The tie is a classic fashion accessory. It is stately, gentlemanly, and professional. This prominent accessory can perfectly complement a sporty jacket, 3-piece suit or button-up dress shirt.
Ties come in a myriad of styles, shapes, lengths and patterns, and can be tied in several ways. But which knot is right for what occasion? What types of tie knots are there? And how can you master them?
If you’re looking to learn how to tie a few of the most popular and simple knots, our guide, How to Tie a Tie, will walk you through all of the basics you need to get started. With a little practice, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the tie knot and ready to tackle your next big event or job interview with confidence and style.
In this post, we’ll cover a few of the standard knots plus a few that are more advanced and the best types of tie knots for interviews, weddings, funerals and more. Finally, we’ll guide you through the steps to discovering which type of tie knot fits your personality best.
How to Choose the Right Tie Knot for the Occasion
What are the best tie knots?
Believe it or not, certain tie knots are better suited for specific occasions. This is not a situation where“one size fits” all can be applied. That said, any tie knot is better than skipping the tie altogether. This is why we suggest mastering one type of entry-level knot first. That way you always have a fallback to use when the occasion calls for a tie to be worn.
We also suggest having at least one GoTie in your collection for those occasions when time is tight or you just must impress with the perfect knot.
After you’ve mastered the basics, you may want to branch out to a type of tie knot that matches your personal style or differing knots for special occasions. A common question we hear is,“Which tie knot is the best tie knot for a wedding/funeral/formal party, etc?”
Here are a few of our recommendations based on occasion:
- Weddings: For a traditional look, go with a full Windsor. If you’re looking for something more counter-cultural, try the Eldredge.
- Funerals: For a funeral, we suggest the classic and respectful half-Windsor.
- Job interviews: This depends on the type of job. Generally, the versatile Half Windsor is the best type of tie knot for an interview. If you’re feeling a bit more daring, you might try the trinity; if you want to show your down-to-earth casual side, use the four-in-hand.
And based on personality:
- Loyal, dependable, confident: Windsor or Half Windsor
- Skilled, focused, dedicated: Kelvin
- Creative, ambitious, bold: Trinity
- Easy going, risk-taking, outgoing: Four-in-hand
Easiest Types of Tie Knots to Master
If you’re new to tying a tie, it’s best to start with an approachable knot to build your confidence and to ensure you have at least one knot to tie well when needed.
That is unless you’re the type who likes to jump into bench-pressing 215 pounds without a warmup. We’re kidding—nobody bench presses 215 pounds without a warmup. Except maybe The Rock.
Here are a few basic types of tie knots to get you warmed up:
Your first tie knot: The four-in-hand
This tie knot is one sported by a number of popular figures from movie stars to US presidents —so it’s a good idea to get comfortable with it. Once you learn to tie this type of tie knot, you’ll be in good company: James Bond, several U.S. Presidents, and others spent a lot of time with the four-in-hand. Who knows? Maybe it was the secret to their success.
The four-in-hand is a small, easy-to-tie tie knot. It’s also intentionally slightly asymmetrical. The four-in-hand signals a relaxed confidence, or an easy going spirit. It’s great for business lunches and gatherings among friends.
The next step up: Half Windsor and Full Windsor
The Windsor one of those big-name types of tie knots—everybody loves it. It’s strong, dashing, and confident. It’s made its appearance at UN summits, red carpets, weddings, funerals, and more without breaking a sweat.
In other words, if it was a person, it might steal your girlfriend.
Good thing it’s just a tie knot.
The Windsor tie knot has a distinctive triangle shape that’s hard to miss. A half-Windsor is similar to a full Windsor, but more casual.
More Complex Tie Knots
You’ve mastered the basics. You want a complex knot that will turn heads and open doors. You’re a show-off—and you own it.
If that sounds like you, here are some show-stopping knots to fit your style:
The Trinity Knot
The trinity tie knot is shaped similar to a Windsor: wide and triangular. It has a stronger silhouette than the Windsor, however, with a more robust form, it takes about twice as many steps to complete. On top of its added strength and complexity, the trinity knot shows off a three-pronged knot pattern (the reason for its name).
The trinity is appropriate for more formal occasions, corporate presentations, and weddings.
The Eldredge Knot
This is the king of all other types of tie knots. When tied correctly, it boasts skill, attention to detail, and self-assurance.
How? This knot folds into itself. Over and over, down the length of the knot, it dips and rises mysteriously. After 13 steps, it finishes with clean lines leading into the length of the tie.
If you need an unforgettable knot, and have a lot of time on your hands to get it just right, choose the Eldredge.
Final Thoughts on Types of Tie Knots
Whether you’re new to ties and formal wear, or you enjoy dressing up on the regular, we’re here to help you find the perfect style to fit the occasion. From inspiration for that next special event, or new ways to spice up your wardrobe and look, these knots will give you options.
A polished tie creates an unforgettable first impression and authoritative final statement. Try these knots on for size, or go with a perfect knot every time that never comes undone - The GoTie necktie or the GoTie Skinny Tie which features the confident and classic Half Windsor knot.