One of the crucial milestones crossed as boys grow into men is their ability to dress the part - and for many men, this means having a great tie on hand and full knowledge with how to wear it without a struggle. Many occasions these days require ties, from weddings to parties, to work events, meetings, and conferences and too many guys are still relying on their partners (or even their mothers!) to tie their ties for them. Enough is enough, men. This is your opportunity to learn all you need to know about the classy and classic Windsor Knot, so you’re always ready no matter the hour.
While there are many great ways to tie a tie, the Windsor Knot is a classic. It’s easy to use and looks fantastic due to its symmetrical style. Men, this is the knot you can rely on. With enough practice, tying this knot will be as easy as brushing your teeth!
Step 1. Make sure each button on your shirt is properly buttoned, and flip your collar up so there’s plenty of room for your tie. Next, place the tie around your neck. Put your tie around your neck so you have the wide end in your right hand and the narrow end on your left. One end will hang much lower on your collar, by roughly a foot. This length will vary depending on your specific tie and your shirt, as well as the intended length of the end product. Begin with a foot difference for the wide end and experiment until you have the perfect length.
Step 2. Begin by crossing the wide end (in your right hand) with in front of the other end.
Step 3. Next, bring the wide end up and lace it through the loop that has been created in between your collar and your tie. End by bringing it back down so it is hanging next to the short, narrow end.
Step 4. Now things get a little trickier, but with some practice, this part will become second nature! Take the wide end and cross it underneath the backside of the tie, until it’s on the opposite side to where it began.
Step 5. Lift the wide end up in front of the tie and then pull it down and completely through the loop that has been created between your collar and your tie.
Step 6. Getting dizzy yet? Take the wide end once more and pass it across your chest, horizontally in front of where the knot will be tied momentarily. Give yourself a pat on the back - you’ve almost tied your first Windsor knot successfully!
Step 7. Before you celebrate for too long, you’ve got to complete the knot. Do so by bringing the wide end up once more and back through the loop between your collar and tie, as you have done already.
Step 8. So close… there’s one move left in order to complete your final and handsome Windsor knot. Take the wide end and bring it back down, except this time, don’t thread it through the gap between your collar and your tie - thread it behind the outermost layer of your knot. An easy way to make sure it’s guided through smoothly is to use your index and middle finger to create space behind the outer layer for the full wide end to slide neatly behind.
Step 9. Now it’s time to adjust! Now is your opportunity to create exactly the right level of tightness in your knot for style and comfort, as well as the size of the final neck loop.
Step 10. To make the knot tighter, there’s an easy process - pull on the wide end, and you’ll notice it quickly begins to tighten.
Step 11. To make the neck loop smaller, use the narrow end - pull on this slowly while wriggling the knot itself from side to side. At the same time, push it upwards in the direction of your throat.
Congratulations! Your Windsor knot is complete.
However, there are a number of small alterations you can choose to do in order to style the knot specifically to your liking. To give the knot more of a V shape, pinch the bottom of the knot while you pull on the wide end. If you choose to do this, check to ensure the knot is centered between your collar points, to make the most of its sharpened V shape.
Work your fingers down the tie, checking that it’s sitting smoothly and is straight on your chest.
Voila! Now you’ve got a great chance at being the most stylish man in the room, with no awkwardly tied tie that isn’t sitting properly to let you down. You’re now prepared at a moment’s notice for any circumstance you may find yourself in that requires a perfect Windsor knot. Go forth and enjoy your newly found secret ability!
Notes on tie length
It’s no use having a great Windsor knot if the rest of your tie is hanging awkwardly and misshapen! It’s important to be familiar with the ideal length of your tie so the full look is on point.
First mistake - ties which are too long. These hang below your belt button and get in the way, as well as looking out of place.
Second mistake - ties that are too short. These leave the bottom of your shirt and often the last button or two exposed, which isn’t a classy look.
So how do you get the best tie length?
If your tie is too short once you’ve tied it, begin again, ensuring that the wide end’s diagonal seam hangs lower than it previously did for your next attempt.
If you have the opposite problem, do the opposite for a solution, making the length of the wide end shorter.
Common tie mistakes
Once you’ve got your length down, it’s time to pay attention to the finer details of your knot tying skills. Common tie mistakes include…
1. A loose knot - as you go throughout your day with your beautifully tied Windsor knot, you may notice it begins to slide down as time continues. You can easily fix this as you did when you tied the original knot, by pulling on the narrow end while you push the knot upwards.
2. A knot that’s too tight - You’re not going to be feeling on top of the world if your tie looks like it’s trying to strangle you! By giving your tie a little pull and moving the knot from side to side, you’re able to loosen your tie so it doesn’t look quite so intent on making it difficult for you to breath anymore.
3. A protruding knot - nothing will ruin a great Windsor knot quicker than if it protrudes instead of lying flat on your chest. This is often a problem amateur knot tiers face, and is the result of a knot which has been pulled far too tight, so just loosen your knot to fix this issue.
4. Lifted collar tips - when your collar tips are not sitting on your shirt, you know you’ve got a problem. This is the result of a tie that is too thick or tight. If you face this problem, your best bet is to try a thinner tie or a different shirt - the combination may not be working
5. A tie that is visible around your collar - you need to ensure your neck loop is completely covered by your shirt cover. This is an easy way to quickly ruin your look! Check yourself in the mirror before leaving the house to make sure it’s sitting correctly and is invisible. Make sure to keep an eye on it as the day continues.
There you have it - the secrets to a great Windsor knot that will leave you looking great and feeling prepared, sexy, smooth and ready for anything the day will bring!