It seems simple enough yet so many people do not know how to tie even the simplest of knots. We live in a society where some (most?) of us have no need to wear a necktie on a regular basis but just when you thought it was safe, BAM! You get a wedding invitation or you find out your office party is formal – and mandatory! Oh boy, now what do you do? Well, of course you do the same thing you do for every other problem or question you have. You get on your computer, tablet or mobile device, head over to www.greenlivingirls.com and search for an answer. See? That was easy! All kidding aside, tying a necktie is easy and with a little bit of practice and some patience, you can learn how to do it!

There are countless ways to tie a necktie so we will not be able to cover all of them in this post. We will, however, share how to tie two (2) simple knots:

  • The Four-in-Hand; and
  • The Half-Windsor

The Four-in-Hand has a classic look and is perfect for someone new to tying neckties
An interesting fact about the Four-in-Hand knot; it is actually the oldest of all the necktie knots still being used today

How to Tie a Four-in-Hand Knot

You will do the first two steps no matter which knot you are tying
  • Start by flipping your collar up and making sure the top button is buttoned
  • Lay the necktie around your neck; making sure the inseam of the necktie is facing your body
  • Now, make sure the necktie around your neck has the wide end hanging a good 6-7 inches lower than the narrow end
  • Next, bring the wide end of the necktie over the narrow end
  • Continue around and behind; making sure to hold the narrow end down with your other hand
  • Wrap the wide end of the necktie over the narrow end to create a loop at the front of your neck
  • Loop the wide end of the necktie through the gap between the unfinished knot and your collar
  • Take the wide end of the necktie and pull it through the loop you just created. Do not tighten it up quite yet!
  • Do some final adjusting, pull the wide end down while pushing the knot up towards your neck to tighten it up.
    TIP: It is sometimes helpful to hold the narrow end of the tie while you pull the wide end down and through. This will help keep the knot straight.
  • Make sure everything is centered and then flip your collar down.

See? That was not so bad, was it?

Let us pause here and address a few things. If your first attempt at tying a necktie does not look quite right or the wide end is too low (or too high), it is OK. There are a number of factors that can cause a tie not to look right and even the most experienced necktie wearers do not get it right every time.  This is especially true with a new tie or a tie with thicker material than what you are used to. Thicker ties have more material in the knot so a few adjustments need to be made to your starting position (i.e., start with the wide end lower and the narrow end higher). Sometimes the knot just does not look right and no amount of adjusting makes it any better. That is OK too! The important thing is, if it does not look right, you simply need to pull the wide end of the tie back up through the knot and start over.

Now let us look at the Half-Windsor knot. The Half Windsor is, like the Four-in-Hand, smaller than other knots. Compared to the Four-in-Hand, the Half-Windsor is a bit thicker and wider.

How to Tie a Half-Windsor Knot

  • Start by performing the first two steps from the Four-in-Hand Knot (see above)
  • Again, make sure the necktie around your neck has the wide end hanging a good 6-7 inches lower than the narrow end
  • Next, bring the wide end of the necktie over the narrow end
  • Continue around and behind; making sure to hold the narrow end down with your other hand.
  • Take the wide end up and through the inside and pull it tight. The wide end should now be behind the knot and one side of the “V” should begin to take shape
  • Wrap the wide end around the front and then behind; be sure to leave some slack on the front side
  • Now take the wide end of the tie up from behind the “V” and then down and through the knot
    Do not tighten it up quite yet!
  • Pull the wide end down while pushing the knot up towards your neck to tighten it up.
  • Do some final adjusting and pull it tight
  • Make sure everything is centered and then flip your collar down

In conclusion, everyone should have a basic knowledge of how to tie a necktie. When first learning, I recommended giving yourself a long tail to work with (i.e., the wide end of the necktie is a good distance below the short end). Remember, the type and thickness of the material plays a factor in how much tail you need to start with and you might need to need to experiment a bit to find the right starting point.

Necktie

Do you have a favorite necktie knot that you use? If so, share it with us in the comments and as always, if you have any questions let us know!

Want more information on knots? Click here for more knot tying options.

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