How To Tie A Tie
How To Tie A Tie
Men’s ties are just a minor detail in the overall outfit!? Or so you might think…
Actually, nothing says more about the man than a well-chosen tie with a knot that’s entirely appropriate for the occasion.
The right tie can make a huge difference in how you look and feel. Sure, your shoes, belt, and other suit accessories will all contribute to your overall appearance.
But, without a necktie, your suit is missing that ‘certain something’ that marks you as the debonair gentleman you are. Or always wanted to be…
This in-depth men’s ties guide will answer these questions and a lot more. It will help you feel better informed and more confident when you buy and wear a tie.
We’ll start with the basics and explore a topic that has baffled many young men since neckties first arrived on the scene. Which is the best knot, and how do you tie a tie, anyway?
How to Tie a Tie
There are plenty of ways to tie a tie (necktie), but we will consider the most used and popular knots:
The Simple Knot
This easy-to-tie knot is also known as the Oriental Knot. It’s not that common in the West but is considered trendy in countries like China.
The Oriental method uses the least number of steps, and it’s ideal for a skinny tie as it keeps the knot small. It’s also advantageous for taller men who need length to balance their looks.
How to Tie the Simple Knot
Begin with the tie’s wide end on your right-hand side and the narrow end on your left.
Position the tip of the small end just above your belly button.
Wind the broader portion under the narrow end towards the left, then back across towards the right.
Take the wide tip up towards the neck, then back down through the loop just formed at the front.
Tighten the knot by pulling downwards on the wider end, simultaneously sliding the knot upwards. That’s it; you’re good to go!
The disadvantages of this knot are that it can be difficult to untie and that the result is asymmetrical. It makes the knot lean over to one side.
That said, if you’re into time-saving minimalism or wearing a skinny tie, this is the knot for you!
The Four-In-Hand Knot
This is a true classic. Named after a famous Gentleman’s Club in London, it is sometimes referred to as the schoolboy knot.
It’s probably the most popular knot in the West for many good reasons. Simple to tie, versatile to wear, only slightly asymmetrical, and best of all, it’s self-releasing.
The Four-in-Hand is your go-to, everyday knot, whether you’re a schoolboy or a busy company exec.
How To Tie The Four-In-Hand Knot
Place around the neck and cross the wide part over the front of the narrow portion of the tie.
Wrap behind the narrow part and bring forward on the opposite side to cross horizontally at the front.
Fold beneath the narrow part a second time, then pull up over the knot from behind.
Tuck the wide tip down behind the horizontal pass and pull to tighten the knot.
Slide the knot up towards the neck until it fits snugly but comfortably. Looking good!
The Full Windsor Knot
This classic knot is named after the Duke of Windsor.
Funnily enough, the Grand Duke never actually wore this knot. Instead, he preferred the Four-in-Hand with very wide neckties.
Despite this fact, society loved the look, and soon men from all classes emulated his style. Using regular width ties, they eventually came up with what we today call the Full Windsor.
It creates a neat, symmetrical, triangular knot that works particularly well with spread-collared shirts. The famous Half Windsor is the less formal version of this now timeless classic.
It’s fair to say that the Full Windsor belongs to one of the more advanced knots. But never fear; with a little practice, you too can look like royalty!
How to Tie the Full Windsor Knot
Place around the neck and cross the wide end over the front of the narrower part.
Push the wide end behind the narrow part and push it up and through the loop.
Wrap the wide end behind the knot.
From the front, pull the wide end back and down over the top of the knot.
Again, wrap around the knot.
From behind, bring the wide end up over the top of the knot.
Then, push the tip down inside the loop.
Smooth out any wrinkles and pull snug around the neck.
If it doesn’t look right, undo it and start again by adjusting the length of the wide or narrow parts. And remember, a perfect Windsor knot can only be created with practice!
The Balthus Knot
If you want your tie to make a statement rather than just blend in, this one’s for you. The Balthus is arty, big, and takes a degree of confidence to wear.
First worn back in the 1930s by the Polish-French artist Balthasar Klossowski, it caused quite a stir. The reason for its size is that the wide end is wrapped many times around the narrow end.
As a result, the tie ends up being very short. Wear it if you dare, and you’ll most definitely get noticed.
How to Tie the Balthus Knot
With the broad end on the right, place around the neck with the back of the tie facing forward.
To the left, push the wide end underneath the narrow end.
Pull up the middle towards the loop.
Push through the loop and back down to the right.
Again, pull the wide tip back up to the center and towards the loop.
Push down through the loop, this time to the left.
Pull back up toward the center of the loop.
Slip the wide tip into the loop and pull down to the right side.
Fold it to the left across the front of the narrow part.
Pull back up inside the loop.
Pass it back down inside the loop that appears at the front.
Pull down to tighten and slide up to fit snug around the neck. Tying a Bathus knot is no mean feat, so well done if you got it right the first time!
Tie fabrics are essential when matching your tie with a suit.
Silk is the classic tie fabric used in their manufacture for generations. You can wear these men’s ties in any season and on almost any occasion.
But you must choose the color and pattern you wear carefully if you want the best results.
It takes around 150 silkworms to produce enough raw material to make just one tie, which is why silk ties are expensive and problematic for proponents of animal rights.
Cashmere is a beautifully soft, natural fabric that makes for an elegant knot.
It’s best worn in winter and provides a truly luxurious finish to your cold-weather outfits
Cotton is more suitable for spring and summer. It creates a less formal look, so wearing a cotton necktie with a business suit is not advisable. Instead, keep your cotton ties for weekend wear with more casual linen suits.
You should only wear linen ties on hot summer days. They’re light and comfortable but tend to wrinkle easily. A linen tie goes well with a lightweight suit and a cotton dress shirt.
Wool ties are often made from the same material as your suit. Therefore, they are best for cold days in autumn and winter.
Woolen ties can be a little bulky, so get one that is unlined to reduce the knot’s volume.
Avoid wearing heavy suits. Worn as an accessory with a cotton suit, for example, a wool tie will help balance your overall look.
Knit ties are not very common, and a lot of men don’t know how to wear them properly. They are straight along the bottom edge and along the sides rather than tapered.
Knit men’s ties are more casual and relaxed and should not be worn on formal occasions. They can work well with a business suit, but you might want to wear a silk knit tie instead. Knit ties don’t crease like other men’s ties, so they are ideal if you’re traveling.
For those who prefer to forgo the silk ties option, perfectly acceptable men-made fabrics are available. Many of them feel and look very similar to genuine silk.
Synthetic ties are cheap and vegan-friendly, come in a wide color range, and are crease-resistant.
Polyester ties are generally the most affordable, but they can look cheap, too. I’d recommend microfiber instead. It’s almost indistinguishable from silk and half the price.
I will try and sort all different tie styles and patterns by usefulness, which is not necessarily accountable. The point is that every type of necktie has its part to play on the stage.