How to tie a Tie
Answers to How to tie a Tie
Which knot for my tie? Use the Double Windsor for thin materials such as silk, and with wider ties. Hand-knit or woollen ties are too thick for the Double Windsor; use a Four-in-hand when you need a smaller knot.
Step 1 - Flip the collar up
Button your collar at the neck. Then fold it up so that you can slip the tie easily around your neck. This helps you tie it in the right spot the first time, and also helps prevent wrinkling and stretching the tie fabric.
Step 2 - Adjust the length
The standard neck-tie: Some people prefer the ends to be exactly the same length after you've finished. Unfortunately, ties usually come in one size only, so it's hard to say where the ends will meet up. A tie that only hangs to the belly-button looks cheap; one that hangs over your pants fly is also tacky. Even worse--when the broad end of the tie is outdistanced by the narrow end. Instead, the tip of the broad end should extend just to the top of your belt buckle.
Sounds tricky? Fortunately, there's a good general rule to follow. To begin, drape the necktie around your collar so that the seam of the tie is lying along the collar. The broad end should be on the side of your dominant hand--if you are left-handed, the broad end should be on your left side. Now for the measuring trick: place the tip of the narrow end just above the fourth button down your shirt (the one above your navel), and eliminate the slack by pulling down on the broad end. Again, the tie seam should remain hidden in the back.
Another measuring trick is to let the broad end hang down twice as long as the narrow end. To check if you've done this right, fold the broad end in half up towards your neck. The folded portion should be equal in length to the narrow end.
Step 3 - Tie the Four-in-hand knot
This is the basic knot fashion. Master this one and you'll be prepared for most semi-formal events.
Grasp the narrow end about three inches (8 cm) down from your neck with your nondominant hand. This is the spot where you will make the knot. Take the broad end with your dominant hand and pass it across and over the spot, and hold it there with your nondominant hand.
Bring the broad end around behind the spot, then around and over again. Then pull the broad end behind the spot and up through the "V" at the top.
Let the broad end flop over and hang down. Now tuck it between the top wrap of the tie and the place you have been holding. Use both hands to straighten the knot and pull it tight.
Pull the knot gently but firmly. Look at the tie in the mirror. Is it straight? Does the broad end hang down too far, or not far enough? Loosen the tie if need be, and readjust the length of the narrow end as needed so that your tie will be the proper length after the knot has been tightened. The Four-in-hand knot will be slightly larger on one side than the other. The knot should be smoothly wrapped, not wrinkled or folded over on itself. If you need to, take a moment to fuss with the knot so that it looks even and the rest of the tie hangs down straight.
Oh, and turn your collar down. Button down the collarbone buttons.
Step 4 - Tie the Double Windsor Knot
The Double Windsor takes its name from the double wrap that is part of its construction. Political and business leaders seem to favor this knot, along with foreign royalty. You tie it similarly to the Four-in-hand--just duplicate the single wrap of the Four-in-hand. It's a little more difficult to pull together in the tightening stage. So go slowly and be prepared to loosen the knot and re-tighten as necessary. Finally, the Windsor is a bigger knot; allow yourself a little more length on the broad end.
Grasp the narrow end about two inches (6cm) down from your neck with your nondominant hand. This is the spot where you will make the knot. Take the broad end with your dominant hand and pass it across and over the spot, and hold it there with your nondominant hand.
Now, pass the broad end around behind once, then out in front, then down through the top of the "Y" and back out to the same side again.
Wrap again the broad end across, behind and up through the back of the "Y." Let the broad end hang down, and then tuck it between the last wrap and the spot you have been holding.
Pull the knot together gently. This is a crucial step with the Double Windsor. There are two actions here--tightening the funnel-shape knot, and then sliding that knot up to your collar.
While the knot is still loose, remove your nondominant hand from the innards of the knot. Use it to grasp the bottom of the broad end. Then, while pulling on the broad end, use your dominant hand to squeeze and jostle the funnel-shaped knot into the right form. Make sure the first, smaller wrap of the knot doesn't slip down the narrow end. Instead, coax it into the larger outer wrap. Now slide the almost finished knot up towards your collar. At this point you can tighten the knot more firmly by pulling on the narrow end. Ideally there's a dimple created just below the pointed end of the funnel-shaped knot.
Look at the tie in the mirror. Is it straight? Does the broad end hang down too far, or not far enough? Loosen the tie if need be, and readjust the length of the narrow end as needed so that your tie will be the proper length when the knot has been tightened. The knot should be smoothly wrapped, not wrinkled or folded over on itself. If you need to, take a moment to fuss with the knot so it looks even, and so the rest of the tie hangs down straight.
Tie it in front of a mirror!
Give yourself a few extra minutes when tying a tie for the first time. Allow yourself time to re-tie the knot higher or lower until you get it the right length. Part of good grooming means paying attention to the details. Those who are important to you will notice and appreciate the effort.
When slipping the broad end through the knot, push a loop through with your finger, then pull the rest through. This helps keep the knot together.
Look for the spot on the tie where the narrow end becomes wider. This will often be the best place to pass the broad end over the narrow end. Try tying the tie with this widening section laying on top of the narrow end's knot spot. Even if it does not make the perfect knot for you, it gives you a good way of gauging the distance the second time around.
The knot should stay snug on top of the collar button. A tie that is too tight will creep up the collar, not too mention reddening your face and making it difficult to breathe! A loosened tie looks sloppy and is a sign that you are not paying attention.
"I followed the directions but it doesn't look right." Don't despair. Many foul-looking knots have been transformed by a little knot cleaning. This involves loosening the knot slightly, removing any wrinkles in the fabric, squeezing the knot into shape, and re-tightening it. Try it three times-- and then start again from scratch.
When untying a tie never just pull the narrow end out. Simply follow the directions in reverse.
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