Guide: Tie Knots
The Grand Frank Guide: Tie Knots
Fashions come and go and constantly evolve, and ties are no exception to this cycle. Over the decades we’ve seen tie widths change, fabrics and patterns come into vogue or fall out of favour, and even the ubiquity of sporting a tie or not has ebbed and flowed, even within our lifetimes. One thing that has remained constant however, is the need to choose which tie knot to tie each morning.
Something we get asked a lot is what type of knot we’ve used in a particular shot that we’ve shared on social media, and whether that would be appropriate for a particular occasion. A lot of sources will tell you that particular knots should be used only in casual situations, or that you must use a symmetrical knot for a particularly high class event. In our opinion you can completely ignore that advice! If you wish to wear a half-windsor to the pub, then don’t let anybody stop you.
It’s certainly true that certain shirt collar styles are more appropriate to some situations, and when we’re selecting a tie knot to utilise it’s usually dictated by the shirt collar. We tend to stick to three very common styles, the classic Four-in Hand, the Half-Windsor, and its big brother the Full-Windsor.
These three knots tend to work with most common tie widths and fabrics, with the exception of knitted ties often being too thick for a Full-Windsor. So how do we decide which to go with? Our general rule is to match the tie knot to the space between the collar points, take a look at the examples below and head over to our Instagram account for even more inspiration.
This is a full-on formal power-look, appropriate for board meetings and weddings. We’ve styled our Agani double-breasted jacket, which has broad lapels and a full body with a spread collar shirt, and as a result we need to use a large knot and medium-wide tie to fill the space and complement the jacket’s lapels. For this purpose nothing beats a Full-Windsor.
The rest of the look is kept quite formal by using a simple white pocket square with a straight fold, and the tie is a classic silk polka-dot design. The lapel pin is an embellishment you can make once you’re chairman of the board!
The Half-Windsor is our go-to knot. It’s simple to do, works with a range of different ties, and is a handsome, symmetrical choice.
Here we’ve styled our Lecce Dark Blue Stone jacket into a creative yet business-appropriate look. We taken a linen shirt, and used a more casual puff fold for the pocket square to keep the formality a notch below look number one above.
The Four-in-Hand is the one tie knot every guy knows how to tie. Whether you learnt it during your school uniform days, or the morning of your first job interview, it’s the default choice for many of us.
It’s asymmetrical design lends it an air of casualness compared to other knots, and being a longer and slimmer style means it works best with downward pointing collars and can handle the thickness of a knotted tie.
Here we’ve taken our Lecce Burgundy jacket, our most casual offering, and paired it with a button-down shirt and creative pocket square. This is the perfect base for a casual knitted tie, and the shirt collar complements the four-in-hand nicely.