Master How to Tie Ties: 12 Different Knots Explained
If you’re a man, chances are the most important moments in your life involve wearing a tie. Ties are elegant and trendy solutions that can easily upgrade your outfit for formal occasions, but only if you know how to tie a knot well. Maybe your dad taught you how to tie a tie when you were a child, or you picked it up by watching a tutorial video on YouTube. Regardless of your experience with ties, one thing is certain - they are essential for social occasions!
In this step-by-step guide, instead of panicking at the last moment before going to a special occasion, learn how to tie a knot in 12 different ways. Also, we’ll provide helpful tips for men's ties and a few more details you should know about.
- Your choice of how to tie the tie knot depends on your knowledge level, time, and special occasion.
- Common tie knot styles are four-in-hand knot, half Windsor knot, full Windsor knot, and bow tie.
- Taller men look better with smaller ties and thinner necktie knots.
- Shorter men look better with thick, wide necktie knots.
1. Four-in-Hand Knot
With your collar raised, lay the necktie over your neck and seam down to create a four-in-hand knot. Hold the wide end of the tie in your dominant hand and pull down about 30 centimeters or one foot below the narrow end.
Grasp it with your non-dominant hand, slightly below your neck where the thin and thick ends meet. Pull the thick end toward your dominant side by grabbing it beneath the narrow one. Now, switch hands, pull the wide end over the narrow end, and bring it up through the small loop between your neck and the tie. This is the most important part of tying a four-in-hand knot. The next thing you should do is to have a loop created with your other hand and push the wide end through it.
Using your non-dominant hand, gently squeeze the knot, then use your dominant hand to draw down on the thin end and slide it up to the front of your collar. Tie the great knot in the middle so the wide part reaches your belt buckle, and there you have your four-in-hand knot.
2. Half Windsor Knot
Half and full Windsor knots are among the most common ways to tie a tie. To do such tie knots, your necktie should reach your thigh on the right and your rib cage on the left. Put the tie on top of the collar. Bring the wide end in front of the narrow, going right to left. Lay the thick tie end behind the narrow end in a horizontal wrap. Now, tighten by pushing the thick end from above to cross the narrow end.
Wrap the thick end over the narrow end, working from left to right. Using your left hand to hold the triangle in place, bring the thick end up to your chest and slide it out from behind the small loop. Use your left index finger to open the triangle above the spot where the two parts meet. Then, drag the wide end. Pull the thin end and the knot to your collar to change the length. Level and make the horizontal loop smooth to have half Windsor tie knots.
3. Full Windsor Knot
A full Windsor knot or Double Windsor knot is the perfect tie for formal events, and it's a bit more complicated than a half Windsor knot. You should wrap the necktie over your collar, with the right wide end 15 centimeters or 5 inches below your waistband. Then, bring the wide end horizontally before the slim end to form an X below your chin. Put the wide-end tip behind the X and tie it beneath your neck loop. Hold the X with one finger and lower the wide end completely.
Wrap the thick end underneath the knot horizontally from right to left, flip the knot upward, and bring the wide end tip diagonally across the front. Loop the thick end over the collar loop and lower it. Bring the thick end horizontally across the tie knot from left to right, pass your finger through, and fasten the knot.
Bring the wide end of the knot underneath the loop again and wrap it around the collar, pointing up. After moving the wide end downward, slide the tip through the horizontal loop you saved with your finger in the previous step. Now, all that’s left to do is to pull the wide end down to remove knot slack and wrinkles, and you have a Full Windsor knot around your neck.
4. Bow Tie
If you're just learning how to tie necktie knots, the bow tie is one of your safest bets. Your dominant hand's bow tie end should be 15 centimeters or 5 inches longer. Then, bring the wide end over the shorter. Put the longer end of the tie under the slimmer end, then out to the front from the center. Fold your tie's short end horizontally.
To cross the tie, lay the long end over the shorter end. The longer bow tie end should be folded horizontally like the smaller end. The short end should have a loop behind it. Carefully insert the tie's long end through that opening. Now, tighten the knot by pulling the ends, then tweak the bow tie until the knot looks good.
