how to tie a tie

How to Tie a Tie

Tying a tie is something that every man should know how to do, yet it is a task that seems to plague even the most determined gentleman in the world.

This guide wants helps you learn to choose the right knot depending on the tie and the occasion (job, wedding, ceremony).

The key aspect of wearing a tie is certainly the knot. If this is done with care and method, it is able to highlight the characteristics of the tie itself and can give a touch of refinement or, on the contrary, spoil the look. When asked which is the “perfect” knot, one can only respond in one way: it depends on the width of the tie, the fabric and, above all, the consistency of the interior. To choose the right node it is therefore important first of all to understand how the tie you have chosen is made. A complex knot like the Trinity, for example, is not indicated if the interiors are heavy or if the tie is in tweed, then it is better to opt for a simple knot. If, on the other hand, there are no internal laps and the material is rather slippery, then you can opt for knots made up of a greater number of revolutions, which will also become four if the fabric were to be an easily extendable like knit jersey or a very fine silk.

Did you choose the tie to wear and are you ready to start making the knot? First of all, close the top button of the shirt and turn the whole collar upwards. After making the knot, make it rise up high, and tighten it so that it hides both the collar strip and the top button of the shirt. Check that the wide and front part of the tie is the right one: neither too high nor too low, it must reach just above the belt buckle. The most refined men will take care to make a small dimple at the knot of their tie; to do it, before tightening, just place a finger under the knot, so that it makes a fold. If it is successful, the dimple will be central. Check that the knot is centered, then lower the collar of the shirt.

A bit of history

The first ties of history date back to the time when, in France, Louis XIII reigned and the French soldiers wore them as protection against the cold in the form of a scarf tied around the neck.

Around 1650, the tie became an indispensable accessory to the court of King Louis XIV. The courtiers compete for boldness and elegance, trying to excel thanks to the addition of lace and silk ribbons.

Slowly this fashion spreads among the rich and the dandy from all over Europe crossing the centuries to come and the continents, enriching itself with new shapes, colors and fabrics until, in the 19th century, after the textile industry revolution, it makes the its appearance is a tie more similar to the one we know today, long and narrow that was named with the name of sailor tie.

In 1926 the New Yorker Jesse Langsdorf, invents the tie cut diagonally and packaged in three parts which is, finally, the basis of modern ties.

How to tie a tie

The 5 most common tie knots

The most common tie knots are:

  • the simple
  • the double
  • the Windsor
  • the half-Windsor
  • the small

The so-called simple knot is the easiest to make and is suitable for almost all occasions, it adapts easily to any type of shirt collar and to every type of tie. It is considered the most modern and youthful among knots, and in fact it is perfect for a casual look.

The Windsor knot is reserved for great formal occasions. Compared to the simple and small knot it is the most difficult to make but perfect for long ties.

The half-windsor knot, simple to make although more complex than the simple knot, is suitable for formal occasions and celebrations.

The small node is, as the name implies, a contained measure. It is worn especially with thick ties or narrow-necked shirts. Very elegant and refined, it is suitable for any occasion.

Let’s see step by step according to the knot of your preference.

How to tie a tie

Simple Knot

The simple or Four-in-Hand knot is the most classic of knots as well as the most used, above all because it is the simplest one to make and that is more suited to most ties and shirt collars; Furthermore. it is perfect for both medium and very tall men. Conical and elongated in shape, the simple knot is tight with fine ties and wider with thick ties. To make it happen you have to lift the neck of the shirt; button the last button and place the tie with the cuff on the belt or, for men more above the belt. Now cross the leg above the leg below the neck, then slide the leg below the leg and once again bring the leg back onto the little leg. Now move your leg upwards, under the tie and place the forefinger in the knot that is forming and then replace it with the leg through the ring. In this phase hold the leg firmly. Finally, gently pull the leg to tighten the ring and pull it up to the top button of the shirt. If the knot is successful, the leg is perfectly hidden and the end of the leg must be at the height of the belt.

Double Knot

The double knot, also known as the Victoria or Prince Albert knot, is extremely similar to the simple knot but differs from the first because a second rotation is performed at the beginning, in fact the tie leg must be passed twice around the leg. In this way the tie takes on an appearance more often than that with a simple knot. Also in this case, the double knot is perfect for most shirts and can be made with almost any tie; in fact those that are too thick are an exception.

Windsor knot

The British style knot par excellence. It is traditionally attributed to Duke Edward of Windsor, future King Edward VIII of England although the real authorship of this way of tying a tie is still a matter of debate. The Windsor knot is considered the most suitable for formal occasions: large in size and, if properly executed, triangular in shape and therefore perfectly symmetrical. It requires ties a little longer than normal, better if not very thick. Ideal with open and wide collars like Windsor or Italian collars. Once in position, it completely hides the last button of the shirt and is perfectly comfortable for the wearer.

  1. place the tie around the neck so that the leg is longer than the little leg
  2. bring the leg on the little leg
  3. Insert the leg under the tie from below
  4. wrap the leg on one side of the tie, bringing it back inside (basically you have to make the leg go around the tie)
  5. repeat the operation in step 4 from the other end
  6. now wrap the leg on the front, so as to start creating the characteristic triangular knot
  7. pass the leg behind and upwards inside the tie
  8. insert it through the node you have formed starting from step 6
  9. tighten the knot, shaping it to highlight the triangular shape and tighten the tie around the neck

Half-Windsor Knot

The half-Windsor knot looks a lot like the Windsor knot but, at the same time, it is easier to make and less thick. Because you need few steps, this knot is achievable also with not particularly long ties. It is a very elegant tie knot, triangular and almost symmetrical, suitable, as the Windsor knot, for formal occasions.

  1. Cross the tie leg on the little leg
  2. Hold the intersection and make a ring in the side by raising the leg under the tie
  3. Bring the leg up and let it out towards the outside
  4. Pass the leg horizontally behind and immediately in front of the leg
  5. Hold the cross firmly by passing the leg under the tie and making it enter the ring
  6. Hold the leg in place, pull the leg to form the knot and make it unravel up to the last button on the collar of the shirt to center it.

Small knot

The small node, as the name implies, is precisely the smallest of the nodes. Especially suitable for thick ties and narrow-necked shirts. It is easy enough to make even if it needs a 180° twist. Start by placing the tie around the neck and turn the leg 180° or to avoid this screwing, slide the tie backwards around the neck. The leg must be longer than the leg. Now, under the neck, bring the leg under the little leg; pass the leg over the leg; stop the ring and pass the leg below, directing it upwards. Thoroughly remove the creases on the leg and let it slip inside the ring. Finally adjust the knot making it rise towards the neck. For a perfectly successful knot the last button of the shirt, as well as the leg, must be completely hidden.