How do you tie a tie – Learn How to Tie a Tie

How do you tie a tie?

Asked by ErikaM (12)
August 2nd, 2007

I am looking for instructions on how to properly tie a necktie. And the instructions aren’t for me, I’m researching for my husband.

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5 Answers

This eHow has step-by-step instructions and a video. It usually takes a few tries to get the length just right. I would recommend that your husband practice in front of a mirror.

Beware there are many different ways to tie a tie. The standard knot is called a ‘four-in-hand’. Try looking that up on eHow or any online search engine. Unless he has a spread collar (i.e. the gap between tips is wider than normal), or he’s using a very skinny tie, avoid starting him with a gargantuan ‘full windsor’ or ‘half windsor’ knot. That trend is ridiculous and WILL die.

I have to disagree with manahouri; Current trend in collars make most of them definitely wide enough to support a half-windsor. (a beefier knot than the four-in-hand that [many of us] learn when we’re teenagers). Plus, IMHO the half-windsor looks much more professional — but like all clothing and fashion, it’s about proportion and relationship (e.g. wide collar — wide knot. It also makes a difference what the knot is made of).

You can get a long way with 2 knots: the four-in-hand and the half-windsor. And honestly, while you’re at it, teach him how to tie a proper bow-tie, so he doesn’t have to be one of those guys who wears a clip-on to a black tie event.

I wasn’t really discouraging any one knot, just the damn fist-sized things people think are cool now. They’re not. They’re idiotic.

The half-windsor is great for a spread collar. I use it and the full windsor (with skinny ties) often. But if it’s a normal spread, you should start with the four-in-hand.

If by “normal” you mean “Point,” then yes. But I find the Pratt is the most useful knot. It sits somewhere in between a four-in-hand and a windsor, but is completely symmetrical. It also has more of a triangular shape than other knots and seems to work well with both skinny and traditionally cut ties. It also naturally produces a dimple on wider ties.

Also, more expensive ties DO tie differently. Shop accordingly.

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How Do You Tie an Eldredge Knot?

Published on January 7, 2013

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Q: “I stumbled upon this image recently of a tie knot that completely blew my mind. What is this majestic thing and how do I go about tying it?” – Alex J.

A perfectly tied Eldredge Knot. Photo Credit: Alex Krasny

A: This mindblowing work of tie artistry is called the “Eldredge knot”. Its origins are uncertain (more on this later), but we do know its been gaining a lot of popularity through images going viral on sites like Tumblr and Pinterest. And yes, the tie is as tricky to tie as it looks. So grab your favorite tie, a cup of coffee, perhaps a towel and a heavy dose of patience…because this one might have you working up a sweat.

1. Make sure the wide end of the tie ends at the mid point of your belt because you will tie this entire knot with the little end.

2. While holding the big end in place–create a dimple–swing the little end over the front of the big end and go around the back.

3. Bring the little end up and over the front of the loop.

4. Bring the little end through the loop and towards the right side (make sure the knot is tight).

5. Now bring that little end over the center (of the knot) to the other side and bring it towards the back again.

6. Bring the little end up over the top of the knot (make sure the knot is tight).

7. Now, this is when it gets a little tricky. Keep this part loose. Create a loose knot by bringing the little end behind and through the loop.

8. Pull the little end through and tighten till you get a tight knot.

It’s halftime, baby – almost there. Take a deep breath, a sip of Gatorade and finish strong.

9. Bring the little end behind the loop.

10. Swing it up in front again.

11. And over the top towards the back and to the opposite end.

12. Go through the loop (keep it loose) in a similar fashion to step #7.

13. Pull through and tighten the knot.

14. Hide the remaining little end of the tie behind your loop.

15. Congrats! You just completed the Eldredge knot! Now go and impress your friends and coworkers!

Some pointers:

– Remember to start with the length of the big end to the belt line. This entire knot is tied with the little end.

– Striped ties won’t work as well since the ridges will make the knot look busy and out of balance. Instead, stick to solid color ties or ties with subtle/consistent patterns.

– Keep your outfit as muted and simple as possible and let the tie do the talking.

– Don’t get too excited with the newfound level of attention, it’s probably just Mr. Eldredge. He has that effect.

For best results, tie your Eldredge Knot with a solid tie like this Solid Gray Tie  from Black Lapel.


Update: We’d like to thank Jeffrey Eldredge, the creator of the Eldredge knot himself who contacted us to inform us that he’s been a “long time fan of Black Lapel!” A fan of fitted suited and flashy ties, Jeffrey Eldredge, a technical instructor in a tie-mandatory workplace, came across the knot out of pure boredom and a touch of inspiration. 

Tying a four-in-hand every day got old. So I looked up how to tie other knots when I happened across this video tutorial for the “Ediety Knot” which introduced me to the concept of tying a knot using the tail end of the tie. I didn’t do anything special to actually develop the knot save play around with a tie until I found something I liked…In real time it took maybe two years to perfect.” 

