How to Tie a Tie - Windsor, Half Windsor, Four-in-Hand and Oriental Knot
History of the Tie
The tie is the most masculine of all accessories and most of us tie it around our necks when we dress ourselves up, for a party or other important occasions like funerals or weddings. The history of the tie starts with the Croatian army’s “neckwear”, "Cravatt." This garment appeared in 1635 when about 6,000 Croatian soldiers came to Paris to support Louis XIII and Cardinal Richelieu. This Croatian garments became popular to the Frenchman, who was then in the middle of the thirty year war, which required extensive maintenance. The tie came to England from France by Charles II. The tie then conquered Europe and also reached the majority of colonies on the American continent. The tie gained popularity during the 1700s but today's fashion comes from the victorian england, where the schoolkids used ties in combination with suits in the 1880s. Although the modern ties are in lots of shapes, materials, colors and patterns the basic principle remains the same.
Below i have put together a guide containing few pictures as well as a video to illustrate how to tie a tie!
There is four different ways to tie a tie that you are going to learn.
The Windsor Tie Knot
Windsor is probably the most famous name of a tie knot, but the half windsor is actually more common than the windsor tie knot. Sometimes this tie knot is called a double Windsor, but it's wrong, there is no such thing as a double windsor!! When you tie a Windsor you get a big, solid, symmetric and triangular tie knot.
Windsor knot is used less often these days as it was in the mid 1900's. In Ian Fleming's Books about James Bond, Bond's opinions on Windsor knot is: "it is a mark of a scoundrel." Today it is a lot of Communist leaders and dictators such as Hugo Chavez, Putin and the Chinese leaders Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao that uses the Windsor.
The name of the knot comes from the Duke of Windsor, but it was not the Duke himself who invented the Windsor knot, but he used a four-in-hand tie knot but with special thick ties that made it looked rough. Windsor knot was found later on to mimic the look of the Duke's rough corners.
Windsor knot is best suited to the wide collars, so-called "cutaway" collars. It fits best on thinner ties, with a thick tie it will be hard to tie.
The Half Windsor Knot
Half-Windsor is one of the four classic tie knots, if a man says that he knows more than one tie knot this is probably it. It is completely symmetric with a silhouette of an equilateral triangle, and is of medium size. It will fit most collars and even most of the ties.
Although it is called the half-windsor, it's not half as big as a Windsor, but about 3/4s. One can also believe that the name comes from the Duke of Windsor, but this is probably not the case, it is rather its similarity to the Windsor knot, which gave it its name.
We hear now and then the name Double Windsor, there is no such knot, but there is a Half Windsor and Windsor, no others.
The Four-In-Hand Tie
Four-in-hand is the most common and best known tie knot today. It is sometimes called the schoolboy knot, it was usual to use this knot together with the english school uniforms. If the four-in-hand knot is used with a thin silk tie you get a relatively narrow tie knot with a characteristic, asymmetric shape. If it is linked by a rough tie, it will look surprisingly fat, more like a Windsor tie knot. "Windsor knot" was originally a four-in-hand knot that was tied with a thick, three dimensional silk tie and was used by the Duke of Windsor. Windsor knot was invented later by the people to achieve the same effect as the Duke did.
Four-in-hand knot appeared at the same time as the modern necktie in the 1850s and the name has also been used for the tie itself. There are several myths about how it got its name, for example, that drivers of four-in-hand carriages tied their scarves with this tie knot, it is most likely however that the members of "The Four-in-Hand Club" in London Began to use the tie with this knot and then made it modern.
Four-in-hand knot is suitable for all occasions and all the ties and shirts, provided that it is done properly. A broad collar requires a thicker tie and a narrower collar a narrow tie.
The Oriental Tie Knot
The oriental tie the knot is the easiest way to tie a tie and is often called the "simple knot". Nevertheless, it is not so common in the West. It is often used by young people in China and this is where it got its name. To the Oriental tie the knot is quite small making it suitable for ties in thicker materials such as wool or extra thick silk ties. Its size also makes it best suited for shirts with narrow collars.
The oriental tie knot was the first knot that was tied with the tie inside out, this too is not so common in the West, but this technique is used in about half of all possible tie knots.
This knot fits both narrow and wide ties