All Tied Up – How to Tie a Tie

|Windsor Knot or half Windsor know, loose or tight, how long should a tie be, what colour tie? The questions are endless. See the definitive FDD guide.

Historically, US and British style have been worlds apart. Blighty, boasting the likes of Savile Row, is world renowned for the image of a gentleman with slim structured tailoring, impeccable grooming and eclectic accessories worn with an air of modest confidence. Whilst the Land of the Free has favoured ostentation, oversized power dressing accessorised with a go to hell attitude.

As we welcome a new era of British and US politics, it seems that our Foreign Secretary has been exchanging style notes with the President Elect. As seen in a recent TV appearance, Mr Johnson looks to have adopted Mr Trump’s inability to wear a neck tie correctly.

Richard Branson hates them, but I’m a fan of wearing a tie. There’s something satisfying about putting a tie on to go to work or to a formal event, something gentlemanly. So here are my top tips for tying a tie (take note politicians)

Firstly, understand that it’s all about proportion.

The Length

The tip of your tie should hit your waistband. This ensures the correct width is kept in the body of the tie and your body looks separate from your legs.

The Knot

When tying your tie, make sure your knot isn’t too large or too small. Pull the body too tight and your knot will be too small – this gives the impression of a larger neck and head. Too loose and you look like a 90s footballer / teenage schoolgirl.

My go to knot is a four in hand – a classic simple knot, easy to tie and looks great if proportioned correctly. A windsor or half windsor knot is a lot fuller and should be symmetrical – this knot is ideal for lighter weight ties or a wider spread for more open collars.

See Also


Silk ties are always going to be in fashion. Silk ties come in varying weights so go with something that matches the weight of your jacket or suit and consider the time of year. Wool or silk knitted ties are great for a more relaxed look and go excellently with tweed jackets or oxford shirts.

Colours & Patterns

As a rule of thumb your tie should be darker than your shirt, if you’re wearing a white shirt then any colour that compliments your jacket will do. Have fun with patterns, but be careful with scale.

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