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How to Tie a Men's Tie

by Stephanie Petersen

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Things You Need:

  • Necktie
  • Dress shirt with a collar
  • Mirror

Kids can get away with clip-on neckties, but if you're older than 12, you should know how to tie a necktie. Although there are many ways you can tie a tie, there are four traditional knots. All guys should master at least one knot, and it can't hurt to know at least one other method as well.


No matter which knot you choose, the tip of your necktie should come to your waistband or belt buckle. If you have a tie that's a bit long for you, tie a larger knot. If you're very tall and have trouble finding ties long enough for you, choose to tie a smaller knot.

4 Ways to Tie a Tie:

  1. Windsor knot: The largest, most symmetrical knot, the Windsor knot works well with a spread collar because of its size.

    • 1. Start with the wide end of the tie on your right-hand side with the seam of the tie against your collar.

    • 2. The wide end should hang about 12 inches lower than the narrow end.

    • 3. Cross the wide end of the tie over the narrow end.

    • 4. Bring the wide end up through the middle and then back down.

    • 5. Bring the wide end under the narrow end and pull it to the right, then back through the loop and to the right again. The wide end should be inside out.

    • 6. Bring the wide end across from the right to the left and pull the wide end up through the loop again.

    • 7. Bring the wide end down through the knot in front and tighten the knot up to the collar.

  2. Half-Windsor knot: Slightly smaller than the full Windsor, a half-Windsor knot has a neat, triangular shape.

    • 1. Start with the wide end of the tie on your right-hand side with the seam of the tie against your collar.

    • 2. The wide end should hang about 12 inches lower than the narrow end.

    • 3. Cross the wide end of the tie over the narrow end.

    • 4. Bring the wide end around then behind the narrow end.

    • 5. Pull the wide end up and then though the loop. The wide end of the tie should be inside out.

    • 6. Bring the wide end over the narrow end to the front, from right to left.

    • 7. Pull the wide end up through the loop.

    • 8. Bring the wide end down through the knot in front and tighten the knot up to the collar.

  3. Four-in-hand knot: The four-in-hand knot is one of the smaller knots, perfect when you have a shorter tie.

    • 1. Start with the wide end of the tie on your right-hand side with the seam of the tie against your collar.

    • 2. The wide end of the tie should hang about 12 inches lower than the narrow end.

    • 3. Cross the wide end over the narrow end and bring it around underneath the narrow end.

    • 4. Continue wrapping the wide end over back to the front of the narrow end.

    • 5. Pull the wide end up through the loop.

    • 6. Hold the front of the knot open with your index finger and pull the wide end down through the front of the knot.

    • 7. Tighten the knot up to your collar.

  4. Pratt knot: About the same size as a four-in-hand knot but more symmetrical, the Pratt knot works well with shorter ties because it doesn't use very much fabric.

    • 1. Start with the wide end of the tie on your right-hand side with the back of the tie facing out.

    • 2. Cross the narrow end of the tie over the wide end.

    • 3. Bring the wide end straight up and then down through the center, pulling it to the left.

    • 4. Bring the wide end over the knot to the right.

    • 5. Pull the wide end of the tie up behind the loop.

    • 6. Pull the wide end down through the loop and tighten the knot to your collar.

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