The 4 Most Popular Ways To Wear A Tie

Unsplash | Phil Shaw

Jacob Highley

Tying a tie has become one of the last fashion past-times. Where undercoats and multiple layers of clothing used to be a primary focus for an outfit, only ties remain as a man’s chance to show off a creative flair. (There are exceptions like with a robust watch or cuff links, but neither require any skill to master)

Furthermore, tying a tie is one of the most commonly searched up things on the worldwide web. From videos to written step-by-step guides, there is virtually no end to the number of ways to learn how to tie a tie.

1. Half Windsor

The half Windsor is easily the most popular way to tie a tie in the United States besides the others listed shortly.

Symmetrical in shape and usually suitable for any tie size, the presentation is subtle but fully noticeable. In fact, the only reason it is called a “half Windsor” is because its “full” counterpart is simply more robust at the top. Everything else is practically the same.

It is also easy to memorize with just a few movements. One has only to measure the bottom compared to their rib cage to determine the length in most cases.


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2. Full Windsor

For the full Windsor, just imagine the half Windsor but with a few extra movements. Since we’ve already covered this particular tie style, it may interest the reader to note that this tie style has actually been around for almost 100 years!

According to Wikipedia, the Windsor knot was created by the Duke of Windsor. (Or possibly his father in the 1930s)

The style was used to accommodate a steady trend of shorter ties and shorter tying styles. It remains massively popular to this day.

3. Four In Hand Knot

Not to be confused with the half Windsor (which is considered slightly more formal) the “Four In Hand Knot” is arguably even more popular than the aforementioned styles, except that most people unknowingly call it a Windsor. This style has also been called the “schoolboy knot” and is ludicrously simple. With about 5 steps to tying this knot, it is actually faster than the half Windsor by about one step or so. Another reason for this knot being so popular stems from it being recommended by the US Military alongside the half Windsor and the Windsor knots. That’s right, these three were prescribed as the three options for the Military and US Navy.

4. Pratt Knot

Unsplash | itay verchik

News anchor Don Shelby made the Pratt knot famous in the late 1980s. While it does appear highly similar to the Windsor, the design placed more tension at the top brace while allowing a free-flowing look. Placing a wider end to one’s left, and the slimmer end to the right.

This knot was first seen during WWII, but after gaining popularity from Don Shelby, it was also referred to as the “Shelby Knot.”

It is also worth noting that this particular knot requires a wider tie to fully show off its girth. So it makes sense to have more than a thin tie for when you feel like spicing your tie game up.