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Do You Know How to Pick the Best Tie Knots?

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Section: Neckties, Bowties, and Pocket Squares - Blog

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The main tie knots are four-in-hand, half-Windsor, and full Windsor, but which one is best for what occasion? Additionally, what in the world is a necktie dimple? If choosing and tying your knot has you hot under the collar, here's everything you need to know to simplify this task.

The knot style for your ties should coordinate with the collars of your business shirts. However, whether out of convenience, laziness or blissful ignorance, most men match any type of shirt collar they encounter with the only knot they know how to tie.


(Click image to enlarge the detail.)

Why should you avoid this and learn some new knots? If you don't, the natural harmony between the right tie knot's lines and the shape of the shirt collar gets lost.

  • A mismatch between the shirt collar and the tie knot can make either appear too small or too large.
  • It can ruin your image; who wants to look like a clown instead of a gentleman?

Here's all you need to think about to decide which knot is appropriate for your tie:

  • Shirt collar style
  • Your body type
  • Necktie design
  • Tie construction

Collars & tie knots

As a general rule, match the knot to the shirt collar type. However, different shirt collar types have varying notch sizes and point angles, thereby creating a range of sizes for the gap in the tie knot.

So, a wide spread collar, where the points extend out at an angle of greater than 90 degrees, requires a larger, more triangular shaped knot. Similarly, a straight point collar, whose points extend out at an angle of less than 60 degrees, requires a narrow, longer shaped tie knot.


Tall, skinny men look better when they wear small, longish shaped knots; men with large necks should opt for knots that fit proportionally. As far as ties are concerned, thicker Italian silk ties look better with a triangular-shaped tie knot (i.e. the Double Windsor), while more traditionally patterned ties (i.e. the British striped ties), look best with a Four-in-Hand knot.

Create Perfect Pairings

  • The Four-in-Hand Knot: One of the easiest knots to learn, it is believed to have been invented by British horsemen when they tied their scarves with one hand while holding the reins of four horses in the other. The knot has a smaller, slightly longish shape that suits both narrow spread collars and button-down collars. Perfect for British striped and Regimental ties on account of its classic look, this knot requires less of the tie's length to tie.
  • The Half-Windsor: A smaller version of the Windsor knot, this is also referred to as the double Windsor knot. In shape it is more triangular than the Four-in-Hand and perfect for medium-width spread collars or thick designer ties. The most versatile and underutilised knot, it requires less of the tie's length than the larger Windsor knot. We recommend you learn to tie this knot as it enhances your appearance and helps you stand out in a crowd.
  • The Windsor Knot: Also referred to as the “Full Windsor” or the “Double Windsor, this knot is meant to be used rarely - typically with wide spread collars. It has a larger, triangular and symmetric shape and is perfect for wide spread collars, modern striped and foulard patterned ties, and those with large necks. Since it requires two wrappings, additional tie length is needed (about 61 – 64 inches in length).
  • The Necktie “Dimple”: The dimple is a purposely created crease on top of the knot. It adds a textured look to the tie and gives it a perfect drape. To make a dimpled tie knot, fold a crease at the centre of the tie. Ensure that the crease goes all the way through, even onto the back of the tie knot. Then, carefully tighten the tie knot while holding the crease in place. While creating these knots may take a little bit of practice, once mastered, they add the ultimate touch of sophistication to any tailor made men's suit.

Even if you can match your tie knots and shirt collars flawlessly, your look will suffer if you wear ill-fitting clothing. One of the main benefits of owning custom clothing is enjoying the look and feel of a garment that fits like a glove.

Whether you are new to the custom clothing experience or a veteran of many years of wearing enjoyment, you'll appreciate how easy it is to purchase tailor made clothing from Montagio Custom Tailoring. We'll guide you through every step of the process and suit you up in style.

Image Credits © Alexei Gridenko | Dreamstime.com © Brad Calkins | Dreamstime.com © Ocusfocus | Dreamstime.com


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