November 25, 2011

Quick Tip: Straightening Your Knots

The knot you use to tie your necktie can be as unique and varied as you want. There are 85 known knots currently at your disposal, some more eccentric than others and many simply variations on the basics. If you are new to wearing a necktie though, the three knots below will get you through any occasion. See my recent post on collars to pair them up with your knots. One thing to keep in mind is that pairing a knot with a collar will take a little bit of trial and error because the width of the tie blade and weight of the fabric will result in different sized knots, even using the same method.

1. The Four-in-Hand

Tie & Shirt by Ben Sherman.
This is the basic knot and is generally considered the most popular. It is a smaller, asymmetrical knot and works best with a point or button-down collar, though it could be paired with a semi-spread collar depending on both the thickness of the tie and the degree of spread on the collar.

2. The Half-Windsor

Tie by Paul Smith; Shirt by Hawes & Curtis.
 This method provides a medium-sized triangular knot, and in my experience, is the most versatile of the three knots listed. It is definitely my personal favorite, as I prefer the symmetrical look that it gives without the bulk of the Windsor knot. Depending on your tie's thickness you could use this knot with everything from a point to a spread collar.

3. The Full-Windsor

Tie by Burberry; Shirt by Brooks Brothers.
Also simply called the Windsor, it is the widest of the three and is generally relegated to slightly more formal occasions when a spread collar (also known as a cutaway) is worn.

There are literally hundreds of diagrams and videos on the web, some better than others, showing the ways to tie these and other knots. You can also pop your head into any Thomas Pink boutique, as they have a free how-to card at their registers that has proven extremely useful to me in the past, especially when travelling. Find the knot that you like best, or try them all!

Thanks for reading.

Stay stylish,
- JJ

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