Not all tie knots were created equally. In fact there are thousands of different ways to tie a knot for your special occasion. Fortunately, there are only about three that you should know how to tie, but even more importantly, that you should know which ones to wear for which occasions. I think we can all agree that there is a different level of formality between a date, a wedding, your wedding and a business meeting. So which knot do you go with for each? Read on my friend.
1. Four-In-Hand Knot
This knot is the easiest to tie and the least formal of the three most common knots. You’ll want to wear this one to the more casual events like a date or party. The finished product is a smaller knot that isn’t particularly evenly shaped. That’s the point though. You’ll look like you didn’t put much time into it and you that you don’t care if its not squared away perfectly and tied tight to your neck.
Wrap the tie around your neck and cross the broad end of the tie in front of the narrow end. Next, fold the broad end behind the narrow end and bring it up and over, tucking it behind the horizontal pass. With one hand on the knot, pull on the narrow end of your tie until it’s snug around the collar.
2. Half-Windsor Knot
The half-windsor knot is more formal than the four-in-hand knot due to its symmetry and bulkiness. This wider knot conveys a more luxurious look and should be worn at events that require a tie, like a wedding or business meeting. When you suit up and use this knot you’ll be sending the message that you’re put together, you mean business and you are to be taken seriously. So whether you are meeting new family or friends at a wedding or need to make a great impression with a new client, this is the knot you want to use.
Start by tucking the broad end behind the narrow end. Next, take the broad end and fold it up and over the middle point, creating a triangle of sorts. Take the broad end again and wrap over the narrow end of the tie. Fold it up and over and pull it through the gap between collar and necktie. Pull on the narrow end to adjust and tighten.
It isn’t the most formal knot out there, but this is a great go-to knot if you’re ever in doubt about the formality of an event.
3. Full-Windsor Knot
This knot is the most formal of the three. It is similar in shape to the half-windsor, just thicker and wider to make it feel even more luxurious and put together. The full-windsor is a knot that you use on those rare “once in a lifetime” events like your wedding or a formal ceremony. It’s the type of knot that is noticeably fancy. So don’t try to wear this one on a first date or a business meeting because you’ll come off as looking ridiculously over-the-top. Only the “man of the hour” gets to rock this tie knot and you only get to be the man of the hour when you get married and when you’re dead.
This one has a few more steps, but it’s not dissimilar to the other two techniques above. Start by crossing the broad end of the tie in front of the narrow end. Then fold the broad end behind the narrow end and push it up through the inside of the loop around your neck, forming a triangle. Complete one rotation around the outside of the knot, then bring the broad end over the top of the knot from the front to the back. Do one more rotation around the knot, then bring the broad end up over the top of the knot once again. Pull the knot tight and adjust.