Thanks for the novel contribution to menswear Jeffrey!


What are your thoughts on the Eldredge Knot? Share your comments and questions below!



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How You Do and Do Not Wear a Tie

While I am indisputably correct on most matters of men’s office fashion, I have a somewhat minority opinion on ties. Among them: I do not believe that men need very many, nor need those ties be very elaborate. Most men can get by with maybe three or four great ties: one fun, one somber and one a nice solid blue. Those who wear ties to the office each day can get by with just seven to ten, if they wish, though it’s more fun to have a hundred. And most of us can leave brown dotted ties against gingham to the professionals, as displayed in the Tom Ford Spring/Summer ’11 picture here. I also have been a long-time half-Windsor enthusiast, and that may not be right for you. (And that is what counts!)

But let’s stop here to go back in time and make fun of the guys who knot their ties all wrong — such as in the infamous “Matrix” or “Merovingian” manner. Oh my, it is like getting a Dungeons and Dragons twelve-sided die tattooed on your face.

Technically, this is a highly modified (and reversed) “Atlantic” knot!

Oh yes.

You guys. The shame. I mean, you may tie your tie in this manner! You had better be already married, for starters, and you should definitely work at home. In a room with no mirrors. In that case, knock yourself out!

Also? If you’re going to do that, get a nice tie maybe? Nobody wants to see that Men’s Wearhouse label exposed.

What’s nice for men now is that ties don’t convey too much meaning. In The Olden Days, there were things like club ties and rep ties and school ties, where patterns represented anything from military service to sports fandom to levels of poshitude. (Also, for a period, red ties were gay signaling code.) Those membership codes may exist to some extent in the U.K. now, but it’s hardly present in America at all. What do we know? We’re free from history!

But there is conveyance of meaning in ties still. The most notable thing you can easily convey is that you are a slob.

WHAT NOT TO DO

Fraying, spotting and damage. Guess what? If your tie isn’t fresh-looking, it should be destroyed. Yup! Give it up. Get that gross old rag off your neck.

Length. These days, barring some eccentric fashion statement (the short, skinny tie, as promoted by various designers, is fine if you are wearing your high-water Thom Browne suit, I suppose, which probably means you work in a fancy publicist’s office), the tip of your tie should just tap your belt buckle. A little leeway either direction is given! But not that much!

Pattern. Your paisley tie — with a few high-end exceptions! — is most likely hideous and off-putting.

Where it doesn’t go. As a general rule of thumb, if you are tucking your tie into anything — your shirt, your pants, a tie bar or clip or anything else — you look like a tool, a fashion victim or a waiter. Hello, you can eat soup in a tie without getting anything on it if you sit up straight and bring the soup to your mouth instead of bringing your mouth to the bowl.

WHAT TO DO

Ties are where guys most get to be themselves — at least in office life. (See also: shoes, belts, watches, cufflinks.) You should buy ties that you find attractive, and that you feel comfortable wearing. Ties are like dogs and cats: they have to call you. Look deep inside yourself! How do you really feel? Do you look great in green? Awesome! Buy green ties! Red and blue are fine but you’re probably not running for Senate.

Are you overwhelmed about ties? You should go on a little expedition — for instance, to the ground floor of Bergdorf Men’s, in New York City. There you will see a vast array of ties! There are some ties that you will find outrageously expensive (Kiton, my goodness) and some that you will just find outrageous (Tom Ford — these big burly mothers are only for the skilled tie-wearing pro, although if you care for a bowtie, that is the place to go) but you will also find a wealth of just good plain old ties, sorted by brand and then by color and often season. Just go to look if you want! There are linen ties for summer, wool ties for winter, silk ties, knit ties and ties of every hue and pattern. All of them can be yours, if they call your name.

And then there’s knots. There may be 85 ways to tie a tie, but that’s not much concern to us.

There are so many wonderful cheesy videos that explain tie-tying, but I love this one, that explains the basic knot (four in hand). This was an out-of-vogue method for quite a while, but you know what? It looks good. It makes a very slender and subtle knot, and it’s handsome! What’s wrong with simplicity?

Here’s a very useful demonstration of the half-Windsor, a knot to which I’ve been devoted for much of my life. I was afraid of simplicity, I’m prepared to admit now. The half-Windsor is not over complicated, but it does make a slightly thicker and quite nice knot. And it doesn’t make you look like a self-serious schmuck, like a full Windsor can.

There are technically two ways to execute a half-Windsor, by the way! But there’s only one way to pull off a full-Merovingian, thank God.

Sponsored posts are purely editorial content that we are pleased to have presented by a participating sponsor, advertisers do not produce the content. This series/post is brought to you by Gillette. Learn more about Gillette and its products at Gillette.com.

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