If you did a poll of the general public, asking them to name a type of tie knot, I am pretty certain that the Windsor would come out tops.
The reliable Windsor knot has been around for decades, and is possibly the most straightforward to describe- thick, wide and triangular it is also the perfect knot for the sophisticated wide collar shirts as it provides the knot as the focal point and is the only tie to wear to indicate you mean business! The perfect knot of choice for presentations, job interviews, courtroom appearances etc. The Duke of Windsor started the trend for this knot back in the 1930s, and it has remained popular to this day because it projects a statement of elegance and confidence. It’s bit of a tricky one to master, but once you’ve got it, it’s quite an addictive look.
To master any tie knots, it’s easiest to get your stance in front of a mirror. Your shirt should be buttoned to the neck and collar up. The Windsor works especially well with a spread collar shirt. It’s a big knot so needs a sturdy collar to complement it!
The wide end of the tie should be on the side of your dominant hand. So if you’re right-handed, the wider end should be hanging on your right side. If you’re left-handed, the wider end should be hanging on your left side.
Bear this one in mind if you have a long neck too, as the wide form acts as a buffer for your swan-like neck!
So let’s call the wide end of the tie W, and the narrow end N.. And it’s the Wide End that does the majority of the work!
- The W should be 12 inches below the N end on your left (right in the mirror)
- Cross the W over the N
- Bring W up through the loop and shirt collar
- Feed W through and down again
- Pull W underneath N and to the right, back through the loop to repeat, so that the wide end is inside out.
- Bring W across the front from your right to left.
- Then pull W up through the loop again
- Bring W down through the knot in front
- Gently tighten the knot into a triangle using both hands. Slowly tighten the narrow end to bring the tie closer to the neck.
For a more modern, fashionable and casual look, make the knot a good few inches down below the collar. For all formal occasions, however, keep the knot at the traditional distance away from the collar.You should be able to get this down to two minutes, but it is not one to rush.
But it’s not the only way to tie yourself up…
The Half Windsor, is a modest version of the Windsor Knot. A symmetrical and triangular tie knot, that you can use with any dress shirt. It works best with wide neckties made from light to medium fabric.
The Four- in-Hand is what I seem to remember being the only tie choice for the cool kids at my school! It was a very long time ago though, and it’s only from research that I remember the name.
This is perfect for an on trend, slim line shirt and suit. It is a narrow, more discreet and slightly asymmetrical tie knot.
While this tie knot can be worn by anyone, it looks especially well on men with shorter necks as the knot’s rather narrow and elongated form stretches the perceived height of the neck a tiny bit.
Tying a tie is a pretty formulaic performance, and this tie variation just has a smaller knot.
Start in the same position (preferably in front of a mirror) and wrap the wide end of the tie around the skinny end twice, push the wide end up and through the knot and voila! Don’t forget to remove your finger when you are sliding the tie up to your collar line, but this one is not rocket science!
Once you have the ties nailed, a few more points of interest to keep you looking dapper..
The widest part of your tie should hang roughly at the same height as the upper edge of your leather belt, with the tie’s tip extending slightly below it. The tip of the narrow end would then hang au naturel.
The most problematic scenario with the Windsor or Half Windsor is getting the length right for the width. A top tip is to allow the wide end hang down as far as possible in step 1, so that when you cross the wide end over the narrow end, you can barely hold on to the narrow end. That will give you more length once you have eventually tied the knot.
And finally, always remember the rules:
So once you’ve have got the knack of tying a perfect tie, don’t get into a bad habit of untying it!
It is just as important to take your tie off properly to preserve its longevity, avoid unnecessary wrinkles.
It’s as to do, as doing it up in the first place. Loosen and do everything in reverse. Consider it part of your daily ritual, and wait for the compliments.