How to Tie a Tie Quickly and Easily With Confidence and Consistency

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Flickr, freestocks.org

You know you need to be able to tie a tie. But which one?

Most guys have been here. Whether it's a new job, a hot date or Sunday church, there are reasons to dress up. And for a lot of men, that means wearing a tie. That sounds easy enough. But in addition to learning how to choose a tie, you've also got to know how to tie a tie. Sure, there are clip-ons, but if you're out of elementary school you might want to steer clear. And keeping a pre-tied one around only leaves you with a wrinkled, sad looking tie.

So your only real option might just be to learn how to tie a simple, easy and fashionable knot. Maybe you already have the skills but just want to tie a tie with a neater appearance. Or this might be your first step toward joining the tie-wearing public. Wherever you find yourself, we think the following guide will help.

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A Bit About Tying a Tie

Let's start with the basics. There are dozens of styles of necktie knots. But you'll find the majority of guys tend to rely on one of a handful of looks. Since this is a bit of an intro into how to tie a tie, we'll start there. If you master these looks, there are plenty of resources for more complex knots. With a firm grasp of the steps below, however, you should be set for almost any situation.

And depending on the types of events you plan to attend, you might want some variation. That's easy to achieve with a mixture of symmetrical and off center options. There are also some knots with a more formal appearance than others.

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How Does Knowing How to Tie a Tie Help You?

We'll admit our society has gotten quite a bit more casual over recent generations. But instead of taking that as a cue to give up ties altogether, we would suggest bucking the trend. Don't wear a tie every day just to do it, but there's nothing wrong with putting one on. These days, it will serve to set you apart from the crowd. 

What Are The Best Types of Necktie Knots?

This is a very subjective question of course. But you can take a look at the most popular styles and recognize why they're so popular. For the sake of this guide, we'll focus on the Windsor, Half Windsor, Four in Hand, and Pratt. These all have a few things in common. First of all, they're all pretty easy to master. Some have more steps than others, but once you get them, you can probably repeat it. They each also have a timeless look. These knots are not too wide, not too thin, and will perfectly accentuate an array of looks.


Easy Ways to Learn How to Tie a Tie

A few simple steps stand between you an the confidence that wearing a tie can provide. Whichever knot you prefer, we think you'll find one that suits you best in the choices below.

To simply our instructions, we'll be referring to the wide end of your necktie as "end A." The narrow end, therefore, will be "end B."

1. Windsor Knot

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Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Joostdemeij

Start by pulling end A over end B, extending it about a foot further than the shorter end. Bring end A up under and through the loop at the top and then drop it down in front. End A goes underneath end B again, this time to the left. From there, it goes back through the loop at the top and across the front from the left. Pull end A through the loop again from behind and down through the knot in front. Tug end A to tighten the knot and you're ready to go!

2. Half Windsor

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Credit: Flickr, Steam Pipe Trunk Distribution Venue

A little less formal way to tie a tie than the Windsor, this is a nice symmetrical knot. Begin with ends A and B in the same spot. Then bring end A over and back underneath end B. After you bring end A straight up, pull it through the loop. Wrap it over end B again and pull it up one more time through the loop. Bring end A down through the knot, and you have another look in your necktie arsenal.

3. Four in Hand

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Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Keith S Brown

This might have been the first style of knot you encountered when learning to tie a tie. It's pretty casual, asymmetrical, and quick to throw on over any shirt. Start with the same setup and wrap end A underneath end B. Then bring end A over end B and back up through the loop at the top. After you hold the loop open with your other hand, pull end A through and down. Just slide the knot until it's taut and you've got a simple knot.

4. Pratt (or Shelby)

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Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Pumbaa80

This one has an interesting origin story that only dates back to the 1950s. And it only gained widespread popularity about 30 years ago. But it's simple, reliable and tidy. We also think it's a great sized knot, ranking a bit smaller than the Windsor. Start out with the tie backwards, the underside pointing up. Then pull end A over and back around end B. Pull down the loop and carry end a over to the left. When you pull end A up behind the loop, you'll create the knot. Then pull end A back through and down for a simple, elegant knot.


We think learning to tie a tie is still a valuable skill for guys to have.

Maybe you think you'll never need it. Or maybe you've just never taken the time to learn. Either way, we hope our tutorial has shown that it's not an intimidating process. 


If you found this guide helpful, consider sharing it with your friends. And leave us a comment below if you have any final thoughts or questions.

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