How to Tie a Necktie: Your Complete Guide

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100 million ties are purchased annually by Americans for more than $1 billion. In the United States, that equates to around one tie for every guy over the age of 20.

When a man wears a tie, he’s making a statement about himself. If it’s slovenly or sloppy, unbuttoned or messy, it can create an impression that his discipline runs the same way.

But the tie knot can help the savvy man say what he wants to say. A well-tied knot can signal that you’re disciplined not just in your wardrobe but in your approach to life.

If you want to be stylish, you’ve got to know how to tie a necktie properly. Knowing how to do this is a sign that you understand how to conduct yourself and look pleasant when the occasion calls for it.

Not sure where to start? Keep reading for everything you need to know to tie a perfect tie every time.

Watch a Video Tutorial on How to Tie a Necktie

There is nothing more frustrating than having to go to a job that requires you to wear a tie and you do not know how to tie one. Luckily, with the invention of the internet, anyone can learn how to do anything with a few simple clicks of a button.

Watching video tutorials is a big help for you. This can be a quick and easy way to learn since you can pause and rewind the video as needed. You can find this on YouTube.

Select the Right Tie

Before trying to learn the proper ways to tie a necktie, make sure to select the right tie for you. Look at the spread of your shirt collar. If it’s a standard spread, you’ll need a tie that’s about three-and-a-half inches wide at its widest point.

For a larger spread collar, you’ll need one that’s four inches wide. To find the right length, hold the tie in front of you so that the end hangs down to your belt line. Keep these things in mind:

Appropriate Length

The length is just as important as the color or pattern. A tie that is too long or too short can be distracting and take away from your overall look. A good rule of thumb is to make sure the tie hits at the belt line or just above.

Proper Width

The width of a tie should complement the width of a man’s suit lapels. Ties that are too wide or too narrow can look out of proportion and make it difficult to achieve a well-balanced look.

If in doubt, err on the side of a narrower tie. It is easier to adjust the knot of a narrow tie to make it appear fuller than it is to make a wide tie look less bulky.

Not Too Loud or Too Boring

A tie should make a statement, but not be so loud that it distracts from the rest of your outfit. A boring tie will make you look like you’re not trying. Find a balance between the two, and you’ll be sure to make the right impression.

Match Your Outfit

The first thing you need to consider is the occasion. If you are dressing for a formal occasion, you will want to select a darker, more muted tie. For a casual occasion, you’re good with brighter colors or patterns.

Factor in the color of your shirt. A light-colored shirt will pair well with a darker tie, while a dark shirt will pair well with a lighter tie. Once you have considered the occasion and the color of your shirt, you can then begin to select a tie that complementary to your outfit.

Decide on the Appropriate Knot

Many different knots can be used to tie a necktie, but below are some of the most popular knots. Each of these knots has its unique benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to choose the one that best suits your needs.

Four in Hand

This knot is named after the Four-in-Hand driving club in London, where it is said to have originated. It is simple to tie and has a slim, elegant look that is well suited for business or formal occasions.

Start with the tie inside out, draped around your neck with the wide end on the right and the narrow end on the left. Cross the wide end over the narrow end, and then tuck it underneath. Now bring the wide end up and over the narrow end again.

Tuck the wide end underneath and through the loop you’ve just created. Tighten the knot by holding on to the narrow end and sliding the knot up to the collar. Give it a final tug to tighten, and then adjust the knot as needed.

Windsor

The Windsor knot, also known as the double Windsor, is a wide, triangular knot that is often used for formal occasions. It is named after the Duke of Windsor, who was known for his preference for this type of knot.

Begin by placing the tie around your neck with the wide end on the right side. Cross the wide end over the narrow end and pull it up through the loop around your neck.

Next, bring the wide end over the top of the narrow end and tuck it under. Poke the wide end through the opening at the front of the knot. Then, pull the wide end through the loop and tighten it.

Half Windsor

This knot is also named after the Duke of Windsor, who popularized it in the 1930s. The half Windsor is a medium-sized knot that works well with most collars and shirt styles. It’s also relatively easy to tie, so it’s a good option if you’re new to tying knots.

To tie a Half Windsor knot, place the tie around your neck with the wide end hanging down about 12 inches below the narrow end. Then, cross the wide end over the narrow end and bring it up through the loop around your neck.

Pull the wide end down and around the back of the narrow end, and then up through the loop again. Lastly, pull the wide end through the front of the knot and tighten.

Pratt

It is a great way to tie a necktie if you want a symmetrical, professional-looking knot. This knot is named after Jerry Pratt, who popularized it in the 1970s. It is a great choice for business or formal wear.

Like Half Windsor, the tie must be placed around your neck with the wide end hanging down about the same inches lower than the narrow end. Cross the wide end over the narrow end and then tuck it underneath. Now bring the wide end up and over the narrow end again.

Tuck it underneath and then through the loop that you’ve created. To tighten the knot, hold on to the narrow end and pull down on the wide end. You can adjust the knot by tugging on either side.

Oriental

This knot is known as the Lee-Wiener Knot and is named after the two men who popularized it in the early 20th century. The Oriental Knot is a bit more complicated than some of the other knots, but it results in a much cleaner and sharper look.

To make an Oriental Know, begin with the tie inside out and upside down. Cross the wide end over the narrow end, and then bring the wide end up and over the top of the narrow end.

Poke the wide end through the loop, then pull it all the way through. Adjust the knot until it is tight against your collar and the ends are even.

The Different Ties You Can Wear

Some of the more popular ties are the classic tie, the bow tie, and the ascot tie. The classic is a simple tie that is typically worn with a suit. The bow is a more formal tie that is typically worn with a tuxedo. The ascot is a more casual tie that can be worn with a dress shirt.

Make Your Necktie the Focal Point of Your Attire

Knowing how to tie a necktie is not as difficult as it may seem. This guide provides clear instructions to help you achieve a perfect knot every time. With a little practice, you’ll be able to master this important skill and make a great impression.

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