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Necktie Knots - Learn to Tie the Windsor and Four-in-Hand

By Edited Mar 30, 2016 0 0

The two most popular necktie knots are the Windsor and the Four-in-Hand. Because of the way necktie knots are made they will easily un-knot when removed properly. When you remove your tie and the knot does not slip out, then you know you have tied it incorrectly.

General Necktie Tying Tips

Regardless of the knot you choose, it is recommended that you start with the fat end of the tie in your dominant hand as this is usually easier. For most people that is their right hand. Most descriptions and illustrations for tying ties will be from a right-handed person's perspective.

When placing the tie around your neck to tie it, raise your collar first. Get the tie into position without tying it and then put the collar in place. You can button your collar before or after tying the knot. If you button the collar button before putting the collar in place then it may be hard to get it to lay down correctly.

Learn which knot works best for each of your ties. Most men find one or two knots that they prefer and use them all the time. One of these two knots will be appropriate for any tie you have. Thicker ties usually work better with a simpler knot like the Four-in-Hand. A heavier, thicker knot like the Windsor is more appropriate for a thinner necktie material.

Unless you have ties all from the same manufacturer using the same materials, you will probably find your neckties all have varying characteristics that cause you to tie them each in a unique. Sometimes you can judge where to start the knot based on how the narrow part lines up with a certain button on your shirt. Or, you might use the position of the wide part of the tie as your indicator as to where to begin tying. It takes trial and error, but once you learn how each necktie ties in its own way, you will learn to tie it correctly every time.

How long should a tie be? Trends and fashion come and go. Sometimes it is popular for a necktie to be a couple inches below the belt buckle, sometimes much shorter. If you want your tie to length to be timeless, the rule is to have the tie just touch the top of the belt buckle.

The narrow part of the tie should be at least long enough to tuck into the loop on the back of the wide part of the tie, and short enough to not be longer than the wide part. A necktie is sewn and designed to be knotted in a certain area. If the narrow part of the tie is longer than the wide part, then you need to buy shorter ties. Consequently, if the narrow part is not long enough to be held by the loop behind the wide part, you need to buy longer ties.

Windsor

The Windsor knot is a classic looking symmetrical necktie knot. It is the knot that should be worn when trying to look your best. Because it is wider and symmetrical, it looks good on collars that have a wide mouth.

A Windsor knot is a thick knot that may not work well on neckties made of thicker material. However, thin and average tie material both work well with the Windsor knot. The Windsor is sometimes called a Full Windsor or Double Windsor. This is to distinguish it from a Half Windsor knot which is different from the one here. It was made popular by the Duke of Windsor.

Start with the tie draped around your neck and under the collar. The two ends will be of different lengths. You will have to experiment to see exactly how much longer the wide end needs to be compared to the narrow end. These instructions are written with the assumption that you are right-handed. The wide end of the necktie will start in your right hand.

  1. Cross the wide end in front of the narrow end about 6 inches below your neck
  2. Feed the wide end behind and up through the neck hole draping it back to the right side
  3. Cross the wide end behind the narrow end
  4. Feed the wide end in front of and down through the neck hole draping it back to the right side
  5. Repeat step 1 by crossing the wide end in front of the knot you have been creating
  6. Feed the wide end behind and up through the neck hole
  7. With slack in the layer you made in step 5, feed the wide end down through that layer
  8. Pull the wide end down until the knot is formed
  9. Grab the knot with one hand and the narrow end of the tie with the other
  10. Simultaneously push the knot up, while pulling the narrow end down

Step 3 and 4 are essentially the same as 1 and 2, but crossing behind instead of in front. Steps 5 and 6 are exactly the same as 1 and 2.

Four-in-Hand

The Four-in-Hand knot is a simple knot that can still look nice. It is one of the easiest to tie. It is appropriate for all but the fanciest of occasions. It is not a symmetrical knot like the Windsor, but if tied well, no one will notice.

Because the knot for the Four-in-Hand is a narrower knot, it works very well with neckties made of thicker material. It may not hold its shape as well with thin ties.

Start with the tie draped around your neck and under the collar. The two ends will be of different lengths, but not as drastically different as for the Windsor knot. Experiment to see how much longer the wide end needs to be compared to the narrow end. These instructions are written with the assumption that you are right-handed. The wide end of the necktie will start in your right hand.

  1. Cross the wide end in front of the narrow end about 6 inches below your neck
  2. Cross the wide end behind the narrow end back to the right side
  3. Repeat step 1 by crossing the wide end in front of the narrow end
  4. Feed the wide end behind and up through the neck hole
  5. With slack in the layer you made in step 3, feed the wide end down through that layer
  6. Pull the wide end down until the knot is formed
  7. Grab the knot with one hand and the narrow end of the tie with the other
  8. Simultaneously push the knot up, while pulling the narrow end down

You are essentially making 1 and 1/2 loops around the narrow end of the necktie with the wide end. Then you pass the wide end up through the neck hole from the back. Feed the wide end down just behind the outmost loop.

It is a simple knot that is easy to tie, but sometimes hard to make look right. When you get used to the knot, you can tie it closer to your neck which will keep you from having to adjust it much so that it keeps its shape.

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