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Two Must Know Knots

tying a tie

Before tying a tie

To many men, tying a tie seems to be something complex usually left to mom or wifey (is there even a difference between the two?).  

For even more men, tying a tie can be such a chore that once it has been tied, they will simply leave it so.  Unfortunately, there is no scientific research to explicitly prove that keeping a tie knotted is bad.  However, there is general consensus among tie aficionados that doing so can ruin the tie’s shape.  As well, leaving a tie knotted can shorten its lifespan, especially if it is made of silk.  By keeping a tie knotted, you are increasing amount of wrinkles in the tie each time you loosen and tighten it, making it look worn out, like yesterday’s boxers.  

Like a well made suit, a tie is meant to be hanged so the material can rest.  Here you will find simple steps and videos to tying the most basic knots that every man should know.

Tying a tie :The Simple Knot

We’ll start things off easy with what is known as the simple knot, or the four-in-hand, as you can see here:

fourinhand Four in Hand Knot, or the “simple knot”

The first step is to put the tie around your neck (duh!).

 For demonstrative purposes, make sure the thicker part of the tie hangs over your left side, and the thinner side on the right.  

The wider side should be hanging lower than the narrow side.  A difference of about twelve inches is common.

Take the thicker side and cross it over the thinner side towards the right and loop it behind and around the thinner side.  The larger part should cross over the smaller tongue like when you first crossed it over before the loop.


After, slide the thicker part of the tie up into the space of the loop between your neck and barely-shaped knot.  You can see this process in the third illustration from the left.  

You have correctly completed the last step if the thick part of the tie can hang just above your belt.  In other words, the thicker side of your tie should be able to completely cover the knot and your shirt buttons.

Hold the front end of the knot a bit so it is somewhat loose.  From there, carefully slide in the thicker part of the tie into the hole at the top.   Finally, gently pull tie through to tighten it and close the knot.

If that was too complicated, you can check out this easy video by YouTube user tiehole.


Why tie a simple knot?

The simple knot is only looped around once and only from one side.  This is what gives it its asymmetrical look.  This kind of knot is ideal for skinny ties and small collared shirts.  Paired with a slim suit, a simple knot is ideal for any business or professional wear.

Although it is very stylish, we do not recommend using this kind of knot for a formal event.  The exception would be if you wore it with a spread collar dress shirt.

Tying a tie: The Windsor

Begin the process of tying this tie knot by placing the wider end of the tie over your left side and the narrow end of the right.  Because this kind of knot is meant to be large, you need to make sure the wider end hangs significantly lower than the narrow end.  If you do not get the proper distancing, the narrow part of your tie will be too long.

Cross the thicker end of the tie over the narrow end towards the right.


Pull the wider end up through the loop between your tie and neck and hang it over towards the right, as you can see in step 2 in the image above.  Make sure the back of the tie is facing away from you when you are putting it through the loop.

Place the wide end behind the narrow end, pulling it towards your left side.

Pull the tie back up into the loop and pull it around as you just did in the step before the last, as seen in steps 5 and 6.  As a result, the back of the tie should be facing away from you by the end of this step.

In the next step, you will wrap the wider part of the tie over the narrow part towards the right.

Slide it up through the neck loop one more time, repeating step 2 on the opposite side.  With the back of the tie facing away from you, gently bring the thick end of the tie through the knot.  

Pull at the knot carefully to tighten it, and there you have a Full Windsor!

The finished product should look like this:


**Pro-tip:  The Full Windsor knot has what it takes to be considered a power tie.

Here you can see a video by YouTube user tiehole on how to tie a full windsor knot:

Why tie a Windsor knot?

The Windsor knot is the daddy of tie knots.  

Also known as a Double Windsor or Full Windsor, its kind of like the bigger brother of the Half-Windsor.  

Both the full and half Windsor are meant to appear symmetrical in relation to your collar.  The only main difference between the two types of knots is that the Half-Windsor looks better with skinnier ties and slimmer men because the knot will end up smaller.  The Full Windsor knot is larger and is better suited for ties that have a thicker material, spread collared shirts and larger men.  Both knots are essentially tied the same way, with some small differences in the process.  

The resulting knots are both perfect for professional or formal occasions.  If you are wearing a tie on your wedding day, or for a big presentation at work, the Windsor or Half-Windsor should be your knot of choice.

As well, not many knots can brag about having an origin story. The Full Windsor is believed to have been invented by King Edward VIII, a.k.a the Duke of Windsor.  In another version, the Windsor is a copy of the way King Edward’s dad used to knot his ties.  You can read about the mysterious history of this knot and the men believed to have created it here.

But wait! There’s more!

We hope this guide was able to help you. However, when it comes to tying a tie, there are endless options and things to take into consideration.

Vizoni Uomo offers a great guide on how to make sure you’re wearing your tie properly! As well, they have an amazing guide on tie care.

If these universal-must-know-knots are too basic for you, click here to learn some more complex knots.

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