How to Tie a Tie?

Formal dress and many school uniforms require ties in the dress code, which invariably require knots. Did you know that a wide variety of knots exist though they may appear similar at a glance? Kids may find it convenient to use a readymade tie buckled around the neck, but the time comes to experiment with DIY.

Beginning with the simple ones like the Oriental that appear brief enough, some look quite large and intimidating! The Balthus knot is huge. Triangle or narrow, why make such a fuss? Go to it and use a mirror to check what you are trying. Trinity is round, and Van Wijk resembles a long cylinder. Doesn't it make sense to start small and avoid getting overawed by the complex knots? Check out the three simple approaches covered in this tutorial.

The Elegant, Large, and Very Formal Windsor Knot

Named after the stylish Duke of Windsor, the Windsor knot is one of the most formal tie knots for men, especially popular in offices. It is a wide triangular knot, created using a longer tie, that highlights the unique patterns of your tie. It is also known as the Full Windsor Knot or the Double Windsor Knot. Although it is one of the commonly used knots, it certainly takes a good deal of practice to tie this knot the right way. Here we have explained the process in four simple steps −

Step 1

While draping the tie around the neck, put the wider end on your right and about 14 inches lower than the narrow side on the left. You need plenty of cloth in this knot, so you must begin with the lower end to hang deeper than usual.

Holding one end in each hand, pass the wider end over the narrow one, and you now have the wide one in the left hand.

Step 2

Pass the wide end through the loop at the neck. Hold both ends with the right hand at the crossing point. Use the left hand to pull the wide end up from below through the neck loop. Now put the wide end on the chest to the left of the narrow end.

Step 3

Put the wide end behind the narrow end. Grab the wide end with the right hand and draw it to the right side under the narrow end. A knot has formed. Keep it steady with the left hand. Drape the wide end over the narrow end. Fold from right to left, and the front is now seen.

Step 4

The broad end goes through the neck loop once again. Hoist the wide end from below through the loop for the final time. The wide end passes through the front horizontal knot. Pull on it gently to complete the knot.

Follow it up with a little adjustment and tightening to make sure the tie fits the neck and the collar, conventionally at the center. Tuck in and squeeze a little bit at the sides.

The Simpler, Everyday, Small Four-in-Hand Knot

Also known as the Tupac knot, it goes well with narrow spread collars and button-down collars. It produces a smaller knot as compared to a Windsor knot. Due to its simplicity, it is also known as the Schoolboy Knot. Here we have explained the process of tying Tupac knot in three simple steps −

Step 1

Turn up the collar and button up the shirt entirely. Spread the tie around the shoulders with the wider end on the right side. The narrow end must be around 12 inches higher on the left side. Bring the more expansive side over the narrow side, which means that the broad end now lies on the left body side. Grasp both ends together in the left hand, close to the neck.

Step 2

Now loop the wide end beneath the narrow end. Pass the broad end under the narrow end and upwards through the loop towards the right. Make another loop below the knot, crossing the broad end at the same spot over the left hand, holding the knot. The tie faces forwards now, with the seams hidden from view. From behind, insert the wide end through the loop. Draw the wide end through the loop at the neck carefully.

Step 3

Now you need to insert the wide end through the front of the knot. Earlier, you had a horizontal knot at the front. Open the knot carefully and insert the wide end. Now you need to tighten and adjust the knot around the neck gently. Get a hold of the narrow end and slide the knot upwards. Is the tie correctly fitted, straight, and of proportionate length? The tie should end above the belt.

Squeezing the sides of the knot forms a dimple at the center below the knot. The knot may appear irregular, but that is usual in this style. The narrow end finally goes into the loop at the back of the wide end. The collar is now turned down to hide the tie around the neck, except for the knot.

The Formal Medium-Sized Pratt Knot

Named after its inventor "Jerry Pratt", a former employee of the US Chamber of Commerce, the Pratt knot is a medium-sized symmetrical knot that is somewhere in between the Windsor knot and the Four-in-Hand knot. It is also known as the Shelby knot, in recognition of "Don Shelby", the news anchor who made it popular. The Pratt knot is suitable for shorter ties or taller man. Here we have explained the process of tying a Pratt knot perfectly in four easy steps −

Step 1

The primary formal knot avoids the extremes of intensely formal and friendly informality. Pratt Knots are a little unconventional as compared to the other knots. To get a Pratt knot, start with an upside-down tie placed around the neck with the seams facing outward. The wide end hangs on the right, and the narrow lot on the left.

Step 2

Regarding the positions, the wide end reaches the belt level or hangs 2 inches below. The narrow end is higher, maybe touching the belly button level. Place the wide end beneath the narrow one and shift it to the body's left. The narrow end remains immobile and steady right through the knot manipulation.

Step 3

Move the wide end up above the loop at the neck. Place the broad end tip in the upper part of the loop towards the left. Pass the wide end through the neck loop above and pull it down to the left. Now you must fold the wide end over the narrow one from left to right. The seams on the wide back are now hidden as the wide end forms an angle to the right. Now the wide end goes through the loop from below. Draw it right through the neck loop.

Step 4

A new horizontal loop has formed in the front after the previous fold, and the wide end passes through it. Push the wide end through and pull it down to bring tautness. The wide end now covers the narrow end. You may adjust the knot through sliding. The knot rises to the collar center with the collar ends turned down. Form a dimple if required with gentle squeezing of the knot sides.

Note − In case of left-handed persons, the left and right sides would have to be reversed.


Whether classically formal or daring fancy knots, ties serve as an essentially necessary dress code with authentic symbolism to both sexes. Though dressing is getting more informal and trendier, ties will never lose their charm. While tying the knot for somebody else, do it on yourself first to avoid frustration. Start with the superficial knots.