How do I Tie a Necktie Like the President?

shirt and tie image by Joy Fera from

The first family has been applauded for being fashionable but not flashy, and Barack Obama is no exception. While he often wears high-quality silk ties knotted in a standard four-in-hand, Obama also opts for the elegant and understated half Windsor. One of only four methods in popular use, the half Windsor is symmetrical and balanced, unlike the four-in-hand, and three-quarters the size of the full Windsor knot, which is often criticized for being pretentious and showy. Practice tying the half Windsor to get it right before your next presentation or important dinner.

Choose a slightly wider tie in a muted tone. Reds are acceptable, but opt for a rich red over a brighter one, which can look cheap and attract too much attention.

Drape the tie over your neck with the wider end to the right side. Adjust the sides so that the wider end hangs about a foot longer than the narrower end.

Cross the wider end over the narrower end. Continue wrapping it around the back of the narrower end, all the way back to the right side, and bring it up toward your face.

Tuck the wider end through the loop you just created and pull it over to the right side.

Cross the wider end over the narrower end again and continue wrapping it around toward the back of the narrower end. Bring it up toward your face through the neck hole this time, unlike in Step 3.

Tuck the wide end through the loop again. This time the right side of the tie should be facing out. Pull the wide end all the way through, then adjust and slide the knot up to your collar.