Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Which Tie Knots are In and which are.....Knot.

The world of fashion and the tips, trends and information that goes along with it are purely subjective. What makes sense to one person will sometimes make sense to the next and sometimes it wont. However, there are those times when following a few simple rules can help you out dramatically. So far, The Modern Gentleman's blog has maybe hit on one or two of those types of situations that call for rules. Well, here is another one. Tie Knots: What they are, how to tie 'em and when to wear 'em. Whether you choose to believe me or not is entirely up to you but I can tell you that not only do tie width's come in and out of style but tie knots do as well. I figured this was appropriate seeing as how my last fashion-minded post dealt with shirt collar care (GQ followed suit-ha-and just ran a feature with Drake talking all about shirt collars).

It is safe to say that there are at least twelve to fifteen different tie knots in existence. However, since most of those are completely irrelevant I am going to focus on three that many credible sources have determined to be the most popular..and I agree. The three I am referring to are the four in hand, the half windsor, the windsor.

Four-in-hand: This is the classic knot. This one is going to get you through pretty much any situation that you can think of. While some believe that this knot works better with wider ties featuring a heavy fabric, I wear this knot with all different types of tie widths. I will say though, because the knot itself tends to be long and slender, a heavier fabric is important. Otherwise you will compromise the body of the tie knot and it wont really stand up with what your wearing.

The Half-Windsor: A milder version of the Windsor (probably goes without saying). This is more assertive tie knot. Its going to be a little bit bolder than the four in hand knot and might project more confidence...at least as much as a tie knot can project confidence. As one might assume, this knot has been considered a bit more conservative of recent (which I agree with) and would definitely be appropriate in business. In my personal opinion, I don't believe this knot is as versatile due to the fact that it doesn't have a stylish look to it. Its kind of just bold. A lighter weight fabric is going to work best with this knot due to its already large size.

The Windsor: The Grand-daddy of these three tie knots (both in size and because it makes me think of someone much older) is the Windsor. If you don't want to go bold than I would avoid this knot. Your likely to see Donald Trump or Jay-Z sporting this one. You need to wear a spread collar with this tie and not a traditional button down collar or any others that frame the tie knot a little more tightly. Your going to need all the room you can get with this one. Also, you need a slightly longer tie to pull of this look because a lot of it is going to get tied up (sorry, that's the second pun of this piece) in the massive knot your working on.


  1. for some reason when i was younger my dad had a subscription to gq for six months. it must have been a trial subscription because we had six episodes and that was it... but i learned more from those six issues than i had ever hoped to know about style for men. for instance, and please correct me if i'm wrong, but i remember reading about the order in which men should purchase their suits:

    1. navy
    2. navy stripe
    3. black
    4. black stripe
    5. grey

    is that still the way it's done?


  2. I think that's still a pretty accurate list. Some might say you could combine the solids and stripes to consolidate the list based on your financial position. It gets a little more complicated though when you start trying to choose fabric types and weights!