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How to Tie a Tie

Plus Bonus: Master The Art of Living & Giving

If you’re a man, you’ll probably own a necktie at some point in your life. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re an expert at tying one or want to become one.

Maybe you’re a recent college grad who landed your first office job, and ties are about to replace T-shirts as your daily attire. Perhaps you’ve never been interested in ties, but you can’t come up with an excuse not to attend your cousin’s wedding. Or you’re a dad, and thanks to multiple Father’s Days under your belt, you now have a rainbow of neckties…that your wife ties on the rare occasion that you wear one.

Whatever the case, we’re here to walk you through the tie-tying process. And although there are dozens of ways to tie a tie — from plain and simple to so complex you need an engineering degree to master — we’ll stick to the basic five.

Remember that at any moment you can choose to bail on the tie-tying tedium and shop a very nice assortment of stylish GoTies or BoTies, where the patented knot is already perfectly tied for you and won’t come untied, ever. So you can focus on bigger things. More on that later.

First, let’s peek into the world of necktie knots.

GET INTO “START MODE”

For each of the knots we’re talking about today, the first step is to place the tie around your neck, “mirroring” the illustrations. The WIDE end will be on your RIGHT side, and the TAIL end will be on your LEFT side. The tail of the tie should reach to mid-abdomen. You may have to adjust the starting height of the tail depending on the length of the tie and your height. Remember that each type of knot has slightly different steps which may lengthen or shorten the tie once the knot is tied. So each knot may require slightly different starting positions. It’s not unusual that you may need to start over if in the end your effort results in an undesired length. Below the descriptions are numbered steps that align with our illustrations. All that said, let’s get tying.

FOUR-IN-HAND KNOT

We’re starting with the Four-in-Hand because it’s considered one of the easiest knots to tie. Partly because it’s fairly effortless to untie. (Important when you’ve had a long day.) The knot is narrow, so it’s good for thicker ties, and has a contemporary look, tilting just a bit to one side.

  1. Begin in “start mode.”
  2. Take the wide end of the tie toward the left, OVER the tail of the tie.
  3. Take the wide end UNDER the tail of the tie toward the right.
  4. Wrap the wide end back OVER the tail toward the left.
  5. Take the wide end UP through the neck loop and DOWN through the loop you’ve just created.
  6. Hold the knot with one hand and pull the wide end down to set the knot. Pull the corners of the knot outward to give the knot a nice triangular shape.

SIMPLE KNOT

Like the Four-in-Hand, the Simple knot is fairly easy, requiring few steps. Because you’re not winding the tie around itself endlessly, this knot is good for taller men who may need more length. On the minus side, it’s harder to untie than the Four-in-Hand.

  1. Begin in “start mode” ~ except with the BACK SIDE of the tie facing outward.
  2. Take the wide end toward the left, BEHIND the tail.
  3. Wrap the wide end OVER the front of the tail.
  4. Take the wide end UP through the neck loop.
  5. Take the wide end DOWN through the loop you just made.
  6. Hold the knot with one hand and pull the wide end down to set the knot. Pull the corners of the knot outward until you’re happy with the triangular shape.

 

HALF WINDSOR KNOT

About 25 percent smaller than a Full Windsor Knot, the versatile Half Windsor is nearly symmetrical and features a nice deep dimple. It works well with a medium-spread collar and neckties that are medium to lightweight. This knot is slightly more complex (and larger) than the Four-in-Hand, but smaller than the Full WIndsor. Fun fact: Adam Lucero, GoTie Founder and CEO, based his design of the GoTie on the Half Windsor.

  1. Begin in “start mode.”
  2. Take the wide end OVER the tail of the tie and UP through the neck and hold up.
  3. Take the wide end DOWN and across to the LEFT, creating one-sided wrap.
  4. Take the wide end across your body and UP through the neck loop.
  5. Take the wide end DOWN through the loop you just made.
  6. Hold the knot with one hand and pull the wide end down to set the knot, pulling the corners of the knot outward until you’re happy with the triangle.

FULL WINDSOR KNOT

Are you a fan of symmetry? This full-bodied, classic knot may be your favorite. This knot works well with a spread or cutaway collar, and is best for ties that have plenty of spare length. Although the Duke of Windsor, Prince Edward, never used this particular knot (he preferred the Four-in-Hand), this is what the public came up with trying to imitate his fashion sense.

  1. Begin in “start mode.”
  2. Take the wide end OVER the tail of the tie and UP through the neck and hold up.
  3. Take the wide end DOWN and across to the LEFT, creating one-sided wrap.
  4. Take the wide end BEHIND the tail to the right, then UP and OVER the neck loop, making another wrap on the opposite side.
  5. Take the wide end ACROSS the front to form the knot, back UP through the neck loop and DOWN through the center loop you just created.
  6. Hold the knot with one hand and pull the wide end down to set the knot. Pull the corners of the knot outward to enhance its triangular shape.

KELVIN KNOT

Science aficionados will love the Kelvin Knot, which is named in honor of Lord Kelvin, a 19th-century physicist famous for his work in the branch of mathematics known now as “knot theory.” (Yep, that’s a thing.) Practically speaking, the Kelvin knot is similar to the Four-in-Hand, but with an extra turn to make it more symmetrical. As a smaller knot, it works well with thicker ties that don’t have much spare length.

  1. Begin in “start mode” ~ except with the BACK SIDE of the tie facing outward.
  2. Take the wide end UNDER the tail of the tie to the left, then back ACROSS the tail to the right.
  3. Take the wide end back UNDER the tail to the left .
  4. Take the wide end back OVER the tail to the right.
  5. From here, take the wide end UP through the neck loop and DOWN through the outer pocket you made.
  6. Hold the knot with one hand and pull the wide end down to set the knot, pulling the corners of the knot outward to perfect the triangular shape.

THE GOTIE ALTERNATIVE

We could easily keep going. From the twirling Trinity knot to the roguish Van Wijk, the list of necktie knots goes on and on. However, if you’ve got other things you’d rather be doing, we hear you. You’re the reason we created GoTie. Handmade from high-design, high-quality fabrics, GoTie is the down-to-earth but highly fashionable alternative to standing in front of a mirror all morning or evening.

Simply slip it on, slide to tighten, and get on with life. The knot remains perfect all day and never comes untied or appears twisted, our of shape, or out of place.

Plus, when you buy a GoTie, you make an impact in the lives of those supported by one of our four great causes through a GoTie donation. So you can look fly and do good at the same time.

Join the journey - master the art of living instead of the art of tie-tying.