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Style guide

How to tie a tie

How to tie a tie? How to tie a tie in a way that matches the occasion and the rest of your look? This is a question we get from our customers all the time, and there are almost as many knots to choose from, as there are tie materials. To us it's important that tying a tie should be easy, and the idea is that it should be impossible for an observer to tell whether you are wearing a tie for the first time or wear one daily. If you can manage to learn the two basic knots you will be able to look great in every situation. The first knot to master and perhaps the most popular and versatile is the Four-in-Hand. This favorite will always look perfect and fits all types of shirts and occasions. The other knot is the wider and more symmetrical Windsor knot.

With our guide below, you can learn how to tie a tie step by step but first we met up with our friend Gui Bo; French style icon and expert when it comes to how totie a tie. Whatever the occasion, Monsieur Gui always uses a four-in-hand, although he makes it a double. See Gui tie a tie using his favorite knot here: Double four-in-hand.

How to tie a tie
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Five tie knots to know

There are a lot of knowledge to take in consideration when choosing what tie knot to opt for. Each tie knot makes way for a different expression. At John Henric, we are great advocates for personal expression, but also for elegance. The tie have a central part in a man’s way of expression. Do bear in mind though, that the tie need to harmonize with both shirt collar and blazer - and make sure to tighten the tie knot. It makes the whole impression more aesthetically appealing. By tightening the tie knot, you make your outfit look more proper.

Every man should know how to tie a tie but in many cases tying your tie becomes way to complex. The fact is, tying your tie shouldn’t have to be harder than tying your shoes. Therefore, we’ve put together our five favorite tie knots. Without further ado, here are the tie knots we believe every man ought to know:

How to tie a Four-in-Hand

Our favorite is the four-in-hand. What the origin of the four-in-hand knot is, is controversial. Some say the horse-and-carriage chauffeurs, back in the days, used to tie their leashes with this knot. Others argue it was the same chauffeurs who used to tie their scarves with this knot, in order to prevent cold from finding its way in behind their coats. More likely is perhaps that it was the members of the Four-in-hand club in London, that began wearing the tie this way. And by doing so made it fashionable. Regardless of how this tie knot began life, it is our absolute favorite. Simply because it is so multifaceted, and a bit asymmetric. The asymmetry makes it look a bit careless, which we believe is sophisticated. The four-in-hand knot works equally good to all shirt collars.

  1. Place the tie around your neck with the broader end on your right side. It should hang lower than the narrower end, approximately around the fourth shirt button.
  2. Take the broad end in your right hand and cross it over the narrow end.
  3. Wrap the wide end around the narrow end.
  4. Then, pull the wide end up and through the loop around your neck.
  5. Hold the front of the knot loosely with your index finger and bring the wide end down the front loop.
  6. Finally, remove your finger and tighten the knot carefully to the collar by holding the narrow end and sliding the knot up.

How to tie a half Windsor Knot

Half-Windsor, or single Windsor, is a much-appreciated tie knot that shapes a neat, triangular shape. The half-Windsor is a tad larger than the four-in-hand but at the same time smaller than the full-Windsor. This tie knot suits them who wish to appear more formal than if one ought to use the four-in-hand, but still want to leave space for playfulness. A single Windsor reminds of a full-Windsor in appearance. The only difference is that a single Windsor is pulled through the loop only on one side. Not on both, as you do with a Windsor.

  1. Place the tie around your neck with the broader end on your right side. It should hang lower than the narrower end.
  2. Hold the broad end in your hand and cross it over the small end to the left.
  3. Pass the broad end under the small end and to the right.
  4. Up to the center, towards neck loop.
  5. Through the neck loop and to the left.
  6. Across the front, over to the right.
  7. Up into the neck loop from underneath.
  8. Down through the loop you've just created in the front.
  9. Tighten the knot by pulling down on the wide end. Slide the knot up & adjust.

How to tie a Prince Albert Knot

The Prince Albert knot gives slightly more volume than a simple four-in-hand does. Thanks to the increased volume, the tie looks less discrete. Which results in a more formal, sharp look than the four-in-hand. Thus the Prince Albert knot suits a suit well. We strongly recommend using neater silk ties when tying a Prince Albert knot. Because silk quality is easier to fold.

  1. Place the tie around your neck with the broader end on your right side. It should hang lower than the narrower end.
  2. Wide end over the small end to the left.
  3. Under the small end and to the right.
  4. Across the front and to the left.
  5. Under the small end and to the right.
  6. Across the front and to the left.
  7. Up into the neck loop from underneath.
  8. Down through both loops in the front.
  9. Tighten the knot by pulling down on the wide end. Slide the knot up & adjust. The first loop should show slightly underneath the second loop.

How to tie a Oriental Knot

The simple knot, the oriental, is one of the easiest and lightest tie knots a man can tie. It is usually the very first tie knot a man is taught and suits shirts with smaller collars. A smaller collar demands a smaller tie knot. It creates balance. An oriental tie knot is, according to us, the tie knot that works best to sturdier materials. Such as flannel. Because a thick flannel tie doesn’t need a thick tie knot.

  1. Place the tie around your neck with the broader end on your right side. It should hang lower than the narrower end.
  2. Hold the broad end in your hand and cross it over the small end to the left.
  3. Pass the broad end under the small end and to the right.
  4. Wide end under the small end to the left.
  5. Across the small end to the right.
  6. Up into the neck loop from underneath.
  7. Down through the loop you've just made in the front.
  8. Pull down on the wide end to tighten. Slide the knot up to adjust.

How to tie a Windsor knot

When a man wishes to dress proper, sharp and formal - the Windsor knot is the go-to-knot. It is all American presidents’ favorite tie knot, and have for that reason become known as the Presidential knot. It is a tie knot that goes well with a suit. The name of the tie knot has, paradoxically, nothing to do with the duke of Windsor. In fact, Edward VIII has always preferred the four-in-hand prior to the Windsor. He had his ties made with extra width and length, to make them triangular and symmetrical. Thanks to this optical illusion the Windsor knot got its name.

Because of the tie knot’s symmetrical, triangular shape it is best paired with shirt collars that have a wider spread. For instance, the cutaway collar. We prefer Windsor knots tightened quite hard, and with formal materials. Such as silk, or perhaps a thin wool quality. A tie in a thicker material becomes too massive in a Windsor knot.

  1. Start with the wide end of the tie on the right and the small end on the left. The tip of the small end should rest slightly above your belly-button (this will vary depending on your height and the length & thickness of your tie). Only move the active (wide) end.
  2. Wide end over the small end to the left.
  3. Up into the neck loop from underneath.
  4. Down to the left.
  5. Around the back of the small end to the right.
  6. Up to the center, towards neck loop.
  7. Through the neck loop and down to the right.
  8. Across the front to the left.
  9. Up into the neck loop from underneath.
    1. Down through the loop you've just created in the front.
    2. Tighten the knot by pulling down on the wide end. Slide the knot up & adjust.

We really hope this guide have increased your knowledge and curiosity on how to tie a tie. Make sure to test some different knots when you tie a tie and pick one for the rest of your life or change knots depending on the outfit and occasion. It’s up to you.