Who said this?
Oscar Wilde – the late poet and playwright
(who wrote The Picture of Dorian Gray)
What does that tell us?
It represents a number of truths:
- Style matters as you grow up
- Ties are powerful accessories
- Tying a tie is a valuable skill
So if a world-renowned author believes neckties are an important part of life…
…he’s probably right!
And any good tie requires a nice knot…
…like the Hanover.
This one is perfect for larger men too, because it brings out their proportions.
Check out this guide to tying this elegant knot, so you’ll get to stand out like a boss.
The Hanover knot is a large, symmetrical type of necktie knot. It takes its name supposedly from the House of Hanover, the royal dynasty which ruled the UK from 1714 to 1901. But there isn’t much evidence that any monarchs during that period actually started it.
And since that period was mostly under the reign of Queen Victoria – this modern necktie style couldn’t have been so popular back then. It’s more likely that the name was based on the mathematical relationship between the Hanover, Windsor, and Half-Windsor knots.
What Makes The Hanover Knot Unique
A properly done Hanover knot forms an equilateral triangle. Its symmetry is very distinct – and we know how humans are naturally drawn to objects that are perfectly shaped.
In business environments, this knot is a strong symbol of status – a great way to heighten your credibility (since you come into the room with a perfect-looking tie on). It can show others that you’re a true professional with a keen eye for detail.
But at the same time – a very large knot of this kind may seem a bit pompous. So you need to figure out the right necktie in order to get a Hanover knot that’s properly framed. For starters: since the knot is rather bulky, you’ll want a nice, flatter tie that doesn’t have much extra length.
As for the dress shirt to wear it with, a wide spread collar is ideal. And because the finished knot displays a large, flat band – this is one necktie style which can work really well in figure or wallpaper patterns.
Some quick points that summarize the Hanover knot and its function:
- Level of difficulty: Medium
- Formality: Business, social (semi-formal at least)
- Recommended collars: Spread collars, cutaway collars
- Most suitable for: Men with wider faces/torsos
Although it takes several steps to complete, the Hanover isn’t a particularly difficult knot. Most of these steps are simply repetitions or inversions of the same turning pattern. If you can tie a Half-Windsor, you’ll have no problem tying a Hanover.
How To Tie A Tie: The Hanover Knot – Step #1
Drape the necktie around your collar with its backside exposed. The thick end should be hanging on your left side, while the narrow end is on your right.
Because this knot uses up a lot of cloth, you’ll want the tip of the thick end hanging 4-5 inches lower than the desired finishing position.
How To Tie A Tie: The Hanover Knot – Step #2
Cross the thick end under the narrow end from left to right, creating an X-shape beneath your chin. Then flip the tip of the thick end so that it points to your left – ready for the next step.
How To Tie A Tie: The Hanover Knot – Step #3
Bring the thick end directly across the front of the narrow end from right to left.
Here, the center of the knot will begin to form – and you should maintain a firm grasp of this intersection point using one hand.
How To Tie A Tie: The Hanover Knot – Step #4
Tuck the thick end upward, passing through the loop around your collar.
You should finish this step with the tip of the thick end pointed downward (in preparation for the next step), and with a new horizontal band at the center.
How To Tie A Tie: The Hanover Knot – Step #5
Bring the thick end all the way down and tug it through. But don’t tuck it through the horizontal band you created in Step #4 – just let it lie over the band.
At this point, the thick end should be lying over the narrow end (with its front side exposed). Let the tip of the thick end face backward – you’re about to do another loop with it.
How To Tie A Tie: The Hanover Knot – Step #6
Bring the thick end around from right to left, crossing behind the knot. You should end this step with the thick end pointed to your left, with its backside exposed once again.
How To Tie A Tie: The Hanover Knot – Step #7
Flip the thick end upward, passing diagonally in front of the center. You want the tip of the thick end to be pointed downward – ready to pass through the loop once more.
How To Tie A Tie: The Hanover Knot – Step #8
Feed the thick end down through the loop, and let it emerge from behind the knot – hanging toward your right. At this point, the “triangle” formation at the center is well in place.
Next, let the tip of the thick end face your left – preparing it for the next step.
How To Tie A Tie: The Hanover Knot – Step #9
Bring the thick end horizontally from right to left – crossing over the center of the knot. This creates a second horizontal band.
Slip a finger underneath this band (you’ll feed the thick end through it later on).
Next, let the tip of the thick end point toward the back (you’re going to do one final loop with it).
How To Tie A Tie: The Hanover Knot – Step #10
Bring the thick end upward, passing once more from underneath the loop around your collar.
At this point, the tip of the thick end should be pointed downward – ready to pass through the horizontal band you created in Step #9.
How To Tie A Tie: The Hanover Knot – Step #11
Bring the thick end straight down, passing through the horizontal band. Make sure it lies directly over the narrow end.
Tug the thick end all the way through the band – and snug everything into place. This will cause the narrow end to be completely hidden from view.
The Hanover Knot – Additional Reminders
- You can adjust the tie as needed by grasping the knot with one hand while pulling on the narrow end with the other.
- The finished knot should resemble an equilateral triangle. In many cases, the corners will be partly covered by your shirt collar – but a proper, wide spread collar should display the whole thing.
- Since the Hanover isn’t a self-releasing knot, you must untie it carefully using the thick end (and leave the narrow end hanging straight down until the knot is untied).
- Warning: Do NOT attempt to work backward from the narrow end to untie the knot. This will only cause tangling – or even potentially damage the tie.
Click here to view the FULL Infographic – How To Tie The Hanover Knot
Congratulations! You’ve now got a Hanover knot to amp up your style for those special occasions. But while a less formal tie knot tends to be common in casual, social settings – who’s to say you should always follow the herd?
As long as you’re confident enough, you’ll surely impress everyone with your Hanover style regardless of the event. A solid knot like this one brings out the classy gentleman in you.