Skip to main content

How to tie a tie: A step-by-step to 4 popular knots

Always look your best with these top notch knots

Close-up bright pink necktie makes a colorful contrast to a neutral gray suit on businessman.

With the raging pandemic doing everything possible to keep employees home instead of the offices over the last two years, the need for suits and neckties has gone by the wayside. However, with the fear beginning to subside and employers starting to demand employees to come back, ties will start to make a comeback.

If you’re out of practice or have never had to wear a tie, here is our guide to tying one. Of course — unlike those of us who grew up in the Stone Age, tying our neckties in the way our father taught us, with little to no variation — online videos may make the process even more straightforward.

Related Videos

Related Guides


Step-by-step illustration on how to tie a four-in-hand knot.
Photo by Guzaliia Filimonova

This is the only knot you’ll ever need for all practical purposes. Some trace the origins of this knot back to carriage drivers using it on the reigns for their horses. Others believe that those same carriage drivers wore their scarves using this knot. However, the most likely origins of this knot come from London’s Four-in-Hand Club. Either way,

  1. Pop your collar, and wrap the tie around your neck. 
  2. Line up the two ends of your tie. 
  3. Tug the wider end down toward your waistline; the narrower, upward on your chest. 
  4. Cross the wider end of the tie in front of the narrower, then bring it back around to the front. (You’ll be able to see the back of the wider end of the tie.) 
  5. Loop the wide end of the tie around the narrower end again, but this time, bring it up under the narrow end near the shirt’s top button. 
  6. Drop it through the loop that has been formed, and tug it down towards your waistline. 
  7. Adjust. 

The Windsor

Step-by-step illustration on how to tie a Windsor knot.
Photo by Guzaliia Filimonova

Depending on the cut of your best suit and the shape of your shirt collar, you may want to use this bulkier knot that speaks to power. Of course, when a knot is made famous by a notorious member of the royal family who abdicated the throne for love, you can bet the knot will always hold up to scrutiny.

  1. Again, line up the two ends of your tie, bringing the wider end closer to your waist; the narrower up near the middle of your chest. 
  2. Bring the wider end across the front, but this time pull it under the narrow end, up toward the collar button. 
  3. Wrap the wide end under the narrow end yet again, but this time drop it over the top of the tie and tug it to the opposite side. 
  4. The back of the wide end of the tie should be facing you in the mirror now. 
  5. Take it back across the narrow end, and bring it up under the loops that have formed, pointing up toward your chin. 
  6. Tug the wide end down through the loop that has formed, and tidy up the knot. 
  7. Adjust

Read more: Formal Wear Guide

The Half-Windsor

Step-by-step illustration on how to tie a half-windsor knot.
Photo by Guzaliia Filimonova

Offering more body than the four-in-hand but not quite the bulk of the Windsor, for many, the Half-Windsor is a knot with heft. This is a great in-between for someone who wants to avoid learning multiple knots.

  1. Line up the two ends of the tie, with the wider end closer to the waist, the narrower end closer to the center of your chest.
  2. Just like the Windsor, bring the wider end across the front, and pull it under the narrow end, up toward your chin. 
  3. Bring it back down and under the narrow end, so the back of the tie is facing front. 
  4. Cross the wide end back over the narrow side, tucking the end of the tie up behind the back of the tie, past the collar button, then plunge the tip down through the just-formed loop. 
  5. Adjust. 

Bow Tie

Step-by-step illustration on how to tie a bow tie.
Photo by Guzaliia Filimonova

They can be formal or jaunty, but a great (and well-tied) bow tie is a mark of sartorial proficiency. This one tip helps us: Don’t look in the mirror, don’t get hung up on the width of the fabric, and pretend you’re tying your shoes. This may be the most frustrating sartorial task to learn, but it will elevate every aspect of your professional and formal wardrobe.

  1. Line up the two ends of the tie evenly. 
  2. Cross one side over the other. 
  3. Bring one end up under the other, past the collar button. 
  4. Hold the opposite end up so that you are staring at the mid-point of the bow (or a target mid-point if it’s a straight bow tie). 
  5. Drop the first end down over the front (you’ll have perpendicular “butterflies” at this point). 
  6. Bring that first end under the second, and tuck it into the loop that’s been formed behind the second. 
  7. Adjust. 

Read more: How to Wear a Suit

Editors' Recommendations

The 10 most expensive men’s watches in the world
These are the best watches to invest in to upgrade your collection — if you're a millionaire, of course
best rolexes for men rolex suit

If you want to get an insight into a man's status without delving deep into his finances or work history, or without asking any awkward questions, look at his wrist. Men's watches are the easiest way to show class, elegance, style, and status. While there is a wide variety of brands, price points, and styles to choose from, only some watches will instantly elevate your status the moment you slap it on your wrist. Though rolex watches and Cartier watches are easily recognizable and suggest sophistication and class, you might be surprised to find they don't dominate our world's most expensive watches list.

If you find yourself ready to drop the kind of money needed to buy a private island, here are the most expensive men's watches that will put you in the rarified status of having only nine other men on your level. These aren't watches you can get your hands on by walking into a jewelry store and pointing at the glass counter. These are watches you can only get by putting on your best tux, grabbing a number, and bidding against some pretty stiff competition.

Read more
How to tie your shoes and make any pair in your closet slip-on shoes
YouTube videos with genius ways to tie your shoes so you never have to tie them again
man tying sneakers outside

It turns out that learning to tie your shoes in Kindergarten may not have been the win you and your parents thought it was. Men’s slip-on shoes are all the rage these days. Call them ugly all you want — they’re easy to slip on when you’re in a rush and cozy to boot.

Maybe you’re a resident sneakerhead, or perhaps you simply don’t feel like splurging on a pair of designer men’s slip-on shoes. You might simply not be able to get passed the “ugly shoe” label of Birkenstocks (or the more budget-friendly dupes). Still, the ease of slip-on shoes is a massive perk.

Read more
St. Patrick’s Day: What to wear (without looking like a leprechaun)
Look stylish while participating in St. Patrick's Day customs

Every holiday has its own traditions and customs. And St. Patrick's Day is no different. While it is customary for people to wear green to honor the patron saint of Ireland, one of the most significant customs is that you get pinched if you forget to wear emerald, forest, sage, or lime green. Here are a few ideas on subtly keeping your style intact while protecting against the invasion of pinches the day brings.

We've rounded up our favorite gear picks from our favorite brands for this green-centric holiday. You don't have to go over the top and throw on shamrocks left and right. Subtle retro sneakers, a handsome olive green crewneck, a classic green tie ... all of these picks will work more than acceptable for a day we love to celebrate (in style and responsibly, of course).

Read more