What about trust in a business relationship?
Or casual approachability?
One subconscious signal can give this.
The tie knot.
It’s a subliminal message that speaks to our attention to detail.
Don’t believe me?
Look at nearly every President. The full windsor knot.
Look at less formal business outfits. The four-in-hand or half windsor.
This article will show you how to master the only 4 tie knots you need to know.
Four in Hand, Half Windsor, Full Windsor and Bow Ties.
Why four classic knots and not just one?
Each style portrays a different message and suits a different shirt collar and neck.
Additionally, one knot might fit your proportions better than another.
Experiment with these four classic necktie knots and find one that suits your face shape & message.
Before you begin with the instructions below, follow these preparatory steps:
- Secure the top button of your shirt and raise the collar up.
- Drape the necktie around your collar with the wide end on your right and the thin end on your left with the seams facing down.
- Pull the wide end down so it hangs around your thigh. You may have to make adjustments to this initial length depending on your height, the length and fabric of your tie.
1. The Four In Hand Tie Knot
One of the oldest tie knots, it is believed that British horsemen invented this type of knot when they were tying scarves while holding the reigns of four horses in the other hand. The Four in Hand knot is one of the easiest tie knots to learn.
This knot requires less of the tie’s length, making it a great choice for tall men trying to tie a regular length tie.
The knot has a smaller, slightly longish shape that is perfect for narrow spread collars as well as for button down collar dress shirts.
1. Start with the wide end of the tie on the right and the small end on the left. The small end should be slightly above your belly-button. Only move the wide end to adjust the length.
2. Bring the wide end over the narrow end to the left.
3. Bring the wide end under the narrow end. The wide end should end on the right side, once again.
4. Tuck the wide end of the tie around the back of the loop that was just formed.
5. Pass the wide end of the tie through the space between the necktie and shirt collar
6. Continue passing the wide end down through the front of the knot loop you’ve just created.
7. Tighten the knot by pulling down on the wide end. Slide the knot up and adjust it using the base of your thumb and forefinger on your left hand. Ensure the tip of the tie barely touches the center of your belt buckle.
2. The Half Windsor Tie Knot
If you are starting out as a tie-tying novice, the Half Windsor should be your starting point. This knot is the perfect choice for medium-width and thick ties. It is the most versatile and popular tie knot.
Because the half Windsor requires less of the tie’s length than the larger Windsor knot, it is also a great choice for big and tall men trying to wear a regular length tie.
1. Start with the wide end of the tie on the right and the small end on the left. The tip of the small end should rest slightly above your belly-button.
2. Cross the wide end in front of the narrow end to the left. This results in an X-shape below your chin.
3. Loop the wide end of the tie horizontally around and behind the thin end.
4. Take the wide end over from the top and through the opening of the X-shape created in Step 2.
5. Hold the wide end with your right hand. Wrap it in front over the thin end, from your right to your left.
6. Bring the wide end towards your chest and from behind the loop, pass it over the X-shape at the centre from behind.
7. Using the index finger of your left hand, create space in the triangle that has now formed over the X-shape. Pass the wide end through the loop created and pull it all the way through.
8. Your tie-knot is created. Hold the knot and pull the wide end down until taut. Tighten the knot by pulling down on the wide end. Slide the knot up and adjust.
3. The Full Windsor Tie Knot
Also known as the Double Windsor, the Full Windsor is has a large, triangular symmetric shape and is perfect for wide spread collars, and on men with a large neck.
Additional tie length is required for the Windsor knot because of the two wrappings. Tall men with a larger neck size will need a tie that measures between 61 – 64 inches.
1. Start with the wide end of the tie on the right and the narrow end on the left. The tip of the narrow end should rest slightly above your belly-button.
2. Cross the wide end horizontally in front of the slim end, making an X-shape just below your chin.
3. Tuck the wide end up and beneath the loop around your neck, coming out point-upward behind the newly-formed X-shape.
4. Pull the wide end all the way down. Make sure the X-shape and the loop you just formed are snug and tight.
5. Bring the wide end around behind the knot and pass it horizontally from right to left.
6. Flip the wide end tip upward and tug it diagonally across the front of the knot.
7. Loop the wide end over the top of the loop around your collar and bring it back down, emerging to the left of the thin end. At this point the wide end should be pointed tip-downward, with its seam facing out.
8. Bring the wide end horizontally across the front of the knot, from left to right. You should end up with the tip pointed to your right and the seam facing inward. This forms a horizontal band across the front of the knot.
9. Bring the wide end underneath the loop one more time, around the collar with the tip aiming upward. The seam should be facing outward.
10. Turn the wide end downward and slide the tip through the horizontal loop created in step 8.
11. Pull the wide end all the way down and smooth out any creases or slack in the knot. Adjust the tie by holding the knot with a thumb and forefinger while pulling on the slim end with your other hand.
4. The Bow-Tie
If you can tie shoe laces, you can easily learn how to tie a bow tie.
A black bow-tie is a symbol of formality. The most elegant knot suited for a black-tie event.
It is not a challenging knot and you definitely should avoid a clip-on version.
1. Start with one end of the bow tie longer than the other by a few inches. The longer end should be on your right side.
2. Place the longer right end over the shorter left end, making an X-shape just below the chin
3. Loop the longer end behind the ‘X’ to create a simple knot similar to the first knot while tying shoelaces. Leave the longer end resting on your shoulder for the next step.
4. Fold the shorter end horizontally against the top button on your shirt collar.
5. Bring the longer end down off your shoulder in front of the folded shorter end.
6. Using your right hand, fold the longer end back towards the chest and pinch the fold.
7. Keeping the longer end hanging in front of the shorter end, tuck its folded center through the small loop you formed when you first passed it up behind the knot.
8. With the wings in place, tug the loops behind them to tighten the vertical front knot.