Different Styles of Tie Knots

by Tom Gresham

Your necktie style should match the clothes you wear.

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There are a number of different ways to tie a men's necktie, but the most common knots are the Windsor, Half-Windsor and Four-in-Hand. You should consider your shirt collar, body type, event occasion and style of the tie when selecting a particular knot.

Windsor

The Windsor knot requires a particular amount of care to tie right, but the result should have a look of precision. The Windsor is a wide knot with a sharp, triangular shape. It is most appropriately worn with wide-collared shirt to match the knot. Similarly, the Windsor fits well with a thick tie that can accommodate a wide knot. It is also known as the full, or double Windsor knot.

Half-Windsor

The Half-Windsor knot is triangular, like the Windsor, but is smaller and fits better with standard shirt collars. It is a versatile knot that can be worn on both formal and informal occasions. The Half-Windsor is a good fit for thick ties because it does not require them to be wrapped twice when it is tied, and so it does not require the use of a long tie the way a Windsor does.

Four-in-Hand

The Four-in-Hand knot is a basic, popular knot that is easy to execute. In fact, the name originates from the idea that English horsemen could tie the knot with one hand while holding the reigns of four horses in the other. The knot is narrow and appropriate for any occasion. According to GQ, it "should look asymmetrical and imperfect."

Notable Other Styles

Other notable tie knot styles include the bow tie, small knot and Prince Albert. The bow tie is typically worn with tuxedos and suits, but it can also be worn with other, more casual clothes. It should not be tied too large or it might overwhelm the wearer. The small knot is more compact than the Half-Windsor or Four-in-Hand knots and is appropriate for narrow collars. Finally, the Prince Albert is a knot with a tight, narrow look that is best for shirts with long collars.

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About the Author

Tom Gresham is a freelance writer and public relations specialist who has been writing professionally since 1999. His articles have appeared in "The Washington Post," "Virginia Magazine," "Vermont Magazine," "Adirondack Life" and the "Southern Arts Journal," among other publications. He graduated from the University of Virginia.