Tie Knots

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.

See our latest video series on our YouTube channel highlighting the art of making a handmade tie.

Tie Knot Styles

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.

Four In Hand Knot
Image Source: Dresslikea.com

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.

Silk Tie Windsor Knot
Image Source: Samhober.com

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.


Linen Tie
Image Source: Onetowed.com

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 a 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. 

For more insights into dressing well, we have a free eBook that can be downloaded on the following link: 13 Essentials To Dressing Like A Gentleman


Understanding the different types of tie knots is just as important as knowing how to style and wear them.

In our latest video details series, we explore three knots that are perfect for any occasion, from work attire to being wedding season ready. In addition, we have a technique tying video for each knot which not only demonstrates how to tie in a nice compact fashion, but also how to achieve a perfect dimple every time


The Four in Hand tie knot is probably the most commonly used knot used and takes its name from the traditional four-horse carriage. It is understood that carriage drivers knotted their reins in a similar way to ensure their four horses remained in hand.  

This knot is sometimes called ‘the schoolboy knot’, and is a personal favourite within the team. It's a small, neat, compact knot that is one of the original tie knots. This type of knot is considered the easiest one to teach and learn, which explains why we learn it at school.

Step 1
Take the blade over tail, wrap it once around and again keeping it clean and ensuring no creases.

Step 2
Push the blade up and over the backhole, keeping it flat and clean. Then pull the blade through the loop and make sure it's full at the edges

Step 3
Place your thumb underneath the tie and tease a dimple. Pull your knot up to the neck and straighten until you achieve your desired effect.


The Full-Windsor knot, is arguably the most formal knot you can use on your tie. This is the fullest, widest knot, and so goes best with wider and longer neckties.

The name of this very famous tie knot comes from the Duke of Windsor who wore his ties slightly larger in a symmetrical knot. The Windsor knot was popular post war and associated with people who like a large tie knot. However, there is still an option to keep this knot nice and compact. ensuring it’s not too oversized. 

Did You Know? James Bond famously never trusted anybody that wore a Windsor knot because it was a sign of a cad or a traitor. 

Step 1
Start by putting the blade over the tail, then up and through, around and then up again.

Step 2
Push the blade over the first part of the knot, keeping it nice and neat to ensure it's compact. This is achieved by tugging firmly on the blade.

Step 3
Go around and through, keeping tight triangle. Push the blade through ensuring a full clean edge

Step 4
Place your thumb underneath and tease a dimple. Pull your knot up to the neck and straighten until you achieve your desired effect.


The Half-Windsor knot is smaller versus the full version and therefore more casual in form and style. Nonetheless, its appearance is sleek and sharp, perfect for formal events such as work or weddings. The main difference between this and the full version is that it has less turns. The end result means a tie knot that is slightly smaller but more symmetrical than a ‘Four in Hand’ knot.

This type of knot is extremely versatile and useful to know as it sits somewhere in the middle and is the most versatile know across all tie fabric bases. 

If you’re a fan of the Windsor knot and you’re tying a thicker tie like a shantung or a cashmere it gives you a smaller knot. On the other hand, if you’re tying a ‘Four in Hand’ knot and it is a very fine silk like a crepe, it can give you a thicker knot.


Step 1
Start by putting the blade over the tail, then up and through, around and then up again. Ensure the knot is clean with no creases.

Step 2
Wrap around across the inverted triangle, up and through for the last time.

Step 3
Push the blade through ensuring a full clean edge.

Step 4
Place your thumb underneath and tease a dimple. Pull your knot up to the neck and straighten until you achieve your desired effect.

Tie Knots For Different Occasions

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’. 

Skinny Tie Knot 
Image Source: Kolonelmustard.com


Ties may look simple to make, but they can be constructed in many different ways, and each has its own unique number of folds. Tipping within a tie usually refers to the lining on the underside of the tie blade, which can be either tipped or untipped.

The classic construction and modern look would be a tie that is tipped. Typicallyties are self-tipped, where the tip is made from the same material and pattern as the shell fabric.

Self-tipped ties require extra fabric and detail within the construction, which is usually a sign of higher quality production value. At Rampley & Co, all our handmade tie collections come self-tipped as standard to keep a consistent design to the product, offering you the highest quality.

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