A touch of colour or an intriguing pattern on a man’s tie can really uplift an otherwise ordinary suit. Originating in the 17th century, the necktie has stood the test of time as the go-to addition for formal sartorial statements in menswear.

Traditionally associated with professional attire, ties are also commonly worn to add a touch of sophistication at weddings and similar events which require dress in the convention of etiquette. Different styles of ties are also reflective of various waves in fashion. Skinnier ties were most popular in the 1950s and 60s before becoming more of a form-of-expression kind of accessory in the 1970s. A resurgence in the skinny tie came about in the 2000s and again in early 2010s, where nowadays there is more of an ‘anything goes’ outlook on this key masculine accessory.

Ties are also a common addition to school uniforms–an idea which deters some older men from wearing one in later life. But with the right design and the all-important method of tying, the tie is certainly not an element of modern dress that should be disregarded. Having chosen your preferred design, refer to our helpful how-tos for fresh ideas on how to tie a tie. Here are three distinct styles and tips on when you should use them: 

The Simple Knot 

A failsafe option for all styles of dress, the simple knot (also known as the Oriental, Kent knot, and Petit Noued) is the easiest technique to master and has the fewest steps involved. This style is actually most popular in China, hence the Oriental name. It has been considered that because the style is not self-releasing, and is therefore difficult to untie. This style works well with thick neckties and is particularly suitable for taller men. The following few tips will help you on your way to becoming a professional in the art of simple knotting. 

Be sure to only move the wide end of the tie when tying this knot. 

  1. Drape the tie around your neck.
  2. With the front side of the tie facing outwards, ensure the wide end is on the right and the narrow end is on the left. The tip of the narrow end should rest just above your belly-button. 
  3. Feed the wide end under the narrow end and towards the left.
  4. Bring it across the narrow end and to the right. 
  5. From underneath, feed the wide end up through the loop around the neck.
  6. Then feed the tip down through the loop you made, in step 3, at the front of the knot.
  7. Pull the wider end to tighten the knot before sliding it up to adjust into a straightened position.

The Windsor Knot

Invented by the public as a way of imitating the Duke of Windsor’s knot style, this symmetrical outcome with its solid triangular knot is most effective with a spread collar. This classic style is perfect for everyday formal attire and events, so it is one that every man should master and wear with ease. Slightly more difficult to perfect than the Simple knot, the following pointers should help you achieve an enviable Windsor style tie. 

Essentially, you are looping the wide end of the tie around the neck loop, first on the left side then on the right side of the stationary narrow end, creating equal sides of a “triangle,” then creating the knot by crossing the front, coming up from behind and down over the front, finishing the knot. 

Like the Simple knot, this style requires you to only move the wide end. 

  1. Drape the tie around your neck.
  2. With the wide end of the tie on the right and the smaller end on the left, make sure the narrow end is resting just above your belly button. 
  3. Bring the wider end over the smaller one and to the left. 
  4. Push the end up into the neck loop from underneath.
  5. Pull down to the left of the narrow stationary end.
  6. Bring around the back of the small end and to the right.
  7. Thread over and down and through the neck loop keeping the end on the right.
  8. Pull the tie across the front and to the left.
  9. Feed the end through the neck loop from underneath, and over the top of the triangle. 
  10. Then feed the end through the loop created in step (7) and pull down. 
  11. Ensure the knot is tight by pulling down on the wide end before sliding up the finished knot and adjusting into place.

The Eldredge 

If you’re hoping to make a statement with your tie, the Eldredge is the style for you. This complex and eye-catching knot involves 15 separate stages to achieve an intriguing fishtail braid-like effect. Envisioned by Jeffrey Eldredge in 2007, this style requires you to use the small end of the tie as the active knotting end which, when completed, is hidden behind the shirt collar. 

It’s important to only move the narrow end of the tie through a left-right-left pattern of figure-eight for this knot. Be mindful to complete each stage.

  1. Drape the tie around your neck with the wide end on the left and the narrow end on the right. Position the tip of the wide end at the top of your belt buckle.
  2. Bring the narrow end of the tie across your chest, over the wide end.
  3. Loop over then under the wide end, bringing the narrow end back to the right. This creates a simple loop around the wide end of the tie.
  4. Feed the narrow end up over the front and down through the centre of the neck loop, pull the end out to the right.
  5. Cross over the front to the left.
  6. Feed the tie tip up through the neck loop from underneath 
  7. Pull the tie over the top and down to the right. 
  8. Pull around the back of the wide end towards the left. Keep the loop created in this step fairly loose.
  9. Feed the tip back across the front and through the loop made in the previous step. This creates a side-ways knot.
  10. Pull the tie to the right to tighten.
  11. Feed the narrow end down through the neck loop on the right side of the knot you just created and pull the tip down on the right creating a loop around the neck loop on the right side of center. 
  12. Again, take the tip down through the neck loop, this time in the centre, crossing behind the knot and toward the left. Keep this loop loose for another knot.
  13. Feed the end across the front towards the right and through the loop you just made.
  14. Pull the narrow end of the tie towards the right, through the loop to tighten the knot.
  15. Tuck the rest of the small end neatly behind the neck loop and collar on right side so that it’s no longer visible and the style is kept tidy and impeccable.