If you’re a Wall Street powerbroker or a CEO closing multi-million dollar deals. The Windsor knot is for you. If you want to feel like you’re a big shot, the Windsor knot is for you. If you’re into being subtle and blending in, the Windsor knot is not for you. Capiche?
What It Looks Like
A full Windsor knot (sometimes erroneously called a “double” Windsor) is a wide knot that eats up a lot of fabric. If you’re a taller person, you’ll certainly need an extra long tie. The Windsor knot is a symmetric knot, which lends itself to a crisp, refined image.
How to Tie the Windsor Knot
As you can see, tying a Windsor knot is a bit more complex than your typical knot. But the good news is that once you’ve learned half of it, the other half is just a mirror image.
Step One: Start with the tie around your neck, facing forward. Give yourself a little more tie to work with than usual, since the knot uses up so much length.
Step Two: Cross the wide end of the tie over the tail. I prefer to make this cross close to the neck in order to preserve as much length as possible. Making your knot about three finger-widths away from your neck is a reasonable goal.
Step Three: Wrap the wide end under the tail, and pull it up behind the knot (between the knot and your neck).
Step Four: Continue wrapping, this time in front of the tail on the same side.
Step Five: Bring the wide end of the tie across the knot from behind, so that it is now on the opposite side from where you just wrapped.
Steps Six + Seven: Wrap the wide end around the tail end as before, except on the new side.
Step Eight: Bring the wide end across like in step five, except this time, bring the wide end in front of the knot.
Step Nine: Wrap the wide end under the narrow end and pull it up behind the knot, much as in step three.
Step Ten: Pull the wide end down, between the front cross (from step eight) and the rest of the knot. Pull to tighten the knot.
Step Eleven: Mold the knot and the dimple with your fingers, then slide the knot up until it is appropriately flush with your collar.
How to Wear It
The common error people make when trying to wear a Windsor knot is that they choose the wrong shirt collar to pair with it. Due to the Windsor’s width, a spread collar is the ideal choice, but many men try to wear it with a point collar, which causes the knot to overwhelm the space it occupies. When opting for a Windsor knot, stick to solid colored ties or simple stripes. The knot itself is bold, so there’s no need to get crazy with patterns. Furthermore, you’re projecting an image of being “all business”, so your favorite joke tie probably doesn’t fit the bill. Lastly, be sure the width of your tie suits the width of your knot. With skinny ties all the rage, you run the risk of ending up with a knot that’s wider than your tie itself. Avoid that faux-pas and opt for a more traditional width tie. Anything under 2.75″ at its widest point is probably too narrow.
Upgrade Your Ties
Michael Kors Sapphire
Solid II Tie
Tommy Hilfiger Yellow
Repp Stripe Tie
Kenneth Cole Two-Tone
Diagonal Stripe Tie