How To Tie a Tie: The Four Best Knots

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Tying a tie is truly a work of art, but it’s also one of the most intimidating processes out there when it comes to getting ready – especially for a formal event. While clip-on ties can save you time, effort, and most of all, a boatload of frustration, nothing compares to the satisfaction of tying your own tie like a pro. 

Although there are many variations of knots and the way you tie them, we’ve compiled a shortlist of some of the most common (and best) knots to know how to tie, so when the time comes, you don’t have to panic about whether or not you’ll look up to par for whatever occasion you’re dressing for, whether it’s a get-together with a smart casual dress code or a black tie wedding. Here are the best four knots to know how to tie and most importantly, how to tie them. 

What Is a Four-in-Hand Knot?


A four-in-hand knot is one of the simplest knots when it comes to tying ties, and something that every man should know how to do. The best part about the four-in-hand knot is that because of its simplicity, it’s really easy to learn how to tie it, even if you’re completely new to the whole tying-a-tie thing. 

How To Tie a Four-in-Hand Knot

First, lay the tie around your neck. The wide end of the tie should be about 12 inches below the narrow end of the tie. Cross the wide end over the narrow end (but be careful not to pull too tight yet), then wrap the wide end of the tie around the narrow end, keeping your fingers in place to make a loop.

Next, pull the wide end up and through the loop around your neck by your collar, then take the wide end of the tie and pull it through the front loop you made with your fingers. Center and tighten the knot, then slide your tie-up.

What Is a Half-Windsor Knot?


A Half-Windsor knot is a versatile knot that can be worn in pretty much any setting or for any occasion, including to the office, a wedding, a cocktail party, and more.

How To Tie a Half-Windsor Knot

Start with the wide end of the tie on the right, making sure that the tip of the narrow end on the left rests near your belly button. Next, cross the wide end over the narrow end to the left, then behind the narrow end to the right. Bring it up and over the neck loop (where the tie rests around your neck close to the collar of your shirt) and then across to the left. Bring it across the front of the tie to the right, making sure to use your fingers to help keep the knot open.

Next, bring the wide end of the tie through the neck loop again, this time from underneath. Then, bring it down through the loop in the front, and tighten the knot by pulling down on the wide end while holding the knot.

Finally, hold the narrow end of the tie with one hand and slide the knot up to your collar with your other hand, and secure the narrow end of the tie behind the wider end by threading it through the loop on the underside of the wide end. Your tie should hang between the top or bottom of your belt, so if it’s hitting above or below that mark, start over and try again. 

What Is a Full-Windsor Knot?


A Full-Windsor knot is very similar to a Half-Windsor knot, but the main difference is that the Full-Windsor knot is slightly bigger. A Full-Windsor knot is typically worn to more formal events, like black tie weddings, galas, or business meetings, and is also usually paired with a spread collar. 

How To Tie a Full-Windsor Knot

Start by draping the tie around your neck, making sure that the wide end is on the right side and the narrow end is on the left side. The narrow end should rest somewhere near your belly button. Next, cross the wide end over the narrow end to the left, then bring the wide end up through the neck loop, making sure the wide end stays on the left side.

Then, cross behind the narrow end to the right, then bring the wide end up and down through the neck loop on the right. Bring the wide end across the front to form the knot, then bring the wide end of the necktie through the neck loop from underneath, bringing it down through the loop in the front. To tighten the knot, pull down on the wide end, then while holding the narrow end of the tie, slide the knot up to your collar.

What Is a Bow Tie?


A bow tie is a formal piece of clothing that is worn around the neck and tied in a knot called a shoelace knot, or bow knot. Bow ties can typically be worn to many formal and semi-formal occasions, depending on the color, print, and style of the bow tie. 

How To Tie a Bow Tie

Bow ties are notoriously difficult to master, but we’re here to tell you that it is totally possible to conquer the centuries-old formal style of ties. First, you’ll need to adjust the bow tie to your neck size, which will likely take a few tries to get right – don’t give up if you can’t adjust the size accordingly right away because once you get it, you won’t have to figure out how to adjust a bow tie to your size again. 

Next, you want to make sure that the right side of the bow tie is shorter than the left after you drape it around your neck. Then, cross the longer end over the shorter end, and bring the longer end up through the neck loop. Pull it tight, then let the longer end hang down, and take the shorter end and fold it across the front. This step is important because it creates the shape of the bow tie.

Next, bring the longer end down across the bow tie shape you just made, and bring the edges of the bow tie shape together, holding them in place with your hand. You will be able to see a small loop that’s formed behind the bow tie, where you’ll push the longer end through. Pinch the longer end toward your chest, then push it through the aforementioned loop. 

To tighten your bow tie, hold one side of the bow tie while simultaneously pulling the folded part of the bow tie on the other side. Repeat this process a few times on each side until the bow tie is snug, but not constricting. 

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