Most men spend a lifetime sticking to the casual Half-Windsor or the princely Balthus tie knot they learned as boys, without ever daring to experiment with something new. There's nothing wrong with that – a well-tied knot is never a faux pas – but, as with haircuts and glasses, changing knots often reveals a style that may better suit your look. Tie knots are a wonderful way to tinker with an outfit, creating something a bit punchier out of your older cravats. And a standout knot will always inspire awe because fanciful folding looks way harder than it actually is.
Here are 10 classic knots that are a cinch to master (and even easier to pull off).
Think of the Cavendish knot as a Four-in-Hand tied twice – once as a mirror image. The result is a pleasing lump of fabric that's more substantial than a Four-in-Hand but still less pronounced than a Windsor. This is what our friend Leslie Simon, creative director of product at the Tie Bar, says: "If you like a Four-in-Hand but find it too small, the Cavendish might be a good choice for you. And for those with a wider neck or broader shoulders, the Cavendish offers a scaled-up size to match the proportions of your frame." A spread or semi-spread collar will keep the proportions of this knot in sync with the rest of your look.
Credit: Photograph by Huckleberry McQueen
- Start with the wide end on your right side, about 12 inches longer than the narrow end.
- Bring the wide end over the narrow end to your left, under to your right and back over to your left.
- Bring the wide end up through the loop at the neck and out to your right, then pull it behind the wide end to the left, and then, in front, back over to your right.
- Bring the wide end up through the back of the loop once more, and bring it down through the front of the knot. Adjust for desired tightness.