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The Ins and Outs of a Simple Tie Knot

Ok, besides having fun on the weekend, hooning around in your sweats and hoodies looking like a thug, we also have to remember that some of us work in a workplace that needs formal business attire. Right now you may be thinking “why do I want to wear a neck-choker to work when it’s not part of the work dress manual?” Research and common knowledge have shown that you really need to dress of success if you want to make it in the workplace. If you aspire to be a CEO one day, you also need to dress like one. This article speaks for itself if you don’t believe me.


First thing that a man must learn is that there are four common and simple tie knots that you can tie: ‘Four in hand’, ‘Pratt’, ‘Half Windsor’ and ‘Windsor’. Now let me make one thing clear, don’t be fooled by people correcting you in saying it is called the Full Windsor, because such a term does not exist! A Windsor is a Windsor, plain and simple.tie_body

Four in Hand Knot

A narrower and slightly asymmetrical knot, this style is best suited to be people with a thicker neck. This knot will also look good on a traditional collar shirt that cuts into towards the middle of the shirt. Just remember that with the Four in Hand, a wide necktie should be used to create a firmer shape, something that a thin tie cannot achieve.

The Pratt Knot (Shelby Knot)

Similar to the Windsor knot, the Pratt Knot (also known as a Shelby Knot) has a neat and wide shape without the ‘beefiness’ of the Windsor. It is a versatile knot that suits all types of shirt collars. Once again, just remember to use a wider tie for this knot to get a better overall shape. 

To look that extra bit professional, use a tie pie to steady the tie.
To look that extra bit professional, use a tie pie to steady the tie.

Half Windsor Knot

A more modern take on the traditional Windsor knot, it is less  beefy than a Windsor but still has a good symmetrical shape. This knot will suit any shirt collar style but will look best with a cutaway collar because of its width.

Windsor Knot

If you are going for the well-presented look that works everytime, for every occasion, then you can’t go past the Windsor knot. It has a symmetrical shape, beefy knot and looks good on every shirt. If you have a longer neck, this knot is also the one to go for, due to the wider width taking the attention away from the neck and head area.

For step by step instructions on how to tie one of the four knots, visit this website ( It contains not only good instructions and illustrations on how to do tie knots, but also have videos for those of us who are not as well-trained in reading instructions.

So there you have it, 4 different ways to tie a tie. Now that you know the ins and outs of several techniques, go forth and practice and you’ll be picking up in no time!

‘Till next time,


About Johnny

A typical car nutter that likes to get his hands dirty. Skyline and Silvia fanatic not to mention trak-life's own personal tuner and mechanic. Doesn't mind sparing a few days at the gym to stay fit and definitely likes to eat to keep the balance right.

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  1. How long should the tie pin be and how high up do you attach it? I find people are intimidated by the tie pin however it serves the practical purpose of stopping your tie from swimming around, especially if its windy out.

  2. There’s no hard and fast rule as to where the tin pin should be, so long as it looks proportional. I have my tie pin just sitting mid-chest as I find that it’s the position which gives the best look proportional to the shirt and tie itself.

    My thoughts with the lack of take-up on using tie pins/bars is because people are generally self-conscious about not wanting to look ‘elitist, but also don’t want to stand out too much from the crowd. At the end of the day, just like any fashion trends and styles, if one has the confidence in themselves, they can pull off an intended look. Oh, and not to mention tie pins/bars are great on those windy days!

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