Regardless of your line of work or gender, being able to deftly knot a tie is a useful and wildly impressive skill to have. If you’re looking for a basic tie knot that’s easy and quick for a night out, The Half Windsor is your best bet and the first tie knot on our list. Read on for simple step-by-step instructions and visual cues to quickly and easily learn to tie a tie.

Looking for something more complex to show the world you’re a tie superstar? Keep reading past The Half Windsor for the low-down on three less common knots – The Windsor, The Four-in-hand and The Pratt – plus how and where is the best way to wear them. They’re all easier than you might think to master.

option 1: THE HALF WINDSOR Tie Knot
An easy, symmetric knot ideal for most situations.


DIFFICULTY LEVEL:
 Low 
IDEAL FOR: Office environment or formal dinner, as it’s not as formal as The Full Windsor
BEST WORN WITH: Any collared dress shirt
FOLLOW THESE STEPS TO TIE A TIE: Start with the thicker or bottom end of the tie on the right and skinny end of the tie on the left (the tip of the skinny end should rest near your belly button if you’re 5 foot 10 or under, or closer to your chest if taller).

  1. Cross the thick end of the tie to the left, over the front of the skinny end of the tie.

  2. Continue that motion and bring the thick end of the tie up and through the back of the neck loop, then down to the left of the skinny section of the tie.

  3. Now pass the thick end behind the skinny part of the tie going from left to right.

  4. Loop the thick end back around the front of the tie (back across to the left). This should make a front loop, which you will pull the thick end through to knot the tie.

  5. Bring the thick end of the tie up from underneath and through the neck loop, then use two fingers to keep the tie knot straight.

  6. Pass the thick end through the slot at the front and pull the thick end of the tie down.

  7. Tighten the tie and adjust the tie knot by pulling down on the wide end and sliding the knot up or down.

  8. Once tightened, adjust the knot so it sits in the middle of your collar lapels.

  9. If after knotting the tie you find the front of the tie isn’t long enough, start again but change the starting position of the tie so the thick end is further down your front and the skinny end sits higher.
     

option 2: The Full Windsor Tie Knot
A bolder, symmetric knot for a more formal look.


Difficulty Level:
 Medium  High
Ideal for: Formal events such as weddings, presentations or important business meetings
Best worn with: Wide-spread collar
Follow these steps to tie a full windsor tie knot:

  1. Start with wide end on the right and skinny end on the left (the tip of the skinny end should rest near your sternum if you’re 5 foot 10 or under and closer to your chest if taller).

  2. Cross the thick end over the front of the skinny end, to the left.

  3. Bring the thick end of the tie up through the neck loop between your collar and the tie.

  4. Once through the neck loop, bring the thick end down to the left of the dangling skinny part of the tie, then pass the thick end behind the skinny part.

  5. Go through the neck loop again but this time from front to back; so pass the thick end over the front of the knot, down through the gap between the knot and your neck and then back out the other side of the knot.

  6. Now bring the thick end of the tie across the front of the knot. This makes the slit that the tie will go into to complete the knot.

  7. Bring the thick end up the back again and through the neck loop.

  8. Pass the thick end through the loop or slit you created in the front during the previous step.

  9. Tighten the tie and adjust the tie knot by pulling down on the skinny (back) part of the tie, then sliding the knot up or down.

  10. Once tightened, adjust the knot so it sits in the middle of your collar lapels.

  11. Similarly to the Half Windsor tie knot, if after completing the Windsor knot you find the front comically short, start again but change the starting position of the tie so the thick end is further down your front and the skinny end sits higher.

    Note to very tall men: You may find the second loop of the full windsor knot makes the tie too short, regardless of how high up you start the skinny end of the tie. If you’re tall and can’t get enough length out of the front of the tie, settle for the half-windsor knot, as it allows for more length in the tie.

option 3: The Four-in-Hand Tie Knot
A slender, tapered knot suited to non-formal events.


Difficulty Level: 
Low
Ideal for: Most non-formal occasions, such as parties and casual business environments
Best worn with: Skinny collars, as it is asymmetrical
Follow these steps to tie a four in hand tie knot:

  1. Start with wide end of the tie on the right and skinny end on the left. The tip of the skinny end should rest near your belly-button.

  2. Cross the thick end of the tie over the skinny end and to the left.

  3. Take the thick end of the tie behind and under the skinny end and bring it back around to the right.

  4. Wrap the thick end around the front of the tie (this makes a bit of a loop for the tie to fall into in the next step).

  5. Bring the thick end up underneath and through the neck tie. Use two fingers to keep everything centred.

  6. Pull the thick end down through the loop at the front of the knot. The front should slide through the front looped wrap of the tie.

  7. Tighten and adjust the knot by pulling down on the wide end and sliding the knot up or down.

  8. Pull your collars down over the tie and centre the knot between the collars.

  9. If after tying the tie you find it’s not long enough, start again but change the starting position of the tie so the thick end is further down your front and the skinny end sits higher.

OPTION 4. The Pratt Tie Knot
A medium-sized versatile and elegant knot for every occasion.


Difficulty Level: Medium
Ideal for: Any occasion from casual to formal
Best worn with: Wide-spread collar
Follow these steps to tie a pratt tie knot:

  1. Start with thick end on the left and the skinny end of the tie to the right with the underneath of the tie facing upwards/outwards and cross the thick end of the tie under the skinny end to the right.

  2. Bring the thick end of the tie up over the front of the neck loop and back down to the left of your other hand.

  3. Wrap the thick end over the front of the skinny tie bit (going left across the front of the tie to the right).

  4. Bring the thick end up through the neck loop.

  5. And down through the loop in the front of the tie knot.

  6. Pull the thick end through the loop, creating the tie know and tightening it appropriately.

  7. Once tightened, adjust the knot so it sits in the middle of your collar lapels

  8. If after tying your tie you find it’s not long enough, start again but change the starting position of the tie so the thick end is further down your front and the skinny end sits higher.

Main image: courtesy Dolce & Gabbana (AW2012 campaign)
Video and Editing: Claudia Sutiono

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