If you’re looking for a knot that has pedigree and class, the Windsor knot is a classic. It’s one of the world’s most popular methods of tying a tie. Though many people choose to use the half Windsor for its sleeker profile, the Windsor still has a classic and professional look. Some people refer to the Windsor knot as the full or double Windsor to differentiate it from the half Windsor knot. Though some people think it’s too difficult to tie, it’s straightforward and simple once you learn the steps.
Sizing Each End
Before beginning the knot, you’ll need to measure your tie and balance it correctly. Drape the tie over your neck with the wide end on your right. Pull the small end until it sits just above your belly button. This should mean that the wider end of the tie hangs a few inches below your waistband. The exact measurements will vary depending on your height and the length of the tie, so try different lengths. Additionally, left-handed individuals may want to reverse this and begin with the wide end over their left shoulder instead.
Crossing the Lengths
When creating a Windsor knot, the first thing to do is to cross the wide end of the tie over the narrow end. This should create an X shape over your chest. Do your best to keep the area where they cross over each other as close to your collar as possible. This will ensure that the knot stays tight and will help you prevent future issues. You should avoid placing it too close to the collar because the knot may be too tight.
Making a Loop
Pull the wide end of the tie toward your head and slide it under the next loop you created. You can then let it drop over the knot that has started to form at your collar. The wide end should be on top of the knot and the narrow end of the tie. It should also be right-side up. This step can be difficult because it’s easy to set the tie too loosely. Practice in a mirror to ensure you’re keeping the knot reasonably tight and to prevent any mistakes.
Over and Under
Now that the wide end drapes over the tie pull it under the narrow end and the knot. Using your left hand, hold the tie against the back of the knot. If you’ve done this correctly, the wide end should be upside down and on the right side of your body. If you reverse the instructions at the beginning, it should be on your left. Pull the tie as tight as you comfortably can to ensure the knot looks clean and professional at the end.
At this point, the Windsor knot should be starting to form. Pull the wide end of the tie back over the neck loop and pull it through. Don’t cross the wide section over the narrow end. The wide end should finish this step on the same side of your body that it began on. Keep feeding the wide end through the loop until it sits snugly. When looking in the mirror, this should create two symmetrical cone-like shapes on either side of the tie.
Cross the wide end of the tie over the front of the knot. Make sure to pull it tight to prevent creases and wrinkles. Hold it in place with your non-dominant hand to prevent it from slipping. At this stage, make sure that are no twists or awkward bends in the tie. If there are, you should start over from the beginning. Twists in the tie can cause the tie to hang loosely, which appears unprofessional and may even make it look backward.
Under and Over
Slide the wide end back through the bottom of the neck loop. You should tilt your head upward to make it easier to pull the tie. Once the tie sits snugly under the neck loop, pull it up behind the knot. This should create a band over the knot itself. There should be a slight space between the knot and the section you just used to cross over. What you see of the tie when you’re holding the wide end up should appear uniform and tidy.
Creating the Knot
To complete the Windsor knot, grab the wide end of the tie and ensure the top of it is facing outward. Push this end of the tie through the space in the knot that you just created. Gently hold the narrow end and pull the knot towards your collar. This should tighten the tie slightly and allow you to adjust the length. For most ties, the wide end should reach just above the waistband. Of course, fashion trends are always changing. If you need more length, start over and shorten the narrow end. If it’s too long, start over and use more length on the narrow end.
Advantages of the Windsor Knot
There are many reasons why the Windsor knot has been one of the world’s most popular fashion knots. Because it is large and symmetrical, it looks great with stylish shirts with spread or cutaway collars. Additionally, it compliments both square and round faces, as well as those with facial hair. Because they’re thicker, they also fit well with individuals who have wide or stout necks. Interestingly, the bulk of the Windsor knot also makes it seem more formal.
Picking the Right Material and Pattern
There are many different ties with a variety of patterns available in any material you can think of. In recent years, knitted ties have exploded in popularity. However, because of the Windsor knot’s bulk, few materials work well with it. Tweed or knitted ties are typically too thick for a Windsor knot. Classic silk ties are usually the way to go. Plus, you should usually use ties with darker tones and patterns with open space. There are many reasons for this, but the primary one is to prevent the knot from looking too overwhelming with a busy pattern.