Different knots for different folks – Tie knots

25 July 2016

Different knots for different folks – Tie knots

Sailors and gentlemen share a common bond: learning to tie a knot is a rite of passage. Whether taught by your father, brother or YouTube tutorial, once you learn how to tie you never forget. The real mastery comes with practice; the discovery of many tie knots handed down through generations is the mark of sophistication. More than showing off, tie knots serve practicality in dressing for the occasion. There's a language of knots and each variation communicates a certain style and intent. 

 

FULL WINDSOR

Starting with a Full Windsor, the most famed of the knots, but not the most common, even the name suggests polish. But its notoriety doesn't equate to difficulty and once learnt is a knot from which one seldom departs. Here are three reasons why:

It stays fast and it infrequently requires adjustment. 
It's the perfect width for cutaway and wide collars. 
A Full Windsor forms the perfect shape including the divot down the centre. 

Half Windsor
Image Credit: Ties.com

HALF WINDSOR

The younger brother, a Half Windsor is half the width and half as complex. Instead of folding over both sides into a triangle on which to build a knot, it’s done once and wrapped around itself for a sturdy and narrower foundation. Then you go around and through again for a similar look with a less pronounced profile and it’s perfect for:

Shirts with lapel tips that are closer together. 
Slender ties requiring a decent knot.
Ties that mightn’t be particularly long.

Half Windsor
Image Credit: Ties.com

DOUBLE FOUR-IN-HAND

There’s nothing boyish about the Double Four-in-Hand even when it’s twice a schoolboy knot, the duplication visible to the eye. It’s not a bad knot nor is it lazy. And it too has its own function as well:

Worn narrow with cutaway collars for a fashionable look. 
High collars that need a longer knot to balance the proportion.
A knot to do when in a hurry without time to perfect it. 

Half Windsor
Image Credit: Ties.com

BOW TIE

Achieving the perfect bow tie knot on the first go is near impossible, and one that requires practice either around one’s neck in front of the mirror or around one’s thigh while watching TV. But once you master it it’s an incredible skill, and one that fascinates novices. Just think of doing it as doing up a shoelace or a fancy ribbon when wrapping a gift for a friend. Ready for formal occasions it’s simultaneously:

Debonair.
Cultured.
Badass.

Half Windsor
Image Credit: Ties.com