Whilst there are many different tie knots, certain knots are better suited to the style of the tie, the fabric or the occasion that you are attending. In the post below we’ll take you through the best tie knot combinations for wool, silk ties etc.
A few starting basics. Firstly, when deciding on the tie you are going to wear, always match it to the lapels of the jacket you are wearing. The wider the lapels, the wider your tie should be. Similarly, the tie knot should also be in proportion to the collar of your shirt, so a larger collar would need a larger knot.
For knitted wool ties, the best knot to use is the ‘four in hand’ aka. the basic tie knot, due to the thickness of the tie. The four in hand can be tied as either a single or double knot, as shown below. The casual look of the tie pairs better with an asymmetrical knot for a relaxed fit. Similarly for woven wool ties, due to their raised texture, they are chunkier and heavier and therefore look great with the Nicky knot.
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Silk ties look great with a slightly bulkier knot such as the Windsor knot or the Grantchester knot. The Windsor knot likely originated from George V, who liked the look of a wide knot and had ties made of thicker material. The Windsor knot was then invented to emulate this wide look using ties made from a thiner material such as silk. The soft drape of the silk, combined with its subtle sheen and suppleness look smart with these knots as they balance the width of the tie well.
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As a note, be careful when untying silk ties as threads can catch and ties can misshape easily. Gently reverse the steps you would take to tie the tie.
Cotton and linen fabric ties for summer look great with a half Windsor knot. The symmetrical appearance and fuller knot look best with lightweight materials paired with a similar lightweight material for the suit.
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A quick search for tie knots on wiki reveals that there are 85 mathematical ways to tie a necktie. The different tie knot styles have been condensed to 13, narrowed down through aesthetic and symmetry. Looking at what tie knots to wear for different occasion can be baffling but a general rule to follow is to stick to symmetrical knots for formal, business occasions. You can be more flexible and adventurous for more dressed down events.
The most popular formal tie knot is the Windsor, both smart and practical as it is self releasing and aesthetically symmetrical. Depending on the variety of necktie types you have in your collection there will be a larger variety of knots to try. For example, the Balthus knot is one of the largest styles amongst many tie knot lists and you need a long tie to successfully achieve this knot due to the large amounts of fabric consumed.
Tie Knots For Skinny Ties
The skinny tie has gained popularity amongst younger men as a more contemporary take on the standard tie. The most important thing to remember is as the tie is skinny the knot must remain in proportion with the tie. The best tie knots for skinny ties are the ‘four in hand’ and the ‘oriental’.
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One Of Our Favourites
If you’re looking for a tie knot that is surely to make you stand out from the rest, look no further than the Trinity. This Celtic inspired knot is utterly striking yet smart and looks best with a silk tie. Using less material than the Balthus it is easy to achieve with an average length tie.
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