5. Shelby Knot (Pratt Knot)
The Pratt knot or the Shelby knot is a tie knot that works well on colorful and black ties. To tie a Pratt knot, you must leave the thick end hanging on your left and the seam facing out while wrapping the tie around your collar 10 centimeters or 3 inches lower than the desired finish.
Then, cross the wide end beneath the thin end to create an X-shape below the chin, and pull the looped thick end through. Once done, flip the tip to the left and pull the wide end down. Cross the knot's front from right to left using the thick end. Slide your finger behind the horizontal band.
Insert the wide end underneath through the loop to point downhill and sit exactly on top of the small end. The horizontal band should be passed through by the thick end. Hold the tie knot and gently pull the thin end to adjust the Pratt knot.
6. Trinity Knot
Raising the shirt collar, wrap the tie around your neck so that its thick end hangs just above your navel on the right side, and make the Trinity knot. Pinch the tie's thick end in lengthy ways just below the collar to create a dent in the fabric.
Take the narrow section and fold it across the thick section. Insert the narrow end through the opening at the neck. Drop it back in the direction of the right side. Turn it over, wrong side up, and cross it beneath the thick end of the knot. Lift the narrow end. By forming a heart shape, you should pull it through the neck opening to the right side, leaving you with a Trinity knot.
7. Kelvin Knot
Kelvin knot is among the simplest tie knots for those looking for an alternative to a bow tie. To tie this easy knot, you will want to wrap your tie around the collar, with the thick end on the left and the seam out. Hang the thick end where you want to finish the tie.
Cross two ends with your hands under your chin and pass the wide end through the front knot right-to-left. Wrap around the narrow end left to right and slide beneath the knot. Bring the thick end horizontally across the front while moving right to left. Then, slide your finger under the horizontal band while keeping the thick end under the collar loop. Pull the thick end through it and strengthen the necktie knot to fasten it for a finished tie.
8. Balthus Knot
Maybe the Balthus knot is not the most popular one, but it is the classiest necktie knot for important social occasions. Wrap a long tie around your neck with the seam up and the thick end left to tie a Balthus knot. The thick end should reach your mid-thigh, and the narrow end should reach your chest center. Overlap both ends and bring the thick end forward, tucking it behind the thin end, and cross.
Place the thick end in front and loop over the thin end on the left side of the knot. Then, tuck the thick end down and crosswise, behind and to the right of the thin end. Loop the thick end over the knot's center and drop it behind, crossing right to left and then left to right. Now, all that's left to do is to pull the thick end up and behind the knot and pass it horizontally. Adjust the tie gently, pull the thin end down, and snug the necktie knot with your other hand.
9. Nicky Knot
Nicky necktie knot is one of the easiest styles to learn, but because it's uncommon, many men are unaware of it. Start this simple knot by wrapping the necktie around your collar with the seam outward and the thick end on your left 5 centimeters or two inches lower than desired. Then, make an X-shape below your chin by crossing the thick and thin ends.
Flip the thick end in front of the collar loop, tuck it down, and cross the thick end tip horizontally. Put your finger under the horizontal band you made across the knot's front. Put the thick end tip under your collar loop and then through the horizontal loop. Hold the hand knot gently and adjust such tie knots as you prefer.
10. Eldredge Knot
The Eldredge knot is well known for its impressive design. However, learning the Eldredge knot style takes time, so it might not be the best option for your first tie event. To tie an Eldredge knot, raise the shirt collar and drape the tie, so the wide end is below the navel. Then, create a lengthy dimple by pinching the thicker tie around the collar. Cross the thin part over and place the tie underneath the thick end, the wrong side up.
Now, bring the thin section to the neck and drop it through the neck loop right. Take it left around the knot's front, get it through the neck loop, and reduce it to the right. Take it wrong-side up behind the wide tie on the left and go right across the front and through the loop from the previous step. The next step is to pull the narrow end right to tighten the knot.
Straighten and pass the end through the neck loop right of the knot. Again, raise it over the knot to the left and draw the short tail through the loop and up to the right, keeping the knot loose. Pull to tighten and tuck the left end behind the neckline for a finished Eldredge knot.
