Choice in knots
Broadly speaking, there are five different styles that are commonly utilized for tying up ties. Each has its own unique signature, so finding a personal preference shouldn’t be difficult. Just remember that the more you practice them, the better the knots will look.

Four In Hand: Smallest, cleanest and simplest knot. I don’t believe there’s ever a time when the ‘four in hand’ won’t succeed, but that said, there are times when it seems a little too schoolboy-ish for its own good – not one for formal professional events!

Half Windsor: This knot offers a great compromise between the simplicity of the ‘Four In Hand’ and the classiness of the ‘Windsor’. It’s so good that many business professionals use the ‘Half Windsor’ as part of their everyday look.

Windsor: Sometimes mistakenly known as a ‘double Windsor’. Pay attention when tying this one – there’s nothing more conspicuous than a badly knotted Windsor. It has a tendency to grow unwieldy and swollen if you’re not careful, so practice a number of times until you get it just right.

Don’t be put off by the difficulty; it’s worth perfecting this knot for the graceful tell-tale dimple alone!

Pratt/Shelby: A relatively new style of knot. The Shelby creates a beautifully dimpled edge below the knot – a reason worth trying it out if nothing else!

Bowtie: Never wear a bowtie unless you’re wearing a tuxedo! There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with the bowtie, however in recent decades it’s fallen from favor thanks to the rise in ‘business casual’ looks. Nowadays, bowties have become ubiquitous with formality, so wearing as part of your everyday attire is needlessly dressy.

On the rare occasions when the need for a bowtie arises, you should ensure it’s never tied wider than the neck (unless you want to look like an eccentric professor). Stick with plain, traditional colours and uncomplicated patterns; the first sign of polka dots or paisley and you’re risking a citation from the fashion police.

A Few Simple Rules

  • Your tie should just touch your belt; never too far above or below it.
  • Don’t wear bold patterns together; that is to say, never put a polka dot tie with a paisley shirt or vice vera.
  • Always conceal the top button with your tie; if it doesn’t hide the neck line your knot is too loose.



Preview Image: Maira Kouvara

About The Author

Johnathan Bell is the founder, owner and main author of Guy Style Guide, a website dedicated to everyday male fashion, style and grooming. The primary mission? To guide clueless men through the tricky mindfield that is the growing world of male couture. Find him on , Twitter and Tumblr.

6 Responses

    • Johnathan

      Duly noted. Thanks for the feedback 🙂