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).
For the sartorially adventurous, there is the pinnacle of knots, the Merovingian. This unique style brings the traditionally behind-the-scenes thinner end of a tie to the front. A word of caution, however: A Merovingian knot is used only when the bottom ends of a tie will be concealed, so make sure you're putting on a sweater, buttoned-up jacket or vest. And, as with the Eldredge, don't upstage the craftsmanship of this knot with loudly patterned ties and stick to solid colors to make it work – or perhaps a simple, understated stripe.
Credit: Photograph by Huckleberry McQueen
- This knot begins as if you were tying a Windsor, but make sure you have the seam on the outside.
- Once you have the Windsor knot tied, you should notice that the wider, longer end on the front will have the seam running down the middle. Loosen the tie to the point where you can take it off, and flip it around and put it back on.
- The narrow end of the tie should now be in the front. Adjust the knot to desired tightness.