11. Ascot Knot
Like a full Windsor and Trinity knot, the Ascot knot is an elegant way to tie your tie. Put the ascot on your collar and around your neck. Keep the tie inside the collar and display the two open ends on your chest. Pull one end 10 centimeters or six inches down and cross the wide end around the short end again.
Place the long end under the short at the neck base and pull and straighten the long end. Then, place the tie's long end on top of the short. Place the knot in the center of your chest like a tie.
12. Christensen Knot
Cross the wide tie over your left collar to do a Christensen knot, and leave it shorter than you want your tie to hang. Cross the thick end in front of the thin end on your left, and wrap the thick end horizontally from right to left behind the thin end. Bring the collar loop's thick end to the front.
Then, tuck the thick end under your collar loop and pull the thick end forward across the horizontal band. Wrap the thick end behind the knot from left to right while holding both horizontal bands with your fingers. After pulling through, place the thick end behind both horizontal crosses to create a knot.
Helpful Tips for Perfect Necktie Knots
Going to a black tie event? Then, there are a few things you will need to keep in mind besides deciding which necktie knot you will use:
- Avoid tying your tie too tight to make your outfit look more clean and elegant.
- Don't touch your tie too much because you might crook or dirty it.
- Use your perfume before tying the necktie to ensure you don't damage the fabric.
- Never iron your neckties as it destroys their vitality.
- Only tuck your tie in if you're eating; otherwise, it looks the opposite of nice.
- Choose a slim tie if your suit or tuxedo has a close-to-body cut.
- Choose a white dress shirt and a dark navy suit for bright-colored neckties.
- Taller men look better with smaller, thinner knots like a half Windsor or Nicky knot.
- Shorter men should choose wide, thick ties like the Balthus or full Windsor knot.
- Your tie should always end near the middle of your belt buckle.
Common Mistakes When Wearing a Tie
Considering the above, many men will make many mistakes when wearing ties. To avoid them, we bring you things every elegant man should avoid when wearing a tie and tying a hand knot.
- Tying up the knot poorly and making your tie look messy,
- The tie doesn't reach the belt, making it look too short,
- Over-accessorizing your tie with jewelry, patterns, colorful shirts or suits,
- Adding a pocket square to your bow tie that doesn't match the color or design of your bow tie.
- Making a statement with your tie is inappropriate for certain formal occasions.
If you're starting to learn how to tie a tie knot, there are many styles for you to choose, from simple ones to more complicated ways. Regardless of your choice, ensure your tie knot looks neat. After all, your tie knot can say so much about you!
Frequently Asked Questions
How to Tie Ties?
There are numerous ways to tie a tie, but they all require you to put your tie around your neck, use the two ends of the tie to create a desired tie knot, and then cross the wide end over the slim one. Depending on the tie style, you will need a few minutes to 20 minutes to create a beautiful tie knot matching your dress shirt and outfit.
How Do I Choose a Tie Knot Style?
There are many styles to choose from: bow ties, half Windsor knot, full Windsor knot, four-in-hand knot, Eldredge knot, Trinity knot, Kelvin knot, and so on. The tie style depends on your preferences, knowledge level, and the occasion you attend.
What Is the Easiest Way to Tie a Knot?
The easiest way to tie a knot is by tying bow ties, a half Windsor knot, or a four-in-hand knot. These three styles are perfect for beginners and will not take longer than a few minutes while preparing for your event.
How Far Should a Tie Hang?
Your tie should reach your belt, not below or above it. When tying a tie knot, it's essential to be mindful that your tie reaches your belt and is not tucked in to appear elegant. Whether you're wearing a slim tie, black tie, pattern tie, or any other tie type, you should always ensure its length follows this rule.
How to Tie a Windsor Knot?
To tie a Windsor knot, you must decide whether you want a full or a half version of this tie style. The half Windsor is a more straightforward way of tying your tie, while the full one will take some time, but it will look more elegant than most tie styles. Experienced men need only a few minutes to tie this knot, which has similar steps to the Trinity knot.
What Is a Perfect Tie Knot?
The perfect tie knot depends on your preferred style and the occasion. Most men prefer the Windsor knot, Trinity knot, and Eldredge Knot. Men who are not afraid to go for a more stylish outfit will choose a bow tie knot or an ascot knot.