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).
If a Four-in-Hand is too small and a Windsor is too big, there's always the Half-Windsor. This lightweight version of a Windsor still has a substantial, symmetrical shape, but it's streamlined with fewer folds and has a less bulky profile. Because of its medium size, the Half-Windsor is a great knot for all occasions since it pairs nicely with any size shirt collar.
Credit: Photograph by Huckleberry McQueen
- Start with the wide end on your right side, about 12 inches longer than the narrow end.
- Cross the wide end over the narrow end to your left, and bring it back behind the narrow end to your right.
- Take the wide end up over the front of the knot and down through the loop behind the knot and to your right.
- Bring the wide end around to the front, over the narrow end from right to left.
- Move the wide end up through the back of the loop, pulling all of the tie's length up.
- Bring the wide end down through the front of the knot. Adjust for desired tightness.