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How to Tie a Tie

Wednesday, 18 February 2009 | Tags: , , , ,

A rite of passage for many boys, and a brag-worthy skill for us ladies, mastering the technique of tying the perfect tie knot it's as easy as it looks when a pro does it.

The Basics

Ties are a staple of everyday formal business attire, not to mention formal events. They’re also an easy way to spiff up any collared shirt!

Choosing a Tie

There are many different fabrics to choose from, even bulletproof!

Some stylists suggest choosing striped ties for those with rounded features, and dotted or paisley ties for angular faces. Solid colours are good for anyone.

If you’re heavyset, choose a wider-style tie. If you’re thin, a wide tie may look out of proportion, so choose a thinner style tie.

Wearing a Tie

Ever been looked at funny because your tie was riding too short or too long? A good rule to remember is to make sure the lower corners (the widest part of your tie) lines up with the upper edge of your belt.

A tie is best worn snug up to the collar button. Too tight and itwill ride up (and possibly constrict your breathing). Too loose and itwill look sloppy (unless that’s the look you’re going for.

To untie a tie, reverse the steps you took to tie it, rather than pulling on the narrow end. Avoid tucking the narrow part of your tie into the tag on the wider part. Experts say this causes the tie to move unnaturally. Instead, you might want to try:

  • A tie pin, which holds the narrow part to your shirt. They’re not very popular because they do damage the fabric.

  • A tie bar (aka clip, clasp, or slide), which clips the narrow part to your shirt.

  • Tucking the narrow part into your shirt or your belt. If your tie is too long, these two tricks also help solve the issue.

Tying a Tie

According to one source, there are 85 ways to tie a tie. (Yes, really!) And depending on your tie’s material, there are certain knots that work better than others.

Here’s a quick how-to on three of the most popular knots. You can find also find video demonstrations if you search online.

Four In Hand Knot

A narrow, more discreet knot, the Four In Hand is good for button-down shirts and for people with short necks. Also best for wide ties or those made with heavy fabrics.

1. Start with the wide end on your right, extending about 12 inches longer than the narrow end.

2. Cross the wide end over top of the narrow end (to the left), and then fold back under the narrow end (to the right).

3.  Bring the wide end back over in front of the narrow end again (to the left) and then pull it up under the loop around your neck (left side)

4. Hold the new knot loosely and bring the wide end down through the front loop.

5. Tighten the knot gently to the collar while holding the narrow end. 

Windsor Knot

Considered the knot of choice for presentations and job interviews, those sporting the Windsor knot are said to project confidence. It’s best for spread-collar shirts and lighter fabrics like silk. The Windsor looks great on men with longer necks because it is wide.

1. Start with the wide end on the right extending about 12 inches longer than the narrow end.

2. Cross the wide end over the narrow end, then bring it up through the loop between your collar and tie.

3. Bring the wide end back down (in front of the narrow end) and then pull it under the narrow end (clockwise) through the loop so that it is sticking out to the right, backside out.

4. Bring the wide end across the front to the left, and then pull it up through the loop and your collar again.

5. Bring the wide end down through the front loop of the knot in front, then tighten it gently and draw it up to your collar.

Half-Windsor Knot

More modest than the full Windsor, this knot works with any dress shirt, and is best for wider neckties in light to medium fabrics.

1. Start with the wide end on the right extending about 12 inches longer than the narrow end.

2. Cross the wide end over the narrow end, then back under the narrow end.

3. Bring the wide end up in front of the loop and thread it through the loop and to the right of the narrow end.

4. Cross the wide end over the front of the narrow end (right to left) and then up and through the loop between your tie and collar.

5. Bring the wide end down through the knot loop in front and then tighten it carefully and draw it up to the collar.

 

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