Different ways to knot a tie

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different necktie knots
No need to get tangled up tying a knot
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Learn how the different ways to knot a tie and you'll breath easier

Starting a fire in a charcoal grill, driving a car with a stick shift and knotting a tie were once rights of passage for every young American male. Despite efforts by the people who make clip-on ties, ascots  and turtleneck shirts, the necktie is still an important fashion accessory.

With so many different styles, materials and shirt collars, it's still important to learn different ways to knot a tie, whether from your Dad standing behind you or from a book. Let's look at the four most common knots and the classic bow tie.

Windsor Knot

The Windsor is the knot to use for business attire and when your shirt collar is big or wide. With the wide end over your right shoulder, cross the wide over the narrow, then slip it up between the tie and the shirt, then drop it back down. Wrap the wide behind the narrow from left to right, then bring the wide in front and over the loop between the shirt and tie. Wrap the wide around the narrow again and put it through the loop again. Loosen the big knot, sip the wide through it, make a dimple in the center and tighten.

Four-in-hand Knot

For narrow or button-down collars and skinny ties, the Four-in-hand is the best knot. Cross the wide over the narrow and make it ten inches longer. Bring the wide underneath the narrow, then cross it over the narrow again. Hold the knot with your other hand and slip the wide end down through it, make a dimple and tighten the tie.

Half Windsor Knot

The Half Windsor is a versatile knot for most collars and light or medium fabric ties and itís the best choice for wider ties. With the wide side on the left extending 12 inches beyond the narrow, cross the wide over the narrow, then bring it behind the narrow. Bring the wide end straight up, then slip it through the neck loop and to the left. Bring the wide over the narrow from left to right, then bring it up again through the loop. Finally, bring the wide down through the knot, dimple and tighten.

Pratt or Shelby Knot

The Pratt or Shelby Knott is a slightly smaller alternative to the Windsor. Start with the underside of the tie facing out and the wide extending 12 inches past the narrow. Cross the wide under the narrow, then take it over and under the narrow. Pull the loop down to tighten, then bring the  wide end over to the right, pull it up behind the neck loop and bring it down facing forward through the knot. Dimple and tighten.

Bow Tie Knot

For a Bow Tie Knot for your black tie affair, place the tie around your neck so that the right (A) end is to your right and two inches longer than the left (B). Cross A over B, bring A up and under the neck loop. Fold B over itself to form the front loop, then loop A over the center of the B loop. While holding everything together with the other hand, fold A back onto itself,  then push it through the loop behind the tie. Adjust the tie by pulling slightly on the ends until the knot is tight.

Remember, practice makes perfect and always untie your ties at the end of the evening and hang them on a tie rack to remove the wrinkles and get them ready for your next wearing.

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