6 steps, your oriental knot will be ready.

THE KELVIN KNOT

For those looking for a more creative way to wear your necktie, the Kelvin knot is a great choice.

While it seems a bit advanced, you won’t really find it challenging if you have already learnt how to achieve the oriental knot or the four in hand.

The Kelvin knot is named after mathematical physicist Lord Kelvin. The Kelvin knot is characterized by a small to medium sized knot, almost similar in size to the four in hand.

Like the oriental knot, it starts with the seams of the tie facing outwards.

The Kelvin knot is a great choice for button down collars and point collars, and is most suitable for men with smaller faces.

The Kelvin knot is appropriate for both business and casual settings.

Below are steps on how to achieve the Kelvin knot.

  1. Start by placing the necktie around your neck, with the seam facing outwards and the wider end of the tie a couple inches below your desired finishing position.
  2. Cross the wider end of the necktie below the narrow end to form an X just below your neck.
  3. Cross the wider end horizontally in front of the X and then wrap it horizontally behind the X.
  4. Keeping a finger above the knot, once again cross the wider end horizontally in front of the knot and above your finger. The finger ensures that a space is left between the band formed by the necktie and the knot.
  5. Tuck the wide end of the necktie below and behind the knot so that the tip emerges pointing upwards behind the knot.
  6. Turn the wide end so that it faces downwards and slip it through the horizontal loop you created with your finger in step 4. You should be careful not to slip the wide tip through the loop that was created in step 3.
  7. Pull the wide tip all the way down till the knot becomes tight. To tighten the tie, hold the knot in one hand and gently pull on the thinner end. With these simple steps, your Kelvin knot will be ready.

THE NICKY KNOT

This necktie knot is named after a tie maker known as Nikita Kruschev.

The Nicky knot originated in the fashion houses of Milan. This knot appears to be symmetrical, despite the fact that it has more steps on one side compared to the other.

In terms of size, the Nicky knot is a bit thicker than the four in hand but smaller than the half Windsor. The Nicky not especially looks great on skinny ties.

Since it does not use up a lot of tie length, this knot can be used by tall men or shorter than regular neckties.

Below are the steps on how to achieve the Nicky knot.

  1. Start by placing the necktie around your neck, with the seam facing outwards and the wider end of the tie a couple inches below your desired finishing position.
  2. Cross the wider end of the necktie below the narrow end to form an X just below your neck.
  3. Flip the wider end of the necktie upwards and diagonally over the front of the X. Pass it behind the knot such that it emerges on your left side facing downwards.
  4. Keeping a finger above the knot, cross the wider end horizontally in front of the knot and above your finger, from left to right. The finger ensures that a space is left between the band formed by the necktie and the knot.
  5. Tuck the wide end of the necktie below and behind the knot so that the tip emerges pointing upwards behind the knot.
  6. Turn the wide end so that it faces downwards and slip it through the horizontal loop you created with your finger in step 4.
  7. Pull the wide tip all the way down till the knot becomes tight. You can adjust the tie by holding the knot in one hand and gently pulling on the thinner end. Your Nicky knot should now be ready.

THE ST. ANDREW KNOT

The St. Andrew knot is another great option for those who want to achieve a serious look but without looking too conservative.

The St. Andrew looks somewhat similar to the half Windsor, though their steps are totally different.

This knot is slightly asymmetrical and is a little larger than the half Windsor, but smaller than the full Windsor.

Like the last three knots we have just looked at, the St. Andrew falls in the group of necktie knots that start with the necktie inside out.

The St. Andrew knot is perfect for both business and casual occasions. It is best suited for men with broad shoulders and rounder faces.

It’s somewhat large size helps keep things proportional.

Below are the steps to follow to achieve the St. Andrew.

  1. Start by placing the necktie around your neck, with the seam facing outwards and the wider end of the tie a couple inches below your desired finishing position.
  2. Cross the wider end of the necktie below the narrow end to form an X just below your neck.
  3. Once again, cross the wider end of the necktie horizontal in front of the X.
  4. Continue wrapping the wider end of the necktie around the X such that it now passes horizontally behind the X.
  5. Flip the wider end of the necktie upwards and diagonally over the front of the X. Pass it behind the knot such that it emerges on your left side facing downwards.
  6. Keeping a finger above the knot, cross the wider end horizontally in front of the knot and above your finger, from left to right. The finger ensures that a space is left between the band formed by the necktie and the knot.
  7. Tuck the wide end of the necktie below and behind the knot so that the tip emerges pointing upwards behind the knot.
  8. Turn the wide end so that it faces downwards and slip it through the horizontal loop you created with your finger in step 6.
  9. Pull the wide tip all the way down till the knot becomes tight. With that, your St. Andrew knot should now be ready.

WRAPPING UP

The necktie is a fashion item every man needs in his wardrobe.

This simple piece of clothing makes you appear professional and confident and helps you to communicate your sense of style and command respect.

However, if you want to make the most of the neckties in your wardrobe, you should know different ways of tying the ties.

You don’t really want to show up to a meeting with the CEO you are trying to impress wearing a four in hand necktie knot.

Fortunately, we have shown you 7 different ways to tie the necktie, so you don’t have to stick with the one style you learnt back in school.

With these, your colleagues can’t help but get wowed by your amazing necktie styles and your great sense of fashion.

How to Tie a Tie

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