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).
The Full Windsor
Despite many menswear enthusiasts crediting Edward VIII, the Duke of Windsor, with inventing the modern-day Windsor knot, the Duke actually favored a four-in-hand that he tied with custom-made extra-thick ties. Today's Windsor knot is simply a way to achieve that same muscular fist of fabric with any standard tie. Remember, choosing the right tie knot is all about proportions. Because of its wide, symmetrical shape, the Windsor works well on men with wider necks or square, thicker faces. And don't forget to give this knot a little breathing room and opt for a spread or semi-spread collar.
- Start with the wide end on your right, about 12 inches below the narrow end on your left.
- Cross the wide end over the top of the narrow end, and bring the wide end up through the loop between the collar and the knot.
- Bring the wide end back down over the front of the knot.
- Pull the wide end underneath the narrow end and to your right, back through the loop and to the right again so that the wide end hangs inside out.
- Bring the wide end across the front from your right to your left.
- Pull the wide end up through the loop again, and bring it down through the front of the knot. Adjust for desired tightness.