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).
You probably won't want to wear the Eldredge knot every day, because it takes so much longer to tie than, for instance, a simple Four-in-Hand. That said, when executed correctly, the Eldredge is the very definition of dapper, with a unique layered shape. Reserve this one for special occasions. We suggest wearing it with understated looks, where your suit and shirt material are subdued enough to let your tie take center stage as the star of your ensemble.
Credit: Photograph by Huckleberry McQueen
- Drape the tie around your neck, with the wider end on your right side and about 2 inches longer than the narrow side on your left. The wide end won't be moving much, so make it as long as you want it to be when you're done tying.
- Bring the narrow end over the top of the wide end, and then back over to your left behind the wide end.
- Pull the narrow end over the front of the neck loop and through the back and then over to your right side. This is when you should adjust the knot to your desired tightness.
- Cross the narrow end back over the front of the knot to your left, and then up through the back of the loop.
- Form a loop on the front of the knot by bringing the narrow end down from the top, under the wide end from your right to your left, and then bring the narrow end over the front of the knot through the loop you just created.
- Wrap the narrow end around the neck loop on your right side.
- Bring the narrow end back through the neck loop, cross it over the front, and pull it behind the knot to your left side. Pull the narrow end through this new loop you created and tighten. There will be just a small amount of narrow end leftover. Tuck this under the part of the tie that loops around your neck so it is hidden under your collar.