How to Tie the Top Tie Knots

You barely slept all night. The alarm rings at 6 AM. You hop out of bed and head straight for the shower. Today is the day. The day you have an interview for your dream job. You want everything to go right and you definitely want to dress to impress. One essential ingredient in your recipe for success? Your tie. If you don’t know how to tie a tie, the last thing you want to do is run to the store and buy a clip-on. Save yourself the nervous sweats and the stress by learning how to tie the two most popular types of knots. You’ll walk into the lobby with an air of confidence, ready to rock your interview. Like they say, practice makes perfect. This blog comes with perfect timing—it’s National Tie Month.

One of the best things about is that they rate each knot across different areas: (1) knot size; (2) symmetry; and (3) difficulty. This gives you a good idea of how much effort a particular tie knot will take and what the end result will be. Are your hands ready for the challenge? Let’s dive in and learn how to tie some knots!

Four-In-Hand Knot

If you’re going to learn how to tie just one knot, the Four-In-Hand knot is the way to go. That’s because it’s simple, versatile, and not too terribly tough to master. That’s what makes it the most popular tie knot of all. Are you ready to put those crafty hands to work? While pictures and videos are a great supplement to the learning process, here’s a step-by-step tutorial for the Four-In-Hand knot.

Place your tie of choice around your neck with the wide end of the tie on the right side of your body and the thin end on the left. Before we go any further, you’ll need to experiment a little bit to figure out how far each end should go down. When you’re finished, your tie length should go down to the tip of your belt buckle. A short tie doesn’t make a good impression; neither does one that’s too long. Initial placement of the ends of your tie depends on your height and the length of your tie. After a while, the starting placement will come naturally to you. Now, let’s get back to business.

Flip the wide end over the small end to the left. Now, move the wide end under the small end and to the right. Next, move the wide end across the front and to the left. Then, go up into the neck loop from underneath. You’re almost there! Bring the wide end down through the loop you’ve just made in the front. Now it’s time for the finishing touches. Tighten the knot by pulling down on the wide end and slide the knot and adjust with your hand for perfect placement. Even if you’re a visual learner, you may feel like you’ve just gone around in circles in a never-ending maze with no idea where you are. If you’re not a visual learner, it’s really challenging to learn how to tie a tie without accompanying images or video. We recommend that everyone uses this blog in conjunction with a visual component. The video link above and these images should place you on the right path.

Windsor Knot

Once you’ve mastered the Four-In-Hand knot, you may be craving more. It’s always nice to have some flexibility and switch things up depending on the shirt, the occasion, or pure boredom. We recommend the Windsor knot as your next pursuit as it has a similar degree of difficulty and is in the same conversation when it comes to level of popularity. With a name like the Windsor, a brief history session is in order before we get to our step-by-step guide. A common myth is that the Duke of Windsor developed this knot. Contrary to popular belief, the Duke always tied the Four-In-Hand knot but used custom ties that were extra wide and extra thick. The Duke was known for his trendsetting style and used the aforementioned tricks to make his Four-In-Hand knot appear as something else. The Windsor knot was actually developed by the public to imitate his style. If you’re a fan of symmetry, the Windsor may be perfect for you.

Start in the same position as the Four-In-Hand knot. With this knot, you’ll only move the wide end. Get things going by moving the wide end over the thin end to the left. Now, go up into the neck loop from underneath. Next, move down to the left and around the back of the small end to the right. Then, go up to the center towards the neck loop. We’re getting there! Move the wide end through the neck loop and down to the right. Now, go across the front to the left. Almost there! Make your way up into the neck loop from underneath and then down through the loop you’ve just created in the front. Tighten the knot and adjust as necessary. A visual representation to aid you during your practice sessions can be found here.

The technique needed to tie the Windsor knot is actually quite similar to the Four-In-Hand knot but with some extra steps. That’s what makes it a natural next pursuit. There are also variations to the Windsor with the Half Windsor knot being the most popular. You now have three knots to add to your arsenal. Keep in mind that the Windsor works especially well with spread collars.

If three just isn’t enough, there are a ton of additional knots you can add to the portfolio. While this list isn’t exhaustive, some of our favorites include the Kelvin, the Prince Albert, and the Eldredge. Having trouble deciding? This side-by-side visual comparison of popular knots is a handy guide.

Back to our scenario at the beginning. You’ve just completed an intense but encouraging interview. As you prepare to leave, you thank your interviewers for their time with a firm handshake and a radiant smile. Once the door closes, if you were a fly on the wall, you would have heard your interviewers compliment your well-tailored suit, your shiny dress shoes, and that impeccable Four-In-Hand knot. A couple days letter, you receive the phone call you’ve been waiting for. Your dream job has made you an offer! It’s time to celebrate with friends and family. You show up to your celebration party with the following knot. You’re now officially the king of ties. When you step back and think about it, your hands can do some remarkable things.

If you’re dealing with a hand condition that causes pain or makes it difficult to use your hands, don’t hesitate to contact us. Your hand health is our priority—and it should be yours as well! We’ll work with you to find a personalized treatment plan so you can get back to doing the things you love most (like tying that perfect knot). To stay up-to-date on everything happening at HSST, make sure to follow us on Facebook. Our hands heal yours!