The Full Windsor Knot.
A knot with pedigree.
It's a large knot with a symmetrical shape.
And it compliments a spread or cutaway collar.
It's often mistaken as being difficult to tie but this isn't true. Today, we’re going to learn how to tie the Full Windsor knot.
We've created an infographic and video tutorial for you – make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel and check out our article on 18 ways to tie a tie.
#1. The Full Windsor Knot – History
The Windsor knot is sometimes known as the Full Windsor knot or Double Windsor knot. This is to distinguish it from the smaller Half Windsor knot. It is the largest of the four most popular necktie knots.
The Full Windsor knot creates a comfortable space between the collar and the neck while holding the tie in place.
Stemming from the royal heritage of the English, this knot enjoys a large prestige when worn. Therefore it is largely a power knot for business.
The Duke of Windsor, Prince Edward, never actually used the Windsor knot. He favored a wide triangular, Four-In-Hand knot with an extra thick tie. The Windsor knot was an imitation by the public to achieve his trendsetting style with even an ordinarily tie. It is believed that the Duke’s father, George V invented the Windsor knot.
The Windsor knot also carries a bit of controversy. In the 20’s and 30’s, America fell in deep infatuation with all things fashionable that the Duke (at that time Prince Edward) did. At a demonstration of how to tie a Windsor knot in America in 1936 two steps were reversed. This created an impossibly complex knot.
Nobody knows whether this was a hoax or an honest mistake. But it has led to the mistaken belief that learning how to tie a Windsor knot is exceedingly difficult. However, our guide below shows this is not true.
#2. The Full Windsor Knot – Description
The Full Windsor is a very large symmetrical triangular shaped knot. While the knot is self-releasing, it does not slip when tied correctly. The loops which form the back of the knot allow a bit of space between the collar line and the necktie making the Windsor very comfortable to wear.
A properly-tied Full Windsor offers the following advantages:
- Creates a firm knot with a symmetrical shape.
- It has a very large triangle that compliments a spread or cutaway collar.
- A large and thick knot like the Full Windsor can distract attention away from the wearer’s face, it best compliments a strong square, or round face, or one with facial hair.
- For correct wear, the tie should be at least 4 centimeters (about 1.6 inches) longer than a conventional tie.
- The thick knot at the collar in a Full Windsor uses a lot of fabric. Use a classic, long silk tie to tie it. Avoid tweed or knitted ties as they will be too bulky for this knot.
- Full-Windsor knots go best at highly formal events, such as weddings or business meetings with highly important or powerful individuals.
- This should be the go to knot for men who are stout or have wider necks. The Windsor will look appropriately proportional with your face and build.
- Use darker tones and more spaced-out patterns with this knot. The Windsor can appear overwhelming when the tie has bright or gaudy patterns.
- Since the Full Windsor is larger, it also appears highly formal.
- Wear the Windsor any time you have a tie with plenty of spare length and you want a thick, full-bodied knot.
The shape of the Full Windsor is the same as that of the Half Windsor, but it is 25% larger than the Half-Windsor knot.
#3. The Full Windsor Knot – Step By Step
Follow the 11 steps below and with some practice, you’ll be tying the classic Full Windsor knot or Double Windsor Knot in well under two minutes!
- Drape the necktie around your collar with the wide end on the right hanging 4-6 inches lower than your waistband.
- Cross the wide end horizontally in front of the slim end, making an X-shape just below your chin.
- Tuck the wide end up and beneath the loop around your neck, coming out point-upward behind the X. Use one finger to hold the X in place.
- Pull the wide end all the way down.
- Bring the wide end around behind the knot and pass it horizontally from right to left.
- Flip the wide end tip upward and tug it diagonally across the front of the knot.
- Loop the wide end over the top of the loop around your collar and bring it back down. It should emerge on the left of the thin end.
- Bring the wide end horizontally across the front of the knot, from left to right. This forms a horizontal band. Tuck a finger through it and hold it in place.
- Bring the wide end underneath the loop one more time, around the collar with the tip aiming upward.
- Turn the wide end downward and slide the tip through the horizontal loop you saved with your finger in step 8.
- Pull the wide end all the way down and smooth out any creases or slack in the knot.
Because the Full Windsor is on the larger end of necktie knots, it has a classic feel and shows that you know your business. Use this knot if you want to project an image of power, confidence, and authority. Now you’ve mastered this knot, it’s time to broaden your skills. Learn how to tie a tie.