How to Tie a Tie: 7 Knots for All Occasions
Whether for business or social occasions, certain ensembles look better with a tie. Located underneath the shirt collar and knotted at the throat, a straight tie brings a level of professionalism and elegance to a suit, vest, or shirt and slacks. Although clip-on ties may seem like the easiest route, hand-tied straight ties are the most attractive option. Knowing how to tie a tie can open up a number of new styles and looks. With six tie knots to choose from, there's something for every neck size and shirt style. If you prefer an easy knot, we suggest starting with the full Windsor. Our how to tie a tie videos and simple instructions allow men and women to sport a polished tie in minutes. People should practice tying knots in front of a mirror for best results.
How to Tie a Full Windsor Knot
Featuring a polished triangular shape, the Windsor knot offers a good option for job interviews, presentations and social occasions. Because of its wide appearance, this knot looks best with a spread-collar shirt. Although it may appear complicated, tying the full Windsor knot is accomplished without much difficulty.
- To begin tying the full Windsor knot, raise the shirt collar and drape the tie around the neck, so the wide end is on the right side and extends about 12 inches below the narrow end.
- Cross the wide part of the tie over the narrow part.
- Pull the wide end up through the opening at the neck, then down.
- Pass the wide end underneath and to the right of the narrow part with the wrong side facing out.
- Cross the wide part over and to the left of the narrow part with the correct side facing out.
- Pull the wide end up through the opening at the neck.
- When bringing it down, pass it through the loop at the front.
- Holding the dangling parts with one hand, slide the knot carefully up toward the collar with the other hand until snug, then lower the collar.
How to Tie a Half Windsor Knot
Understanding how to knot a tie can give you a wealth of options to choose from when getting ready. Variations only further extend the possibilities. The half Windsor knot offers a triangular and symmetrical shape for a classic presentation. Because it's smaller than the full Windsor, it works best with wider, medium-weight ties and pairs well with any dress shirt. With a few simple instructions, the half Windsor knot comes together easily.
As with the full Windsor knot, begin the process by raising the shirt collar. Drape the tie around the neck so the wide end is on the right and extends roughly 12 inches below the narrow end.
- Cross the wide part over the narrow part.
- Cross the wide part behind the narrow part so the wrong side is facing out.
- Bring the wide end up and over to the left.
- Pull it through the opening at the neck so it lays wrong side out to the right.
- Bring the wide end over the narrow part from right to left with the correct side facing up.
- Bring the wide end up through the neck loop again.
- When bringing it down, insert it through the loop at the front of the collar.
- Adjust the knot by sliding it upward with one hand and holding the tails with the other.
- Lower the shirt collar to complete the look.
How to Tie a Four-in-Hand Knot
The four-in-hand knot works well for wide neckties in heavy fabrics. Learn how to knot a tie in this style if you're hoping to dress up a traditional look. It looks most attractive when worn with a standard button-down dress shirt. With a few easy steps, people can tie the four-in-hand knot in a matter of minutes.
- To complete this knot, raise the shirt collar and drape the tie around the neck so the wide end is on the right side and extends roughly 12 inches below the narrow end.
- Bring the wide part of the tie across the narrow part.
- Then bring the wide part under the narrow part.
- Bring the wide side back over the top of the narrow part.
- Bring the wide side up through the large loop at the neck.
- With a loose hold on the knot, insert the wide end in a downward direction through the loop in front.
- Holding the bottom narrow part of the tie with one hand, slide the knot upward with the other until neat and snug. Lower the shirt collar to complete the look.
How to Tie a Trinity Knot
As you get more comfortable with the basics of how to tie a tie, you can graduate to more sophisticated options. The Trinity knot offers a stylish look patterned after the Trinity symbol. With a more complex design than the Windsor and four-in-hand knots, tying the Trinity knot is a little more complicated, but it makes a fashion statement for formal functions.
- To tie the Trinity knot, raise the shirt collar and drape the tie around the neck with the wide edge hanging on the right side, just above the navel.
- Just below the collar, pinch the wide side of the tie long ways to form a dimple in the fabric.
- Take the thin part and cross it over the thick part.
- Bring the thin end up through the neck opening.
- Bring it back down toward the right side.
