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DM's: How To Tie a Tie

Updated on May 6, 2016


Why do I need a tie?

Whether you see a necktie as a necessity or a noose, it is an item that can make a person look more professional, serious, adult, or attractive.

• Many employers will be on the look out for a person who is going to show, with their outer appearance, how professional their associated organization is.

• When interviewing for a position, it is a respectable practice to dress in one's best clothing (hopefully an outfit that contains a suit jacket and necktie). This shows that a person is serious about the position they are interviewing for and themselves.

• Going along with this same practice is the fact that a person looks more adult with these articles of clothing. One expects a child or teen to dress up as far as khakis and a button up, more a bit more or less, but an adult dresses to the max with his tie in place.

• Lastly, a person can turn heads whenever they are dressed nice. ZZ Top says it best.

Pinstripe suit and silver necktie
Pinstripe suit and silver necktie | Source

Fink and Mao

According to authors Thomas Fink and Yong Mao, The 85 Ways to Tie a Tie, there are exactly 85 different ways to tie a tie. The authors were published in 1999 by Fourth Estate after being research fellows at Cambridge University's Cavendish Laboratory. In their book, they decided that there were only 13 of these 85 knots that were seen as aesthetic, and 3 knots that are considered common variants. You may not wish to know all of these 85 knots, so below are just a couple of examples.

So that there isn't any confusion, the idea that there are 85 knots is not my own. There are others who believe that there are over 100 knots. There are also many people who claim that there are very few actual knots because the ones that look outright ridiculous will not be worn and, thus, cannot be considered alongside the others.

Starting Off

Starting right is important. When tying a tie a person must account for many different factors, but the whole ordeal is more about trial and error. When buying a tie, note the length and whether it is an extra long or normal length tie. Taller people or people with a larger stomach will likely need and extra long in order to look correct. Knowing how long to make each side is a big deal as well. Once you finish your knot you will almost instantly know if you need to make one side longer or shorter. Watch the beginning of this video to learn a bit about starting the tie tying process.

Four-In-Hand Knot
Four-In-Hand Knot | Source

The Four-in-Hand Knot

The Four-in-Hand Knot is a very simple quick knot that isn't really impressive but gets the job done. You can see from the picture that it is not symmetrical and actually looks a bit crooked or sloppy. This knot is generally seen in high schools during formal days or during college for the fraternity guys who haven't quite figured out the more complicated knots. This one is a good beginner knot but isn't recommended for a high profile job interview.

Half Windsor Knot
Half Windsor Knot

The Half Windsor Knot

The Half Windsor Knot is fairly simple and is right in the middle of the Four-in-Hand knot and Full Windsor Knot, when it comes to aesthetics. Many people use this knot but some claim that it looks too soft or loose. This look is from the box shape that doesn't really have a snug point at the bottom of the knot. This knot is generally a bit less formal and really looks best when dressing in business casual. This one looks good with khakis and a plaid tie.

Full Windsor knot
Full Windsor knot | Source

The Full Windsor Knot

The Full Windsor Knot is considered a favorite by many for its neat a pristine shape. The triangular shape is symmetrical and appealing for most. It is tight and looks very formal. If you are interviewing for that high profile job and want to impress, this is your best friend. This knot is not as simple, but it shows the serious adult side of its wearer.

One Last Video to Blow Your Mind

Let Me Know Before You Go, Go!

Which tie knot is your favorite?

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