Know Your Tie Knots

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A well dressed gentleman will of course know his tie knots. Of the 85 ways in which one can tie a knot, there are a few ways that are more popular.

 

Here we demonstrate along with other insightful information, how to tie:

 

The Four in Hand Knot
The Windsor Knot
The Half Windsor Knot

 

 

Illustrations provided by Paul Aitchison

The Four in Hand Knot

 

This is, without question, the most well-known, and today most frequently worn, knot of all. Tied in an ordinary silk tie, it is a small knot with a characteristic elongated, asymmetric shape. In thicker ties, the four-in-hand can look deceptively large; the Windsor knot, named after the eponymous Duke, was in fact a four-in-hand tied with specially tailored thick ties. It was the public, rather than the Duke, which invented the Windsor knot and in an attempt to emulate his big knot.

 

The four-in-hand refers not only to the knot described here, but also to the modern necktie itself. The knot and the tie were simultaneously introduced in the 1850s as an alternative to the cravats popular at the time. There are a number of possible etymologies for the name: drivers of the four-in-hand carriage tied their scarves with the above knot; the reigns of carriage were tied in the same way; it was worn by members of the now-defunct Four-in-Hand Club.

 

Source: http://www.tcm.phy.cam.ac.uk/~tmf20/tieknots.shtml

The Windsor Knot

 

This is probably the most well-known knot name, though in practice more men know how to tie the simpler half-Windsor (7).

 

The Windsor produces a large, solid, triangular knot, which is not worn as frequently as it was in the first half of the 20th century. In the Ian Fleming novels, Bond thinks the Windsor knot is 'the mark of a cad'. Today it is, curiously, the knot of choice of (once) communist leaders and dictators; Hugo Chavez, Putin and the Chinese leaders Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao are examples. The knot is self-releasing.

 

Despite the knot's name, it was not, as is commonly held, invented by the Duke of Windsor. In his memoirs A Family Album, the Duke explains that it was his specially made thick ties, rather than a complicated knot, that produced the effect.

 

Source: http://www.tcm.phy.cam.ac.uk/~tmf20/tieknots.shtml

The Half Windsor Knot

 

If a man claims to know a second knot in addition to the four-in-hand, it is likely to be the half-Windsor, the third of the four classic tie knots. This symmetric knot is medium-sized, with the silhouette of an equilateral triangle. It can satisfactorily be worn with collars of most sizes and spreads. Although the name of the half-Windsor suggests it is derived from the Windsor, there is little direct evidence for this claim. Moreover, the half-Windsor is not half the size of the Windsor, but rather three-quarters.

 

Keep in mind that the half-Windsor is sometimes a victim of the erroneous naming convention used to describe both it and the Windsor, calling them the Windsor and double-Windsor.

 

Source: http://www.tcm.phy.cam.ac.uk/~tmf20/tieknots.shtml