- Cross it under the thick part of the tie and to the other side, wrong side up.
- Bring the narrow end up.
- Pull it through the neck opening and toward the right to form a heart shape.
- Move it across the heart shape and bring it up through the neck loop.
- Pull it through the knot, keeping the top loop of the knot loose.
- Then move it behind the thick portion to the other side.
- Bring the now short end up and through the loose loop.
- Adjust the knot for tightness and symmetry and tuck the end under the neckline. Fold down the shirt collar for a finished look.
How to Tie a Pratt Knot
Also known as the Shelby knot, the Pratt knot offers a stylish look for any dress shirt. Because this knot is thinner than the Windsor knot, it works well when fashioned with lightweight to medium-weight ties. The Pratt knot requires just a few simple steps to master.
- To begin tying the Pratt knot, raise the shirt collar and drape the tie wrong side up with the wide end hanging on the right side roughly 12 inches lower than the narrow end.
- Cross the wide part of the tie under the narrow part.
- Bring the wide end up and loop it down through the opening at the neck and tighten.
- Cross the wide end to the right with the correct side up.
- Pull it up through the neck opening.
- Bring it down through the knot loop.
- Slide and adjust the knot gently and lower the shirt collar to complete the process.
How to Tie a Kelvin Knot
This uncommon knot will certainly set you apart from the crowd. Thankfully, Kelvin knots are easy to learn and create an even, polished look. Follow a few basic steps, and you'll be a Kelvin knot expert in no time.
- Drape your tie around your collar with the seam out and the thick end on your left. Hang your end two or three inches lower than where you hope to complete the tie.
- Cross the thick end under the thin side left to ride. You should create an X underneath your chin.Take the thick end across the front knot from right to left. Wrap around the thin end and pass back underneath the knot from left to right.Bring the thick end horizontally across the front moving from right to left. Tuck a finger under the horizontal band you create.Tuck your thick end underneath the loop around your collar.
- Bring your thick end through the horizontal loop. Snug the knot down into place.
- Tighten by grasping the knot with one hand and pulling on the narrow end with the other.
How to Tie an Eldredge Knot
With its intricate design, the Eldredge knot makes a bold statement. Fair warning: learning how to knot a tie in this style can take time. While tying this knot involves a variety of steps, the process is not as complicated as it seems. While some knots are created with the wide portion of the tie, this knot is fashioned entirely from the narrow portion.
- To begin tying the Eldredge knot, raise the shirt collar and drape the tie so the wide end lays on the right side just below the navel.
- Pinch the thicker side of the tie near the collar to create a dimple long ways.
- Bring the thin part over the thick part of the tie.
- Bring the thin part under the thick part of the tie, wrong side up.
- Bring the thin part up toward the neck.
- Bring it down through the neck loop to the right, wrong side up.
- Going left, take it around the front of the knot.
- Take it up through the neck loop.
- Bring it back down to the right.
- Take it behind the wide part of the tie to the left, wrong side up.
- Take it across the front to the right and through the loop created in the previous step.
- Tighten the knot by pulling the narrow end to the right.
- Bring the end straight up and through the neck loop to the right of the knot.
- Again, bring it up, over the knot to the left of the knot.
- Keeping the knot loose, bring the short tail up to the right and through the loop just created.
- Pull to tighten.
- Tuck the end behind the neckline on the left. Lower the shirt collar for a smart and finished look.
Types of Necktie Accessories
Eager to go beyond the basics of how to tie a tie? Men or women who wear ties may wish to enhance function and fashion with tie accessories. People can choose from various types of tie accessories to keep ties in place and add a hint of style. These options are great for anyone hoping to create a signature look or elevate their typical fashion.
- Tie bar: Slides across the middle section of the tie to keep it in place
- Tie clip: Attaches to the same area by clipping into place
- Tie tack: Features a pin, base and chain that help keep the tie from shifting
- Tie chain: Features a bar and chain combination
- Tie strap: Slips through the label on the tie's back and attaches to shirt buttons
By presenting a polished look for work or social occasions, neckties enhance the wardrobe of men and women. Straight ties come in an array of patterns, colors and fabrics for every season and situation, and a variety of different tie knots keep them looking sharp.