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).
Although it is similarly symmetrical to the Windsor, the Pratt (a.k.a. the Shelby, or even the Shell) is tied using minimal length in the knot. That means you can get the most out of your tie's length, a godsend for shorter ties (and taller men). Another unique feature of the Pratt is that it is tied with the tie's back seam facing out; that is, the final product leaves the front side of the tie's narrow end facing towards your shirt. Besides being a stylistic departure, it's a sneaky way to get a few extra wears out of a stained tie.
Credit: Photograph by Huckleberry McQueen
- Start with the tie inside out so the back seam faces outward. Bring it around your neck so that the wide end is on your right side, about 12 inches longer than the narrow end.
- Cross the wide end behind the narrow end.
- Loop the wide end over and then back behind the narrow end again.
- Take the wide end over to your right and pull it up behind the loop.
- Bring the wide end down through the knot. Adjust for desired tightness.